Shelf Awareness for Thursday, August 23, 2012


Random House Graphic: Bug Boys by Laura Knetzger

Tor Books: Deal with the Devil: A Mercenary Librarians Novel by Kit Rocha

Wednesday Books: The Mall by Megan McCafferty

Houghton Mifflin: The Animals at Lockwood Manor by Jane Healey

Quotation of the Day

The Transformative POD Future

"In the age of the Internet, our customers are looking for instant gratification, but also personalized services that you can't get online. The Espresso Book Machine plays to the typical strengths of indie bookstores in terms of community connections and relationships with local authors but then brings it further with new products and services that meet new customer needs. Our hope is that as more publishers add content to the EBM, we will one day be able to say that we can print any book ever published on demand. That's transformative!"

--Casey Coonerty Protti, owner of Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Calif., in a q&a with agent and former bookseller Andy Ross on his blog, Ask the Agent.

 


GLOW: Other Press: Serenade for Nadia by Zülfü Livaneli, translated by Brendan Freely


News

No Easy Book: Dutton Pubbing Title on Bin Laden Raid

On September 11, Dutton is publishing an account of the killing of Osama bin Laden by one of the Navy SEALs who participated the raid in Pakistan last year. Called No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama bin Laden, the book has been sold to accounts with little information other than it was "a big book." Even with publication, the book will continue to be cloaked in some secrecy: the author is using the pseudonym Mark Owen (his co-writer is Kevin Maurer) and the names of other SEALs have been changed. Still, the author's biography contains enough information--he grew up in Alaska, completed 13 combat mission since September 11, retired in the last year, for example--to make it likely his real identity will be revealed eventually.

Dutton is publishing 300,000 copies of No Easy Day. The author will promote the book, appearing in disguise and with his voice altered, and intends to donate a portion of his proceeds to the families of slain SEALs.

Reuters quoted White House, Defense Department and CIA spokespeople as saying the book had not been submitted for review. Dutton spokesperson Christine Ball told Reuters, "The book was vetted by a former special operations attorney. He vetted it for tactical, technical, and procedural information as well as information that could be considered classified by compilation and found it to be without risk to national security."

The AP noted that "if the book sticks to his personal thoughts about the job and the mission, Owen may be in the clear. But often special operations forces must sign nondisclosure agreements. And they are not allowed to release classified information, such as intelligence data or military tactics and procedures used to ensure success of the [bin Laden] raid."

The CIA and Defense Department could try to block publication. If the government doesn't cause problems for the book, another assault--or even more publicity--may come from politicians. In an effort to detract from President Obama's success in killing bin Laden, Republicans have charged that the administration leaked information about the raid and several other national security successes to the media. Their criticism has already delayed the airing of a documentary about the raid until after the presidential election. As the New York Times noted, No Easy Day "promises to be one of the biggest books of the year, with the potential to affect the presidential campaign in the final weeks before the election."


G.P. Putnam's Sons: A Tender Thing by Emily Neuberger


Rowling-Patchett Event Planned for October in New York

J.K. Rowling will make her sole U.S. public appearance on behalf of The Casual Vacancy, her upcoming adult novel, on October 16 in New York City. The event will be held at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall and features a conversation with Ann Patchett. The event will be available exclusively for booksellers via live webcast to hold screenings.

Tickets will be available for purchase on September 10, range from $37-$44 and include a copy of the book. Besides the conversation with Patchett, Rowling will take questions from the audience and sign her book.

Little, Brown reps will have more information for booksellers next week, and there will be information on the publisher's website as well.


G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Deep by Alma Katsu


Obituary Note: Nina Bawden

Nina Bawden, author of more than 40 novels including Carrie's War and The Peppermint Pig, died yesterday, the Guardian reported. She was 87. Children's author Eleanor Updale praised Bawden's work, noting that "she wrote without patronizing or hectoring, treating her readers as clever people who demanded, and deserved, the best."

