Also published on this date: Monday May 13, 2024: Maximum Shelf: A Song to Drown Rivers

Also published on this date: February 26, 2024 Dedicated Issue: Simon & Schuster Celebrates Its 100th Anniversary

Shelf Awareness for [date:convertDateFormat('EEEE, MMMM d, yyyy', $issuedate)]

Feiwel & Friends: Kisses, Codes, and Conspiracies by Abigail Hing Wen

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

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Immortal Dark (Deluxe Limited Edition) by Tigest Girma

Bramble: Swordcrossed by Freya Marske


Imagine: Author Makes Up Quotations

Jonah Lehrer used a little too much imagination in writing Imagine: How Creativity Works, which was published in March: the book includes quotations attributed to Bob Dylan that Lehrer made up, were misquotations or combinations of other quotations, according to the New York Times. As a result, Lehrer has resigned as a staff writer at the New Yorker, and publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has taken the e-book version of Imagine off the market, has halted shipping of the printed version and (as noted in an ad below, left) is asking all accounts to stop selling the book and return all copies for full credit, with freight paid for by HMH.

New Yorker editor David Remnick spoke for many when he called it "a terrifically sad situation." Lehrer had recently apologized for recycling his earlier work in articles, blogs and Imagine.

Lehrer's creativity with Dylan's words was first outlined in an article in Tablet. Imagine has sold more than 200,000 copies.

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

Obituary Note: Maeve Binchy

Maeve Binchy, the Irish writer and journalist, died yesterday, the Irish Times reported. She was 72.

For a time, Binchy held several jobs at the Irish Times, including women's editor and in the paper's London office, where she began writing fiction. She wrote more than 20 books, including 16 novels. The Lilac Bus and Echoes were made into TV films, while Circle of Friends, Tara Road and How About You were made into feature films.

The paper quoted Irish president Michael D. Higgins, who called Binchy "an outstanding novelist, short story writer and columnist, who engaged millions of people all around the world with her fluent and accessible style. She was a great storyteller and we enjoyed her capacity to engage, entertain and surprise us. For others, particularly young and aspiring writers, she was not only a source of great encouragement; but also to so many, of practical assistance."

Last year Binchy said, "I don't have any regrets about any roads I didn't take. Everything went well, and I think that's been a help because I can look back, and I do get great pleasure out of looking back.... I've been very lucky and I have a happy old age with good family and friends still around."

Chester County Book & Music May Stay Open

It's a small step, but Kathy Simoneaux told the Pottstown Mercury that she has "started to reconsider" her decision to close Chester County Book and Music Company, West Chester, Pa. She has been approached by "different parties about continuing to run an independent operation elsewhere," the paper wrote. Simoneaux added: "I wasn't expecting this and can't say if I can make it work but I'm keeping an open mind."

The bookstore has been on a monthly lease since January, and Simoneaux recently said that when the landlord found a new tenant, she would close the store (Shelf Awareness, July 17, 2012). She called the 28,000-sq.-ft. space too big for "the current bookselling environment."

Reinventing Kepler's: The Future Search Process

For two and a half days last week, ending on Saturday, some 78 people, representing "the groups that have a crucial stake in the future of community bookstores," including a range of people from the book industry, came to Kepler's Future Search, a retreat aiming to help "kick start the reinvention" of Kepler's Books in Menlo Park, Calif.

The aim, as Praveen Madan, co-owner of the Booksmith in San Francisco and leader of the Kepler's 2020 Project (r. with Booksmith co-owner Christin Evans), put it, was to use "a community planned methodology, a grass-roots bottom-up method vs. a Powerpoint and analytics-down strategy."

On Thursday afternoon, the participants broke into small groups and identified world and personal trends that had occurred since 1970. The result of the free-form discussion: the mind map.

On Friday, the crowd again spent time in small groups and addressed this question: "It's 2020. What does your ideal Kepler's look like?" Groups used skits to describe the ideal community bookstore of the future and, by the end of the day, each group identified six "must have" elements the future Kepler's should have.

