Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Simon & Schuster: Register for Fall Preview!

Bramble: The Stars Are Dying: Special Edition (Nytefall Trilogy #1) by Chloe C Peñaranda

Blue Box Press: A Soul of Ash and Blood: A Blood and Ash Novel by Jennifer L Armentrout

Charlesbridge Publishing: The Perilous Performance at Milkweed Meadow by Elaine Dimopoulos, Illustrated by Doug Salati

Minotaur Books: The Dark Wives: A Vera Stanhope Novel (Vera Stanhope #11) by Ann Cleeves

Soho Crime: Exposure (A Rita Todacheene Novel) by Ramona Emerson

Wednesday Books: When Haru Was Here by Dustin Thao


Borders Shops at Saks for New CEO

Borders "is close to naming" as its new CEO George Jones, most recently CEO of Saks's department-store group--which includes most of the company's stores but not the Saks Fifth Avenue division--according to today's Wall Street Journal. Earlier Jones was president of worldwide licensing and studio stores at Warner Bros.

At Saks, the Journal said, Jones "earned a reputation for promoting innovation." For example, some stores set up "nail bars," where customers could receive 15-minute manicures, and some golf shops installed "putting greens and comfortable leather chairs in front of big-screen televisions showing golf tournaments."

The Journal quoted someone close to the situation as saying Jones views the new post as an opportunity "to do something great."

Early this year (Shelf Awareness, January 23), Borders president, chairman and CEO Greg Josefowicz had announced he would retire within two years and stay as long as needed to make an orderly transition.

CEOs with experience outside the book industry has become something of a tradition at Borders. Josefowicz joined the company in 1999 after spending his entire career at that point with Jewel-Osco, working his way up through the ranks to become president of the grocery and drugstore company.

Josefowicz's predecessor, Bob DiRomualdo, was president and CEO of Hickory Farms, the food store chain, before joining Borders and had earlier worked at Acme Markets and Little General Stores.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Four Weekends and a Funeral by Ellie Palmer

Former Liberties Owner Returns to Boca Raton

Vald Svekis, owner of Liberties Fine Books, Music and Café in Boca Raton, Fla., the large, often-innovative independent that closed in 2001, has signed a 15-year lease to operate a nearly 25,000-sq.-ft. store in Mizner Park, the same upscale shopping center where Liberties was located, several local newspapers reported.

As yet unnamed, the store, "a literary and entertainment complex," according to Svekis and the mall owners, will be in the building that used to house the International Museum of Cartoon Art.

Mayor Steven Abrams told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, "We all remember Liberties when Mizner Park was in its heyday," a heyday he attributed in large part to Liberties.

Svekis told the paper that the new store would include an extensive selection of books in various languages; two performance areas, including one offering free live music; a publishing arm; a teahouse; a cinema devoted to foreign and independent films; and space for writers to work. He's also considering creating "environmental writing chambers" for writers to feel certain special effects. "We're going to have an unbelievable place and we'll be on the cutting edge of bookstores again," he added.

Svekis told the Palm Beach Post: "I think the secret in the book business is the time you keep the person in the store. The longer you're in, the more you buy."

AuthorBuzz for the Week of 04.22.24

Notes: Cody's Closing; Harper's Tokoypop Liaison

The Contra Costa Times offers the equivalent of an Irish wake--complete with a poem from a longtime customer--for the closing of Cody's Books on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, Calif., yesterday.


Kerry Morris has been appointed manager, client services, at HarperCollins, where she will oversee daily operations of the company's new distribution client Tokyopop, acting as liaison between the Harper sales force and Tokyopop's publishing group.

Morris joined the company as a sales coordinator in 2003 and was most recently an assistant sales manager for Collins, Regan Books and Rayo.

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Breach of Faith's Jed Horne

This morning on the Early Show: Jed Horne, whose new book is Breach of Faith: Hurricane Katrina and the Drowning of New Orleans (Random House, $25.95, 1400065526).


Today on WAMU's Diane Rehm Show: Joseph Epstein, author of Friendship: An Exposé (Houghton Mifflin, $24, 0618341498).