 


Debut Novelist Visiting Hundreds of Stores to Promote Karma

Paul H. Magid's visit earlier this month to Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville, Ill., to talk up his debut novel, Lifting the Wheel of Karma (Point Dume Press, $15, 9780984016006, September 23), quickly turned into an impromptu poetry reading when he recited the novel's epilogue poem. Several customers overheard him speaking with a staffer and asked to buy the book on the spot. Although copies weren't yet available at the store, Magid's memorable performance garnered some advance orders.

This is one example of why the author is currently traversing the country stopping by bookstores to promote Lifting the Wheel of Karma. He visited some 250 retailers this month alone and isn't done yet. Magda set out from his home state of New Jersey on August 1, heading west to Chicago, Denver, Missoula, Mont., San Francisco, Los Angeles and several other cities. He plans to embark on another bookstore road trip in October and November, driving from New England to southern Florida and then west to Dallas and Houston.

"I'm really enjoying this grassroots route," said Magid, who is also an award-winning screenwriter and independent filmmaker. "There are at least 2,000 bookstores across the country suitable for my novel. I probably can't hit them all, but I can have a lot of fun trying."

Lifting the Wheel of Karma is the story of Joseph Connell, a popular and gifted high school athlete tormented by baffling nightmarish visions. When an accident leaves him broken in body and soul, he leaves the family ranch in Montana and heads to India to seek out a mystical old wise man in the remote Himalayas who might be his only chance at finding peace and healing.

The idea for the novel was on Magid's mind for more than two decades since he was a high school student like Joseph. "The story just wouldn't leave me alone," he said. "I kept coming back to it." Two years ago he decided it "was time to make it happen" and committed to finishing the tale.

While the storyline in Lifting the Wheel of Karma is fiction, "spiritually it absolutely was inspired by the difficulty and pain I've been through that led me to ask questions to try to figure things out," Magid said. At age 13, he was paralyzed from the neck down in a spinal compression accident. He recovered fully from the paralysis only to endure multiple joint reconstruction surgeries as well as four auto-immune diseases.

Magid with Janet Thompson of Books & Books in Butte, Mont.

Magid traveled even more miles to research his book as he has to promote it. He went twice to India, and during a three-month stay, he learned snake charming, visited ancient temples and followed Joseph's path high in the Himalayas, accessible only by foot or ox-drawn cart. Magid also spent time working side by side with a fifth-generation Montana rancher to learn the land and the way of life that helped shape his characters. "As with India, I knew the book wasn't going to come alive until I lived it," he said.

Magid's miles on the road seem to be paying off in spades. Booksellers we've heard from appreciated the personal touch of having an author visit in person bearing advance reading copies, declared him a great writer, and praised the atmospheric authenticity the scenes set both in India and Montana.

"I was immediately drawn to Joseph's character," said Lisa Linke, executive director of corporate, educational sales and events at Barbara's Bookstore in Chicago. "I love how the book lingers once you put it down."

Larry Yoder, a former Macmillan sales rep and a bookseller at the Bookies in Denver, Colo., began reading Lifting the Wheel of Karma the same day he met Magid. In what might be the ultimate book lover's litmus test--and good karma for this book--Yoder read Magid's novel in a single night. --Shannon McKenna Schmidt

 


Notes

Image of the Day: Book Title Wedding Poem

The front of the wedding invitation for Stefanie Kiper, events coordinator at Water Street Bookstore, Exeter, N.H., will feature this poem composed of book titles and photographed by Water Street bookseller Eva Skewes.

The poem (with our punctuation):

The Marriage Plot
The History of Us
, Call It What You Want: Lucky Break, Paradise, Wonderland, The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread.
Everything Happens Today
: The Rehearsal, The Wedding, Take This Man, Take Me Home, Crossing to Safety.
A Long and Happy Life
, at Last.

Congratulations, Stefanie! The big day is September 22.


