Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, April 4, 2006


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

Delacorte Press: Last One to Die by Cynthia Murphy

Margaret Ferguson Books: Not a Smiley Guy by Polly Horvath, Illustrated by Boris Kulikov

Indiana University Press: The Grim Reader: A Pharmacist's Guide to Putting Your Characters in Peril by Miffie Seideman

Hell's Hundred: Blood Like Mine by Stuart Neville

Spiegel & Grau: Tiananmen Square by Lai Wen

Tor Books: The Daughters' War (Blacktongue) by Christopher Buehlman

Quotation of the Day

Dutton's North Hollywood: 'Bookselling Family'

"Sometimes our customers took care of us. I still cherish a book left for me one day at the front desk; a note tucked inside Three by Truman Capote read: 'Marci, I remembered that you wanted this book when I bought it. I found another copy so please accept this one. Mark M.'

"It's been 20 years since I entered the world outside, but occasionally, I'll meet another Dutton's veteran. It may not be by blood, but there is a bond; we are somehow kin. And sometimes now I will wake up, the residue of a lovely dream still coursing through my mind: I am surrounded by books and the shop, cozy and kind, with strangers made family by the books surrounding them."--Marci Vogel in the Los Angeles Times reminiscing about working at the Dutton's store in North Hollywood, which is closing (Shelf Awareness, January 13).


Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Roswell Johnson Saves the World! (Roswell Johnson #1) by Chris Colfer


News

Notes: Kepler's Inc.; College Store Merger

Inc. magazine offers a long, detailed story about the closing and rebirth of Kepler's Books & Magazines in Menlo Park, Calif. Besides long commentary from Clark Kepler, the piece has many insights from Daniel Méndez, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur at the center of the group of investors whose business and financial aid were key in bringing the store back to life.

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The Sony Reader--may an e-book device finally succeed--will be sold at some 30 Sony Style stores, Sony's Web site and about 200 Borders stores. At the Borders stores, demos will be available and customers can buy cards redeemable for e-texts online. The Sony Reader will cost $300-$400 and should launch this summer.

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Nebraska Book Co., which, among other businesses, manages 137 college stores, is buying College Book Stores of America, which manages 104 bookstores at small- and medium-sized campuses and whose Founders Bookstore Services divisions specializes in Christian colleges and universities.

Nebraska also wholesales textbooks and installs bookstore management systems and e-commerce sites. The company had revenues of more than $410 million in the year ended December 31.

College Book Stores had sales of $80 million in the fiscal year ended June 30. It will continue to use the College Book Stores name and operate independently.

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The North Texas Daily News has an amusing review of the seventh annual Edible Books Festival fundraiser held in the Rare Book Room of the Willis Library at the University of North Texas, Denton, Tex. Some 20 "books" were entered in the contest. One of our favorites: March of the Penguins, made of hard boiled eggs and black olives. (Don't miss the photo.)

The festival appeared to whet one student's appetite for books: wandering into the party with friends, she said, "I like how with a lot of them, you know what it is as soon as you see it. It kind of makes you want to go out and read the books."

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The third purchase of Random House Films and Focus Features since they created their joint venture last November is The Husband by Dean Koontz, which Bantam Books will publish May 30. Development on a movie based on the book, "the story of an ordinary working man whose love for his wife is put to a harrowing series of tests over a sixty-hour period," begins immediately. The venture's previous purchases are The Attack by Yasmina Khadra (the pen name of Mohammed Moulessehoul, a former Algerian army officer) and Curveball by Los Angeles Times reporter Bob Drogin (Shelf Awareness, February 15).

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A feature in today's New York Times about Craig Ferguson, host of CBS's Late Late Show, and his novel, Between the Bridge and the River, which appears next week, says that "unlike other television stars who have moonlighted as authors . . . Mr. Ferguson has written a work of literary fiction."

As a result, the first printing is "just" 30,000, which is low for a TV celebrity. Ferguson told the paper that he didn't mind the modest advance, "probably less than he would earn for a night of stand-up comedy," because Chronicle gave him latitude in telling his story.

Ferguson is planning two sequels and, in an unlikely but admirable departure considering his main gig, doesn't want to sell movie rights. "It's a book," he said. "It's mine. And it's done."

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The Noblesville Daily Times covered Saturday's "parade of books," the last part of the move of the Wild, the children's bookstore in Noblesville, Ind., two blocks to its new location. The store is only six months old.

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E-textbooks keep e-xpanding in popularity, especially when they are not e-xpensive.

College students are buying 23% of textbooks over the Internet--either through a college store's Web site or from another retailer--up from 16% in 2004, according to the latest in the Student Watch Campus Market Research series sponsored by the NACS Foundation.

About 61% of students said price was the determining factor in choosing to buy texts online while 21% said friends' recommendations were most important and 18% said professors' recommendations swayed them most of all.