Today on NPR's Airtalk with Larry Mantle: Daryl G. Nickens, editor of Doing It For Money: The Agony and Ecstasy of Writing and Surviving in Hollywood (Tallfellow Press, $24.95, 193129058X). Two contributors to the book will call in: John August and Chris Brancato, the newly elected president of the Writers Guild Foundation.


Tonight on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart: John W. Dean, author of Conservatives Without Conscience (Viking, 25.95, 0670037745).

Books & Authors

Award: Heinlein Winners

Jack Williamson and Greg Bear, two well-known authors and long-time members of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, have been named recipients of the 2006 Robert A. Heinlein Award for outstanding published work in hard science fiction or technical writings inspiring the human exploration of space.

Administered by the Heinlein Society, the award will be presented by Jerry Pournelle, SFWA member and a founding member of the Advisory Board for the Heinlein Award, at the World Science Fiction Convention in Los Angeles, Calif., in late August.

"I feel a deep appreciation for the award, not only because I admired Heinlein as a writer and a man, but also because he was a valued friend," Williamson commented.

For his part, Bear said "Of course, it's an honor and a privilege to receive the Heinlein Award this year, especially since I share the honor with one of my favorites, one of the most influential writers in science fiction history--Jack Williamson. To carry on Robert Heinlein's grand tradition of storytelling, visioneering and general rabble-rousing is a real pleasure--and a sobering responsibility. Thanks to all, and heartfelt congratulations to Jack--who may actually have taught Mr. Heinlein a thing or two!"

Attainment: New Books Out Next Week

The following titles are appearing next Tuesday, July 18:

In the Dark of the Night by John Saul (Ballantine, $25.95, 034548701X) follows two high school students and their family during a vacation in a lake house with a mysterious past.

Sleeping With Fear by Kay Hooper (Bantam, $25, 0553803182) is the third part of Hooper's Fear trilogy; this time psychic FBI agent Riley Crane investigates occult activity while experiencing satanic visions and blackouts.

The Afghan Campaign: A Novel by Steven Pressfield (Doubleday, $24.95, 038551641X) is historical fiction based on Alexander the Great's campaign to conquer the Afghan region. Told from the point of view of a young soldier in Alexander's army, this occupation rings eerily true to the modern one.
The Second Perimeter by Michael Lawson (Doubleday, $24.95, 0385515324) follows Joe DeMarco, a government troubleshooter with personal issues, as he unravels a spy ring inside a naval base.

Pegasus Descending: A Dave Robicheaux Novel by James Lee Burke (S&S, $26, 0743277724) chronicles both Robicheaux's struggle with his dark past as an alcoholic as well as two connected cases in his hometown of New Iberia, La.

The Ruins: A Novel
by Scott Smith (Knopf, $24.95, 1400043875) is about four American friends on a Cancún vacation who impulsively decide to help Mathias, a German tourist, find his brother, who was last seen headed toward jungle ruins. There the group faces unrelenting terror.

End in Tears by Ruth Rendell (Crown, $25, 0307339769) is the latest in her Chief Inspector Wexford series. This time Wexford must solve the murders of two pregnant women by the same mysterious killer.

Phantom by Terry Goodkind (Tor, $29.95, 0765305240) is the latest installment in Goodkind's epic Sword of Truth fantasy series.

Appearing in paperback on Tuesday, July 18:

Chill Factor by Sandra Brown (Pocket, $9.99, 0743466772)

What Remains by Carole Radziwill (Pocket Star, $7.99, 1416531262)


Vid Lit/Book Video Distinction

Skye Van Raalte-Herzog of Expanded Books points out that in our story yesterday about M.J. Rose's videos for her new book, The Venus Fix, we used the word vid lit as a kind of generic for book videos. Vid Lit is actually a company, and it produced one of Rose's Venus Fix book videos. Expanded Books produced the others. Our apologies!