On Saturday, the final "must have" list consisted of:

1. Be financially sustainable.
2. Have a clearly defined mission.
3. Be dedicated to community outreach.
4. Serve as a gathering place for creative events and social events.
5. Support life-long learning and literary education.
6. Sell books in any form, on any platform.
7. Maintain a virtual presence, with technology fully integrated into the store.
8. Provide a carefully curated selection of books.

Among the booksellers participating were Casey Coonerty Protti, owner of Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Calif.; Paul Yamazaki of City Lights, San Francisco, Calif.; Chuck Robinson, co-owner of Village Books, Bellingham, Wash.; and Lissa Muscatine, co-owner of Politics & Prose, Washington, D.C. Publishers and wholesalers were well represented and included Bob Miller of Workman, Elise Cannon of PGW, Michael Weaver of Chelsea Green, Dan Sheehan of Ingram and Gloria Genee of Partners West. --Cris Cooke

Rediker Is BAM's New Corporate Development Analyst

Michael G. Rediker has joined Books-A-Million as corporate development analyst, where he will be responsible for identifying, analyzing and implementing strategic corporate initiatives, including new business growth opportunities. He reports to James Turner, executive v-p. Rediker was most recently with the investment banking firm Paces Battle Group.

"I'm very pleased to have Michael join the Books-A-Million team and know his prior experience will be an asset as we continue to explore growth opportunities for the company," said Turner.



Images of the Day: Chris Colfer Wows Joseph-Beth

Fans of Chris Colfer packed the Joseph-Beth Booksellers store in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Sunday, where the Glee actor signed copies of his first novel, The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers).

The store sold more than 800 copies of the book, according to the Community Press. "We would have sold even more if Chris didn't have a plane to catch," Michael Link, Joseph-Beth's publisher relations and events manager, said. Joseph-Beth celebrated Colfer's presence in other ways: on Sunday, the store's Bronte cafe featured Glee-inspired food, including slushies, a "Breadsticks Special," Mercedes's chili cheese tots and My Happy Happy Unicorn.

photos: Dave Powell

Cash Mob of the Day: An Author and His Local Bookseller

James Howard Kunstler is trying a variation on the cash mob theme. Through a direct link on his website as well as his weekly podcast (the Kunstlercast), the author is encouraging readers and listeners interested in his latest book, Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology, and the Fate of the Nation, to purchase a copy from his local bookstore, Battenkill Books, Cambridge, N.Y., and have it shipped to them.

"Your purchase can make a big difference to this independently owned business in small-town upstate New York," Kunstler noted on his website.

Dan Eldridge New Editor-in-Chief at TeleRead

Dan Eldridge has joined as editor-in-chief, replacing Paul Biba, who resigned last week to pursue other opportunities. Eldridge has been managing editor for several print publications owned by parent company NAPCO and earlier was a freelance journalist covering publishing, entrepreneurship and commercial real estate. He's also worked with "a fairly large number of publishing companies over the years, helping them to produce everything from alt-weeklies to glossy magazines to online publications."


Media and Movies

Media Heat: The Fate of the Species

Tomorrow on Current's Viewpoint with Eliot Spitzer: Mike Lofgren, author of The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted (Viking, $25.95, 9780670026265).


Tomorrow on Hannity: Stanley Kurtz, author of Spreading the Wealth: How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities (Sentinel, $25.95, 9781595230928).


Tomorrow on Fox Radio's Kilmeade & Friends: David Crist, author of The Twilight War: The Secret History of America's Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran (Penguin, $36, 9781594203411).


Tomorrow on the Daily Show: Fred Guterl, author of The Fate of the Species: Why the Human Race May Cause Its Own Extinction and How We Can Stop It (Bloomsbury, $25, 9781608192588).


Tomorrow night on a repeat of the Late Show with David Letterman: Michael Ian Black, co-author of America, You Sexy Bitch: A Love Letter to Freedom (Da Capo, $26, 9780306821004).

Movies: Anna Karenina Featurette

Focus Features released a new featurette for Anna Karenina, director Joe Wright's adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's classic novel. Indiewire noted that the clip "goes behind the scenes of the production, offering up a good amount of new snippets of footage along with interviews with the director and cast." The cast includes Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Johnson, Kelly Macdonald, Olivia Williams, Ruth Wilson and Holliday Grainger. The film opens in the U.S. November 9.