The survey was taken at 21 campuses, and more than 16,000 students participated. For more information, go to the NACS Web site.

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Built for the students of Wilkes University, King's College and the Luzerne County Community College, a college bookstore planned for downtown Wilkes-Barre, Pa., will also serve the general public and is intended to boost business and traffic, according to the Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader.

Follett, which currently manages the Wilkes and King's bookstores, is in the running with Barnes & Noble College to manage the new store at the Innovation Center@Wilkes-Barre. The former Woolworth's building has been vacant since 1994.

The paper noted that the move four years ago of the Colgate Bookstore, Hamilton, N.Y., to much larger space downtown from a spot on campus has helped boost traffic. Now the store "is considered an anchor for Hamilton."

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Serving the lonely?

Bertelsmann plans to transform its Direct Group of book, CD and DVD clubs into "an Internet networking scene for older people," Reuters reported. "People are getting older . . . and older people are getting lonelier and they will need communities where they can share their interests," CEO Gunter Thielen said. Direct Group runs book and music clubs in 22 countries.

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Dave Caswell, who founded the Indiana Authors Bookstore in Indianapolis in December, plans to start a magazine that will publish new fiction by emerging Indiana authors, the Indianapolis Star reported. Almost all titles for sale in the store are by or about Indiana authors--they include Kurt Vonnegut, Lew Wallace, Booth Tarkington and Dan Wakefield. The store also sells coffee and offers free wi-fi.

Indiana Authors Bookstore is located at 36 E. Maryland St.; 317-633-4070.

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The Cape Cod Times surveyed the state of independent bookstores on the Cape, emphasizing both bookselling's difficult economics and its many satisfactions. For example, Carol Chittenden, owner of Eight Cousins, the children's bookstore in Falmouth, told the paper she has not worked less than a 70-hour week in 19 years. ''I'm not sure if it's the best thing in the world for mental health, but it's a fun seventy hours a week."


Harper: Sandwich by Catherine Newman


Exit Interview: Borders/Walden Buyer Lucia Heinold

Yesterday was the first official day of retirement for Lucia Heinold, who until last Friday had worked at Waldenbooks and Borders since 1979, most recently buying cookbooks, home and garden books and crafts and collectible titles at the headquarters in Ann Arbor, Mich. She leaves behind a large contingent of fans among the reps who call on the company.

Heinold admitted there is much she will miss, particularly colleagues like Scott Ferguson, "the Borders cookbook expert and maybe one of the most knowledgeable people about cookbooks anywhere," and "all the great talented people there and publishers who have such varied artistic and literary interests."

In 27 years in the industry, Heinold has witnessed a lot. "So much has changed," she said with a bit of awe, speaking with Shelf Awareness last week. "When I started buying, we had computers to look at for information, but we didn't do anything else with them. When stores wanted books, they had to call in for them. There were more smaller companies and more people calling back then, but there is still a lot of opportunity for publishers and lots of diversity in what we sell."

The biggest change in her area, Heinold said, is the Internet and how it has affected demand from readers. Just as the TV and movie industries worried about new technologies but have adapted and in many cases thrived, so the book world is adapting, she continued. "Authors are using the Web to promote themselves and communicate with buyers of books and getting them to go into stores to buy their books." Publishers, too, are becoming savvy about the power of Internet marketing. "Starting about eight months ago, when publishers come in to present a new line," she said, "they trot out their Internet campaign to drive readers to stores."

When she entered the bookselling world, Heinold had already taught social studies for seven years and then raised a son. Wanting to go back to work but not teach, she thought a little library experience she had might transfer well to bookselling, so she joined the staff of a Waldenbooks in Fishkill, N.Y. She worked there a while and got an MBA at New York University, then was promoted to Walden headquarters in Stamford, Conn., where she bought regional books and other categories and held an administrative job for 10 years. She moved to Ann Arbor 10 years ago, when Walden moved, and had been buying ever since.

"It's fashionable to be condescending about the malls," she said. "But when I was a young homemaker out in the suburbs and a mall came near us, it was a wonderful thing for all of the families who had settled out there."

Among the highlights of her career, she said, was stocking the Brentano's outlet that Walden opened at the site of the old Scribner Bookshop on Fifth Avenue in New York City. "When that opened," she said, "it was a big event."

In addition, among other things, she remembers fondly buying computer books when the Commodore 64 was cutting edge technology; receiving autographed John Travolta pictures "because I bought Dianetics"; and selling a lot of Chuck Norris titles because "he got in touch with karate schools."

She also enjoyed being a Borders representative at the grand opening of the Longone Center for American Culinary Research at the Clements Library at the University of Michigan, which features titles collected by Jan Longone, owner of the Wine and Food Library culinary antiquarian bookstore in Ann Arbor, and her husband, Dan, also a culinary expert and retired professor.