Beyond Powell's: Portland's Other Bookstores

The Portland Mercury reminds us all that there are other bookstores in Portland, Ore., besides Powell's Books: "While that local juggernaut might be the automatic go-to for locals and tourists, visiting--and supporting--Portland's other bookstores is a fantastic way to spend a few hours. Or a day. Or a week." The Mercury highlights 20 stores in and around Portland, including Annie Bloom's Books, Broadway Books, A Children's Place, Monograph Bookwerks and Murder by the Book.

 


Bookfinder.com's Most-Wanted OOP Titles

BookFinder.com's 10th annual list of the 100 most sought after out-of-print books in the U.S. is headed by the usual suspects: Sex by Madonna, Rage by Richard Bachman (aka Stephen King) and Promise Me Tomorrow by Nora Roberts. Another longtime favorite "graduated" from the lists: Marilyn by Norman Mailer was reprinted last December by Taschen after appearing on the least four years in a row.

New titles on the list include Phoebe and the Hot Water Bottles by Linda Dawson, Big League Sales Closing Techniques by Les Dane, Country Landscapes in Watercolor by John Blockley and Pure, White and Deadly: The Problem of Sugar by John Yudkin.

 



Media and Movies

Media Heat: Katherine Kallinis Berman on Today

Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Katherine Kallinis Berman, author of The Cupcake Diaries (HarperOne, $23.99, 9780062090607) and Sweet Celebrations (HarperOne, $24.99, 9780062210364). She will also appear on Dateline.

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Tomorrow on NPR's Tell Me More: Paul and Rachel Chandler, authors of Hostage: A Year at Gunpoint with Somali Pirates (Chicago Review Press, $15.95, 9781613744420).

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Tomorrow on the Tavis Smiley Show: Richard Wolff, co-author of Occupy the Economy: Challenging Capitalism (City Lights Publishers, $14.95, 9780872865679).

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Tomorrow night on a repeat of ABC's Primetime with Diane Sawyer: Jaycee Dugard, author of A Stolen Life: A Memoir (Simon & Schuster, $15, 9781451629194).


This Weekend on Book TV: Debating Same-Sex Marriage

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this week 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. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, August 25
11 a.m. At an event hosted by Politics & Prose bookstore, Washington, D.C., David Wessel discusses his book Red Ink: Inside the High-Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget (Crown Business, $22, 9780770436148). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m. and September 1 at 2 p.m.)

12 p.m. Book TV presents coverage from the Roosevelt Reading Festival, with featured authors James Tertius de Kay, Mark Huddle, Cathy Knepper, Jean Edward Smith, John Bodnar and Joseph Persico. (Re-airs Sunday at 12 a.m.)

4:30 p.m. Patricia Pickles talks about her book Are You in a Pickle?: Lessons Learned Along the Way: Students' Performance and Achievement Gaps (AuthorHouse, $21.35, 9781456796587) (Re-airs Sunday at 9 a.m. and September 2 at 2 a.m.)

7 p.m. At an event hosted by at Politics & Prose, Manuel Roig-Franzia, author of The Rise of Marco Rubio (S&S, $25, 9781451675450), recounts the life of the Republican Senator from Florida. (Re-airs Sunday at 11 p.m. and September 2 at 7 a.m.)

8 p.m. At an event hosted by Politics & Prose, Stephen Case and Mark Jacob present their book, Treacherous Beauty: Peggy Shippen, the Woman Behind Benedict Arnold's Plot to Betray America (Lyons Press, 9780762773886). (Re-airs Monday at 7 a.m. & 3 p.m. and September 2 at 10 a.m.)

9 p.m. Tanner Colby talks about his book Some of My Best Friends Are Black: The Strange Story of Integration in America (Viking, $27.95, 9780670023714). (Re-airs Sunday at 2 p.m. and September 1 at 8 a.m.)

10 p.m. After Words. John Corvino and Maggie Gallagher, co-authors of Debating Same-Sex Marriage (Oxford University Press USA, $16.95, 9780199756315), engage in a point/counterpoint discussion of the issue. (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m., Monday at 12 a.m. & 3 a.m. and September 2 at 11 a.m.)