Books & Authors

Awards: Dylan Thomas Prize Longlist

The longlist has been announced for the £30,000 (US$47,132) Dylan Thomas Prize, which honors the author of a novel, play, poetry or travel book in the English language who is under 30, the Bookseller reported. A shortlist will be announced in September, with the winner named November 9. This year's longlisted titles are:

Grow Up by Ben Brooks
The Spider King's Daughter by Chibundu Onuzo
Once You Break a Knuckle by D.N. Wilson
Diving Belles by Lucy Wood
My Dearest Jonah by Matthew Crow
Tea at the Grand Tazi by Alexandra Singer
The Doll Princess by Tom Benn
The White Shadow by Andrea Eames
Threats by Amelia Gray
Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, August 7:

Wake by Amanda Hocking (St. Martin's Griffin, $17.99, 9781250008121) is the first book of a new paranormal young adult series, Watersong.

Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz (Knopf, $29.95, 9780307272225) is a comprehensive biography of the late culinary and pop culture icon who would have turned 100 on August 15.

The Black Rhinos of Namibia: Searching for Survivors in the African Desert by Rick Bass (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25, 9780547055213) explores the habitat and conservation of a critically endangered rhino species.

Time Untime by Sherrilyn Kenyon (St. Martin's Press, $25.99, 9780312546618) continues the Dark Hunters fantasy series.

Before the Rain: A Memoir of Love and Revolution by Luisita Lopez Torregrosa (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25, 9780547669205) follows a lesbian couple amid revolution in the Philippines.

Book Review

Review: Some Remarks: Essays and Other Writings

Some Remarks: Essays and Other Writing by Neal Stephenson (Morrow, $25.99 hardcover, 9780062024435, August 7, 2012)

In 1996, when he was still best known for his "cyberpunk" breakthrough novel, Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson filed a book-length article for Wired recounting his journey through various Asian nations to Egypt to the shores of England to check out the installation of a new generation of fiberoptic cables through which the Internet's data would stream. It was less an act of journalism, he wrote, than a new genre he called hacker tourism: "travel to exotic locations in search of sights and sensations that would only be of interest to a geek," with regular reassuring of the experts encountered along the way that you really do want them to go deep into the specs. The result was a seemingly sprawling but actually quite tightly structured adventure story filled with precise technical details--a trademark style any fan of Stephenson's later novels would recognize.

"Mother Earth, Mother Board" is by the far the longest item in Some Remarks, and though some readers might find the sheer amount of information overwhelming, it's a prime example of a quality in Stephenson's nonfiction that he himself identified in David Foster Wallace: "a touching, and for the most part well-founded, belief that you can explain anything with words if you work hard enough and show your readers sufficient respect." (That essay, which first appeared as an introduction to Wallace's meditation on infinity, Everything and More, effortlessly shifts gears from an autobiographical reflection of growing up, like Wallace, in a MACT--"Midwestern American College Town"--to a taxonomy of science books for general audiences, among other themes.)

The other pieces here include op-ed contributions, college lectures, interview transcripts and even a pair of early short stories. (Fans of Stephenson's 2011 novel Reamde may be intrigued to see that his interest in online role-playing networks as a platform for alternate currencies extends at least as far back as 1995's "The Great Simoleon Caper.") Topics range from the blind spot many secularists have when it comes to understanding religious faith to the need to reinfuse science fiction with visionary aspirations to the health risks of sitting at a computer all day. It's all shot through with a sly humor; as he says in response to an online fan's question comparing him with William Gibson, "his Praying Mantis style was no match for my Flying Cloud technique." Some Remarks is an easy slam dunk for Stephenson's existing fan base, but his dig-deep approach may appeal to literary nonfiction audiences as well. --Ron Hogan

Shelf Talker: Neal Stephenson's nonfiction is just as wonky and detail-oriented as his novels, with an open, welcoming voice that compares favorably to contemporaneous "literary" essay collections.


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