Shelf Awareness for Thursday, February 7, 2013

Little Brown and Company: Wolf at the Table by Adam Rapp

Tor Nightfire: Ghost Station by S.A. Barnes

Severn River Publishing: Covert Action (Command and Control #5) by J.R. Olson and David Bruns

Scholastic Press: Heroes: A Novel of Pearl Harbor by Alan Gratz

Flatiron Books: Anita de Monte Laughs Last by Xochitl Gonzalez

Peachtree Publishers: King & Kayla and the Case of the Downstairs Ghost (King & Kayla) by Dori Hillestad Butler, illustrated by Nancy Meyers


Trident Booksellers and Café Adds Second Floor

Congratulations to Trident Booksellers and Café, Boston, Mass., which has expanded to the second floor of its building on Newbury Street, adding more café space and another bar (also serving beer and wine), and increasing its book inventory, particularly in the children's and fiction sections, plus creating a new section for gifts and games. The upstairs space will also be used for community events like author readings, cooking demonstrations, arts and crafts and the increasingly popular Friday Night Trivia. There's a projector and screen that will allow the store to host movie and interactive games nights. In addition, the upstairs café space will be available for private functions and events. The new second floor space is 2,500 square feet, adding to the 4,250 square feet on the first floor.

Courtney Flynn and Bernie Flynn

Noting that the new space opened just two weeks ago, marketing and events coordinator Courtney Flynn, daughter of founders Bernie and Gail Flynn, said, "We're very excited, and we're still adjusting to the stairs!"

Trident, which carries 20,000 titles, was founded in 1984. The café has become a popular brunch spot and serves food until midnight every day of the week.

The store said it feels confident that its "unusual blend of food, books, and booze will continue to attract customers who are looking for something out of the ordinary, something unique, something only available in Boston."

University of California Press: The Accidental Ecosystem: People and Wildlife in American Cities by Peter S. Alagona

Parnassus Launching YA First Edition Book Club

Parnassus Books of Nashville, Tenn., is launching a YA first-edition book club that will offer selections every other month. The inaugural picks are Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (Feiwel & Friends), the second book in Meyer's Lunar Chronicles, and Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys (Philomel), author of Between Shades of Gray. Copies of the books will be signed by the authors and sent to book club members, or they may be picked up in store.

"We already have a first edition book club for adults," explained Parnassus Books bookseller Lauren Araujo, "but considering that YA has been on the rise in popularity for quite a while now, and how large the genre has grown, we figured this book club would be a great addition to the services we already provide the community."

Book club members can reserve three or six signed YA selections per year, and may choose either or both February titles. Memberships can also be given as gifts. Prices depend on the number of selections per year.

Although two titles are available to book club members this month, future months will most likely feature only one book, Araujo said. Parnassus Books aims to keep the selections fresh and varied; some months will feature books from popular authors with huge audiences while other months will offer books from promising debut novelists and newcomers. --Alex Mutter

Indigo's Third Quarter: Sales Slip, Net Earnings Rise

At Indigo Books & Music in the third quarter ended December 29, net revenue fell 4.9%, to $335.6 million, and net earnings rose 52.8%, to $22 million.

The company attributed the revenue drop to "lower e-reader revenues and declining book sales, as consumers shift to digital reading, and the absence of any hit books as against two blockbusters last holiday." These drops were slightly offset by "continued growth in the gift, lifestyle and toy businesses."

At Indigo and Chapters superstores open at least a year, revenue fell 5%, while at Coles and IndigoSpirit small-format stores, revenues dropped 5.2%. Online sales rose 3.6%, "driven by growth in the gift, lifestyle and toys businesses and higher book sales."

The improvement in net earning came in part from a 2.2% improvement in margin rate, which itself was attributable to "a shift to higher margin gift and lifestyle products, lower sales discounts, fewer markdowns, and shipping more products through the company's distribution centers." Also Indigo benefited from "the elimination of losses from discontinued operations as a result of the sale of Kobo in January 2013 partially offset by increased investment in the business transformation."

CEO Heather Reisman commented: "We've made great strides during the quarter to accelerate our transformation while reinforcing our position as Canada's preferred destination for gift giving. It is satisfying to know that customers continue to see Indigo as their gift destination of choice."

Most Literate, Most Romantic Cities in the U.S.