Heinold said that the industry has changed in one sad way: "It used to be more glamorous," she said. "We danced under the stars at the Planetarium for Walden. Now all the meetings are in hotels. It's definitely more businesslike."

She is proud of the industry for supporting free expression and said she hopes everyone in the business belongs to the ACLU or ABFFE. "It's so important," she said, "and no one can take for granted that we can keep publishing and selling the books that we publish and sell."

For now, Heinold is likely catching up on her reading, but she said she plans "to enjoy the town quite a bit more, start a vegetable garden, travel and see friends." And once again, she will work in the information booth at the Ann Arbor Book Festival, which will be held next month.


Spiegel & Grau: Tiananmen Square by Lai Wen


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Mark Lamster Leads Off

This morning Imus in the Morning hooks up with Carol Higgins Clark, author of Hitched: A Regan Reilly Mystery (Scribner, $24, 0743289420).

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This morning the Today Show runs over with authors:

  • Hope Edelman, author of Motherless Mothers (HarperCollins, $25.95, 0060532459).
  • Giada De Laurentiis, author of Giada's Family Dinners: Family Dinners (Clarkson Potter, $32.50, 030723827X).
  • Jon Meacham, author of American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers and the Making of a Nation (Random House, $23.95, 1400065550).

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This morning on Good Morning America: Katherine Crowley, author of Working With You Is Killing Me: Freeing Yourself from Emotional Traps at Work (Warner, $22.95, 0446576743).

Also on GMA: Ronald Kessler, author of Laura Bush: An Intimate Portrait of America's First Lady (Doubleday, $26, 0385516215).

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Today NPR's Talk of the Nation leads off the baseball season with Mark Lamster, who talks about his Spalding's World Tour: The Epic Adventure that Took Baseball Around the Globe--And Made It America's Game (PublicAffairs, $26, 1586483110).

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Unveiled today on WAMU's Diane Rehm Show: Frederick Buechner, author of Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons (HarperSanFrancisco, $24.95, 0060842482).

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Today on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show:
  • Editor Lori Leibovich and contributors Kathryn Harrison and Larry Smith of the book with perhaps the longest title of the season, Maybe Baby: 28 Writers Tell the Truth About Skepticism, Infertility, Baby Lust, Childlessness, Ambivalence, and How They Made the Biggest Decision of Their Lives (HarperCollins, $24.95, 0060737816).
  • Sidney D. Kirkpatrick offers a portrait of the artist in his new book, The Revenge of Thomas Eakins (Yale University Press, $39.95, 0300108559).
  • Daniel Hillel spreads the word about The Natural History of the Bible: An Environmental Exploration of the Hebrew Scriptures (Columbia University Press, $32.50, 0231133626).
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Tonight on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Studs Terkel, interviewer-author of such classics as Division Street, Hard Times, The Good War and Working, whose most recent book, which appeared last fall, is And They All Sang: Adventures of an Eclectic Disc Jockey (New Press, $25.95, 1595580034).



Books & Authors

Blooker Prizes: Best Books o' the Blogs and Web Sites

The Lulu Blooker Prizes, the first literary prize devoted to "blooks"--books based on blogs or Web sites--have been awarded in three categories, fiction, nonfiction and comics. There is also an overall winner. The awards are sponsored by Lulu, which makes POD books and an increasing number of blooks.

The overall winner and nonfiction winner is:

Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julia Powell (Little, Brown, $23.95, 031610969X), who spent a year cooking all the recipes in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Cory Doctorow, one of the judges, commented: "Julia & Julia does that amazing nonfiction trick of making you care about a subject through great storytelling, even if you don't care about the subject itself. Powell's heartfelt, funny, and occasionally obscene tell-all about her journey of self-discovery and cholesterol is by turns funny, shocking and delicious. Those who dismiss blogging as 'mere' confessional writing and complaining about one's day job fail to appreciate just how engrossing those genres can be when handled by a talented writer like Julie Powell. The story of how blogging--writing in public--changed Powell's life is inspirational and memorable."

Fiction winner:

Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest (Tor, $13.95, 0765313081). Judge Paul Jones said, "This blook captivated me with its gusto, its invocation of a dark South both in mountains and in swamp. Priest can tell a tale and she can write a sentence that competes with the best out there. Stephen King should be very afraid."

The comics winner:

Totally Boned: A Joe and Monkey Collection by Zach Miller (Lulu Press, $14.95, 1411671902). Doctorow observed: "Laugh-milk-through-your-nose funny comics aimed at an audience that could only be commercially viable through the Internet. Geeks are distributed in a thin Gaussian layer across the world, and while it might not make sense to put one copy of this in every bookstore in America, putting it online where all geeks can find it makes it into a smash success."


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