Deeper Understanding

Osondu Offers Oprah Opportunity to Learn About Indies

Margaret Osondu readily stated that "some people laugh at us and say we're so naïve," when they hear about the campaign that Osondu, owner of Osondu Booksellers, Waynesville, N.C., has embarked on to get Oprah Winfrey to visit the town, learn about the value of independent booksellers and promote indies when she promotes books.

Still, Osondu said, "We have nothing to lose. And the campaign has attracted all kinds of people who see the sign and are curious and come in."

In just a few weeks, more than 300 people have filled out postcards on which they've been asked to write "a little something about independents and our store in particular," Osondu said. Osondu Booksellers, located in the mountains in far western North Carolina, is also encouraging a range of people and officials in the community to contribute their thoughts. By the end of July, Osondu hopes to send the material and other information about the store and Waynesville to Oprah.

The catalyst for the campaign was the July issue of O the Oprah Magazine, the "first-ever' summer reading issue with 64 recommended titles. On the cover, the magazine advertised "O's Deal Just For You," which consists of a 10% discount on 20 of the titles.

"I started talking about with our events coordinator, and it quickly became a big thing for me," Osondu said. "We thought of encouraging Oprah to put in a plug for independents. Then we thought we could go see Oprah. Then I decided, 'Let's have Oprah come to Waynesville.'

"I have it all planned," Osondu went on, sounding as if she would not be surprised to be rejected by the TV diva but is having fun, making a major point or two and getting some local attention in the meantime. "We have a nice place to stay, a beautiful inn. I've got a personal chef lined up for her. She could do a signing of her own."

The idea, Osondu continued, would be for Oprah to see that an independent can be a vital part of the community. For one, as she put it, "We sell a lot of local history and regional authors. People come to us looking for that." She cited the many tourists who visit and have "preconceived notions of what goes on in the North Carolina mountains. Then they see our store and our books and begin to learn more. Unless you knew exactly what you were looking for, you would not have that experience looking on Amazon."

Eventually, Osondu hopes, when recommending books, Oprah will say, "Visit the independent bookstore in your town to see these books!"

Osondu Booksellers has about 1,500 square feet of selling space and is in downtown Waynesville, which is a vacation and resort spot about 25 miles west of Asheville, where "tourists stop on the way to the Great Smoky Mountains State Park." The town has a year-round population of 9,000 that swells to 14,000 in the warmer months. There are cafes, fine food and 13 art galleries on Main Street.

The two-year-old store sold some 15,000 books its first year and specializes in local, regional, literary, current events, hiking, children's books and maps. It also has a conscious living section with health, spiritual and inspirational titles. There's a wagon full of toys for children to play with as well as rocking chairs, a sofa and "a couple of cozy chairs."

The store serves some 11 book clubs in town, keeping their books on display. On August 5, the store will put on its second annual author festival, which will feature 52 authors.

A psychotherapist in Boston for 15 years with a master's degree in pastoral counseling, Osondu has been a bookseller for just two years, an experience she described as "fabulous." There have been "challenges, and learning the trade has been fun and slow at times for me," she continued. "Probably because of my therapy background, it's easy for me to work with people. I enjoy the people part of the business and I've been a voracious reader all of my life." She called working in a bookstore "very personal. You learn what people like to read, what they want to know more about, when they need a fluff book."

Some regular aspects of the job give her great joy. Osondu said she loves receiving books she's ordered. "Even though I know I ordered them, they still feel like a surprise. I go through them and say, 'I'm glad I ordered that!' " She also enjoys long-range planning but hates to return books. As a result, when titles get stale, she discounts them. "Customers appreciate it because they get a bargain, and I'm happy because I didn't have to pack it up and return it."

Although Osondu is relatively new to bookselling, the art of book retailing runs in the family. When she opened her store, Osondu received some of best training from her daughter, Amanda Lydon, who worked at several Lauriat's stores in the Boston area. For a year, Lydon helped out in the store doing mom training, then moved back to New York and is now manager of Good Yarns Bookshop in Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.

Osondu Booksellers is located at 184 North Main St., Waynesville, N.C. 28786; 828-456-8062;

AuthorBuzz: St. Martin's Press: The Rom-Commers by Katherine Center
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