For the third year in a row, Washington, D.C., is "America's most literate city," according to a study conducted by Central Connecticut State University president John Miller, based on data that includes the number of bookstores, library resources, newspaper circulation, Internet resources and educational levels in the areas, according to USA Today.

The top 10 most literate cities are:

  1. Washington, D.C.
  2. Seattle, Wash.
  3. Minneapolis, Minn.
  4. Pittsburgh, Pa.
  5. Denver, Colo.
  6. St. Paul, Minn.
  7. Boston, Mass.
  8. Atlanta, Ga.
  9. St. Louis, Mo.
  10. Portland, Ore.

To see the rest of the top 50 most literate cities, click here.


For its part, Amazon has ranked the "20 most romantic cities in the U.S.," based on sales data from the past year--on a per capita basis in cities with more than 100,000 residents--for romance novels & relationship books, romantic comedy movies, romantic music (from Dean Martin, Barry White, Luther Vandross, Maxwell & Miguel) and sexual wellness products. According to Amazon customers' purchase habits, Boise, Idaho, is the least romantic city in the U.S. and Miami is the sexiest, winning the top spot in the sexual wellness category.

This year's top 20:

  1. Knoxville, Tenn.
  2. Alexandria, Va.
  3. Miami, Fla.
  4. Orlando, Fla.
  5. Cincinnati, Ohio
  6. Vancouver, Wash.
  7. Dayton, Ohio
  8. Murfreesboro, Tenn.
  9. Columbia, S.C.
  10. Pittsburgh, Pa.
  11. Round Rock, Tex.
  12. Clearwater, Fla.
  13. Las Vegas, Nev.
  14. Salem, Ore.
  15. Erie, Pa.
  16. Everett, Wash.
  17. Rochester, N.Y.
  18. Clarksville, Tenn.
  19. Tallahassee, Fla.
  20. Billings, Mont.

Obituary Note: Michael F. Hoynes

photo: Jeffrey Salter

Michael F. Hoynes, a former advertising executive and business consultant who served as chief marketing officer for the American Booksellers Association from 1998 to 2003, died January 31, Bookselling This Week reported. He was 73.

"All of us at ABA were terribly saddened to learn of Michael Hoynes's passing," said ABA CEO Oren Teicher. "Michael played a critical role in the launch of the initial Book Sense program. He brought to the bookselling community a fresh and innovative perspective garnered from his many years in advertising, always reminding us to keep the bookstore customer front and center in everything we did. Even after Michael retired from the ABA staff, he continued to be engaged in our community--working on projects for Kepler's and for ABFFE. We extend our deepest condolences to his family."


Image of the Day: SCIBA Hello and Goodbye

Last week, the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association held a small party to say farewell to Jennifer Bigelow, executive director for the past 14 years, featuring area booksellers and surprise guest Oren Teicher, the ABA CEO, who flew in from New York. Here from left: Bigelow, Teicher, new SCIBA executive director Andrea Vuleta and DIESEL co-owner John Evans.

Beautiful Libraries in Museums & the Imagination

Noting that "we're always on the lookout for lovely architecture, preferably lovely architecture that incorporates books," Flavorwire showcased "11 of the most beautiful museum libraries in the world." And just in case your affection for libraries runs for toward the imaginary side, a quick exploration of literature, film and television revealed 10 of the "best fictional libraries in pop culture."

Cool Idea of the Day: Reading Lesson World Record

On March 7, U.K. publisher Usborne will attempt to break a Guinness World Record for "the largest reading lesson in a single venue" to celebrate publication of Penny Dreadful Is a Record Breaker. The record attempt will take place on World Book Day at King Edward's School in Bath, hometown of Penny Dreadful series author Joanna Nadin.

The Bookseller reported that the school "has developed a reading lesson plan, based around an extract from the book, in consultation with the author. It will be taught at the event to more than 250 children aged between seven and 10 years old."

Book Trailer of the Day: Breaking Point

Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons (Tor Teen), is the second in the dystopian YA series that began with Article 5.

Media and Movies

TV: George R.R. Martin Signs HBO Deal

The success of HBO's Game of Thrones, which begins its third season March 31, has paid additional dividends for author George R.R. Martin, who signed a two-year deal with the pay cable network. reported that Martin will continue as co-executive producer on Game Of Thrones and "will develop and produce new series projects for the network."