11 p.m. D.L. Hughley discusses his book I Want You to Shut the F#ck Up: How the Audacity of Dopes Is Ruining America (Crown Archetype, $25, 9780307986238). (Re-airs September 2 at 3:30 a.m.)

Sunday, August 26
1:30 p.m. Peter Schiff presents his book The Real Crash: America's Coming Bankruptcy--How to Save Yourself and Your Country (St. Martin's, $25.99, 9781250004475). (Re-airs Sunday at 7 p.m. and Monday at 1:30 a.m.)

8 p.m. Hugh Sinclair talks about his book Confessions of a Microfinance Heretic: How Microlending Lost Its Way and Betrayed the Poor (Berrett-Koehler , $27.95, 9781609945183). (Re-airs September 1 at 3:45 p.m.)
 


Books & Authors

Awards: Dayton Literary Peace Prize

Finalists were named for the $10,000 Dayton Literary Peace Prize, which recognizes fiction and nonfiction that "uses the power of literature to foster peace, social justice and global understanding." Winners will be announced November 11 in Dayton, Ohio. The shortlisted titles are:  

Fiction
Nanjing Requiem by Ha Jin (Pantheon)
Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward (Bloomsbury)
Shards by Ismet Prcic (Grove Atlantic)
The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje (Knopf)
The Grief of Others by Leah Hager Cohen (Riverhead)
The Sojourn by Andrew Krivak (Bellevue Literary Press)

Nonfiction
A Train in Winter by Caroline Moorehead (HarperCollins)
Day of Honey by Annia Ciezadlo (Free Press)
Mighty Be Our Powers by Leymah Gbowee (Perseus Books Group)
To End All Wars by Adam Hochschild (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
What It Is Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes (Grove/Atlantic)
 


Book Review

Review: God Carlos

God Carlos by Anthony C. Winkler (Akashic Books, $15.95 paperback, 9781617751394, September 4, 2012)

In a short, parable-like style, Jamaican-born novelist Anthony Winkler reaches back to the 16th-century Spanish conquest of his homeland for God Carlos, a tale of the frequently tragic--and also comic--clash of races and religions brought about by colonization. Alternating the apprehensive "civilized" Spanish sailors exploring the unknown and the unsuspecting "savage" Jamaican Arawaks living in peace, Winkler sets up a pattern of ironic parallels as his characters live out the historical cycle of prejudice, conquest and cultural extinction--all in the name of progress and piety.

The story begins in Cadiz, where Spanish sailor Carlos has had enough of land, "the dingy shops and unreinforced masonry houses, the smell of pungent refuse splattered all over the rutted dirt road." Alonso de la Serena, a Mallorcan captain and ship owner, hires Carlos to crew on the Santa Inez on a voyage to the West Indies, where he hopes to find gold and undiscovered lands to carry his name in cartographic immortality.

As the Spaniards set off for the "new world," a simple Jamaican man, Orocobix, carries his recently dead uncle to the tribal burial cave according to the traditions of his ancestors and the words of the shaman. Orocobix is special among the Arawak because he has met the white gods of Columbus's landing and tells stories of their power and immortality. When the Santa Inez finally arrives off the coast of Jamaica, it is Orocobix alone who paddles out to meet them and prostrate himself before the first white man he sees, the God Carlos. On an island without extremes of weather or local enemies and with abundant grains, fruits and fish, the Arawak live unashamedly naked and peacefully as they share food generously among themselves.

Simple as Winkler's parable may sound, his narrative is rich in historical detail and without an agenda. It falls somewhere between the platitudes of James Michener's South Pacific and the immensity of Madison Smartt Bell's trilogy of novels about the Haitian slave rebellion. He illustrates the epic forces behind the conquest of the Arawaks, but also guides us carefully through the daily routines of life aboard a 16th-century Spanish vessel. Epic forces of history are all well and good, but details like his description of the jardines--seats hung over the rails for the men to relieve themselves--are downright fascinating. –-Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.

Shelf Talker: Anthony Winkler spins an enlightening parable, rich in historical detail and irony, of the Spanish conquest of Jamaica.

 


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