Media Heat: The Recent Days of Richard III

This morning on MSNBC's Morning Joe: Ed Whitacre, co-author of American Turnaround: Reinventing AT&T and GM and the Way We Do Business in the USA (Business Plus, $28.99, 9781455513017).


Tomorrow on NPR's On Point: John Ashdown-Hill, author of The Last Days of Richard III (The History Press/Trafalgar Square Publishing, $16.95, 9780752459608), whose revised edition, Last Days of Richard III and the Fate of His DNA (The History Press/Trafalgar Square Publishing, $17.95, 9780752492056), is being published in the U.K. in next few weeks and in the U.S. April 1.


Tomorrow morning on Good Morning America: Amy Webb, author of Data, A Love Story: How I Gamed Online Dating to Meet My Match (Dutton, $25.95, 9780525953807).

This Weekend on Book TV: Brad Meltzer

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, February 9
5 p.m. Ben Shapiro presents his book Bullies: How the Left's Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America (Threshold Editions, $25, 9781476709994). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

7 p.m. At an event hosted by Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, D.C., Alan Blinder talks about his book After the Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead (Penguin, $29.95, 9781594205309).

8 p.m. Brad Meltzer speaks about his novel The Fifth Assassin (Grand Central, $27.99, 9780446553971). (Re-airs Sunday at 3:15 p.m.)

8:45 p.m. Fred Kaplan presents his book The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War (S&S, $28, 9781451642636). (Re-airs Sunday at 2 p.m.)

10 p.m. After Words. Wall Street Journal columnist Kim Strassel interviews John Mackey, author of Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business (Harvard Business Review Press, $27, 9781422144206). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. & 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. James Oakes talks about his book Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865 (Norton, $29.95, 9780393065312). (Re-airs Sunday at 9:30 a.m.)

Sunday, February 10
12:30 a.m. Jeffrey Engel discusses his book Into the Desert: Reflections on the Gulf War (Oxford University Press, $29.95, 9780199796281). (Re-airs Sunday at 5 p.m.)

2 a.m. Michelle Alexander talks about The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (New Press, $19.95, 9781595586438). (Re-airs Sunday at 7:30 p.m.)

11 p.m. Melvin Goodman presents his book National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism (City Lights, $19.95, 9780872865891).

Books & Authors

GBO Picks Snow White Must Die

The German Book Office in New York has selected Snow White Must Die by Nele Neuhaus, translated by Steven T. Murray (Minotaur, $24.99, 9780312604257), as its February Book of the Month.

The GBO described the book this way: "On a September evening eleven years earlier, two seventeen-year-old girls vanished from a small village without a trace. In a trial based only on circumstantial evidence, twenty-year-old Tobias Sartorius was sentenced to ten years in prison.

"When 30-year-old Tobi returns to his small home town after serving his sentence, strange things start to happen. Bodenstein and Kirchoff get involved in the small town's business when a skeleton belonging to one of the dead girls shows up in a tank on an abandoned military base shortly after Tobi has been released. About the same time, someone pushes Tobias' mother off a bridge and into busy traffic. In the village, the only thing Pia and Oliver encounter is a wall of silence.

"The book is an atmospheric, character-driven, and suspenseful mystery set in a small town that could be anywhere, and deals with issues of gossip, power, and keeping up appearances."

Snow White Must Die is the fourth book in Neuhaus's popular series featuring German detectives Oliver von Bodenstein and Pia Kirchhoff. This is the first of her books to be translated into English.

Steven T. Murray translates books from German, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian. He has translated works by Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson, among others.

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:

The Death of Bees: A Novel by Lisa O'Donnell (Harper, $25.99, 9780062209849). "Beginning with two children who bury their parents in their garden, The Death of Bees had me hooked from page one. Streetwise teen Marnie and her younger, socially awkward, violin prodigy sister find their parents dead and attempt to cover up their deaths to avoid foster care, with both help and hindrance from some surprising sources. Told from the point of view of multiple characters, this lively, suspenseful, and darkly hilarious tale transfixed me from gruesome start to wonderfully satisfying finish. Brilliant, delightful, and thought provoking!" --Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, Mich.

Truth in Advertising: A Novel by John Kenney (Touchstone, $24.99, 9781451675542). "This funny first novel is an accomplished mix of snark and pathos. Finbar Dolan is nearly 40 and has little to show for it. He is ambivalent about his Madison Avenue advertising job, has a failed engagement behind him, and is emotionally distant from his fragmented and dysfunctional family. What he does have, however, are loyal friends, a good heart, and a razor-sharp wit. This book will not only have you laughing out loud but will also leave you keenly sympathetic to Fin's plight. It is funny and moving and reminiscent of the works of Jonathan Tropper and Nick Hornby with a little Mad Men thrown in." --Tova Beiser, Brown University Bookstore, Providence, R.I.

The 500: A Novel by Matthew Quirk (Back Bay Books, $7.99, 9780316243773). "Wow, can Quirk write an intense thriller! Mike Ford is a reformed confidence man--which makes him perfectly suited to be a junior member of a Washington strategic consulting firm. Perfectly suited, that is, until his conscience gets the best of him and his bosses try to set him up to take a fall. Quirk knows just how to build up suspense with the right mix of insider knowledge, procedural description, and school-of-hard-knocks action, and the reader ends up rooting for the anti-Boy Scout to take down the big dogs." --Nichole McCown, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Calif.

For Ages 4 to 8
Grumpy Goat by Brett Helquist (HarperCollins, $17.99, 9780061139536). "The only bad thing about Sunny Acres farm--the friendliest farm in the country--is the great big Grumpy Goat. Ignoring the other animals, tearing down fences, and being irritable in general, Grumpy Goat finds himself face-to-face with a dandelion. Suddenly, Grumpy Goat is reminded to enjoy the beauty around him, and before long he is as happy as all the other animals at Sunny Acres. Delightful!" --Meaghan Beasley, Island Bookstore, Duck, N.C.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: We Live in Water

We Live in Water: Stories by Jess Walter (Harper Perennial, $14.99 paperback, 9780061926624, February 12, 2013)

Following the success of Beautiful Ruins, Jess Walter collects 13 short stories that previously appeared in literary magazines, Playboy and

We Live in Water is filled with life's losers: meth addicts, liars, rotten parents, con men--and a con woman--and one particularly heartbreaking story, "Anything Helps." A father "goes to cardboard," making a sign asking for cash and standing on a street corner, hoping to get enough money to buy his son one of the Harry Potter books. He succeeds, buys the book and takes it to his son's foster home, where he is met by a stern foster mother who informs him that such "Satanic" books are not acceptable. She finally takes the book, saying that she will hold it for the boy until... when? Until his father comes for him? Or he moves on? Or...? In the end, the boy returns the book because he has come to understand his foster parents' objection to its content; he is lost to his father in every way.

In another story, "Thief," a father tries to catch one of his three kids in the act of stealing from the Vacation Fund. He thinks he knows who it is, but wants to be sure. He hatches an elaborate plan that has his family thinking that he is gone, while he climbs in a window and hides himself close to where the Vacation Fund container is kept. The ending has an unexpected twist that will make you smile.

"Wheelbarrow Kings" features two druggies who pick up a TV from a dealer who wants to get rid of it. They steal a wheelbarrow and push it, with the TV riding precariously, six blocks to the pawn shop. The owner tells them that they are "like five years late." Nobody wants those old TVs anymore, he tells them in very colorful language. Out of the kindness of his heart, he buys the stolen wheelbarrow for a few bucks and the two move on to their next bright idea.

Do such themes make these stories depressing? Not in Walter's hands. He can mine the least scintilla of humor and wit from his characters' broken lives--people whose dreams will surely not come true but who somehow keep trying. --Valerie Ryan

Shelf Talker: 13 stories filled with pathos, humor, despair, dead ends and hope from National Book Award nominee Jess Walter.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
2. Wait for Me by Elisabeth Naughton
3. Someone to Love by Addison Moore
4. The Elf on the Shelf by Carol V. Aebersold and Chanda B. Bell
5. Ape: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur--How to Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch
6. Collide by Gail McHugh
7. Tall, Dark and Deadly by Lisa Renee Jones
8. Sara's Game by Ernie Lindsey
9. Dirty Little Secrets by Liliana Hart
10. The Good Lawyer: A Novel by Thomas Benigno

[Many thanks to!]

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