Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Scholastic Press: Beastly Beauty by Jennifer Donnelly

St. Martin's Essentials: Build Like a Woman: The Blueprint for Creating a Business and Life You Love by Kathleen Griffith

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

Bramble: Pen Pal Special Edition by J.T. Geissinger

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

Soho Crime: Broiler by Eli Cranor

Berkley Books: We Love the Nightlife by Rachel Koller Croft

News

The View from the Top of Borders After Two Days

George Jones, the new CEO of Borders Group, struck a cautious, deliberate tone in an interview with the New York Times, written up in today's edition. He said that he wanted, as the paper put it, "to focus on learning more about how the business worked and executing Borders' already announced strategy to put Seattle's Best Coffee shops and Paperchase stationery outlets into its stores." Still, he added, "I do think there might be opportunities to do things differently. What you can expect is that we will be an innovative company.

"This is not a broken business," Jones continued. "It's a company that has a strong foundation in businesses that I am passionate about." He said he plans no job cuts.

Jones told the Times he enjoys reading biographies, travel guides and John Grisham and James Patterson. The paper wrote, "He also loves music--classic rock like Steely Dan, the Beatles and the Eagles--and owns more than 1,000 movies on DVDs."

Observing that many Borders customers spend "a lot longer in a store than what I've been used to," he said there are opportunities to encourage those customers to spend more while in the stores.

Jones will be paid a base salary of $775,000 and be eligible for an annual bonus of up to $1.2 million, the paper said.


University of California Press: May Contain Lies: How Stories, Statistics, and Studies Exploit Our Biases--And What We Can Do about It by Alex Edmans


Notes: Bookstore and Personnel Moves

Brian Simpson is close to finding a new home for his used bookstore, Babbitt's Books, Normal, Ill., a move forced when the town decided to take his space for redevelopment, according to the Pantagraph. Things are far enough along that the owner of a new space has hired an architect to design changes to accommodate the bookstore. Simpson anticipates moving by late summer or early fall.

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Effective August 28, Jonathan T. Ackerman has been named vice president of sales at Candlewick Press. Most recently he was national accounts manager of MBI Publishing and earlier worked at Klutz Publishing, S&S, DK and Random House.

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Debra Matsumoto has joined Ten Speed Press as a senior marketing and promotions manager. She was formerly publicity manager at North Atlantic Books and earlier worked for 18 years at Chronicle Books.


GLOW: becker&mayer! kids: The Juneteenth Cookbook: Recipes and Activities for Kids and Families to Celebrate by Alliah L. Agostini and Taffy Elrod, illus. by Sawyer Cloud


Woodworking Market: Good Fit for Two Houses

Fox Chapel Publishing, East Petersburg, Pa., a significant publisher of woodworking, woodcarving and scroll saw books and Wood Carving Illustrated and Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts magazines, has bought Cambium Press, the publisher of furniture and cabinet-making titles.

The purchase will expand the reach of Fox Chapel into the general woodworking market, Alan Giagnocavo, president and owner of Fox Chapel, emphasized. John Kelsey, founder and editor-in-chief of Cambium, will continue as an editor and acquisitions editor.

Some of Cambium's backlist includes the Craftsman Shop Drawings series by Robert Lang and Woodworkers' Essential Facts, Formulas, and Short Cuts. Two upcoming Cambium titles available October 1 are Modern Cabinet Work, a reprint of a 1922 classic, and Shop Drawings for Greene & Greene Furniture, part of the Lang series.

Fox Chapel is distributed by Independent Publishers Group.


G.P. Putnam's Sons: Assassins Anonymous by Rob Hart


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Midsummer Mysteries

This morning on the Early Show: Jennifer Kaufman, author of Literacy and Longing in L.A. (Delacorte, $22, 0385340176).

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This morning on Good Morning America, Scott Smith talks about his new novel, The Ruins (Knopf, $24.95, 1400043875).

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The Book Report, the new weekly AM radio book-related show organized by Windows a bookshop, Monroe, La., will feature two author interviews on today's show, which has the theme midsummer mysteries:
 
  • Susan Wittig Albert, author of The Tale of Cuckoo Brow Wood (Berkley, $23.95, 0425210049) and other books in the Beatrix Potter Cottage Tales series as well as the China Bayles mysteries and, with her husband, Bill Albert, the Victorian/Edwardian mysteries written under the name Robin Paige.
  • John Hart, author of King of Lies (St. Martin's Minotaur, $22.95, 031234161X).

The show airs at 8 a.m. Central Time and can be heard live at thebookreport.net; the archived edition will be posted this afternoon.

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Today on NPR's Talk of the Nation: William M. Arkin, author of The Alternative: Terrorism, WMD and the American Future (Steerforth Press, $25.95, 1586421212).

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Today WAMU's Diane Rehm features a Reader's Review of Case Histories by Kate Atkinson (Back Bay Books, $13.95, 0316010707).

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Tonight on the Charlie Rose Show: Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute and author of The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (Free Press, $26, 0743286391).


G.P. Putnam's Sons: Summer Romance by Annabel Monaghan


Books & Authors

Mandahla: Thy Kingdom Come: An Evangelical's Lament

Thy Kingdom Come: An Evangelical's Lament by Randall Balmer (Basic Books, $24.95, 0465005195, July 3, 2006)
 
In Thy Kingdom Come: An Evangelical's Lament, Randall Balmer writes as a jilted lover, with rage and despair. "The evangelical faith that nurtured me as a child and sustains me as an adult has been hijacked by right-wing zealots who have distorted the gospel of Jesus Christ, defaulted on the noble legacy of nineteenth-century evangelical activism, and failed to appreciate the genius of the First Amendment. They appear not to have read the same New Testament that I open before me every morning at the kitchen counter." He says that many of their positions diminish the faith and alienate evangelical Christians who are not politically conservative. Much of this has been said before, notably by Jim Wallis in last year's God's Politics, and other books are out or due out before this year's elections (Religion Gone Bad: The Hidden Dangers of the Christian Right by Mel White, Tarcher; Middle Church: Reclaiming the Moral Values of the Faithful Majority from the Religious Right by Bob Edgar, Simon and Schuster, in September; and Why the Christian Right Is Wrong: A Minister's Manifesto for Taking Back Your Faith, Your Flag, Your Future by Robin Meyers, Jossey-Bass, in May); however, Balmer brings impressive credibility on two fronts, both as an evangelical Christian and an award-winning religion historian. His book is a jeremiad backed up theologically and factually.
 
Balmer focuses on abortion and homosexuality, the history of Baptists and religious freedom in America, education and school vouchers, intelligent design and environmental concerns. Touching on corporate interests, the silencing and co-opting of the media, judicial matters, presidential power and torture, he says, "The chicanery, the bullying, and the flouting of the rule of law that emanates from the nation's capital these days make Richard Nixon look like a fraternity prankster." Identifying the cause of Christ with the agenda of the Republican Party is blasphemy, and has led to a denigration of the faith: forgetting that religion functions best outside the political order, forgetting the lessons of the Puritans in the 18th century and mainstream Protestantism in the 1950s and '60s, the Religious Right has succumbed to the temptations of power and culture. They have rejected the wise words of Billy Graham in 1981: "The hard right has no interest in religion except to manipulate it."
 
The abortion myth, whereby we have been led to believe that the Religious Right's agenda was formed solely to overturn Roe v. Wade, is an instructive tale. After the Moral Majority came into power in the late '70s and early '80s, it wanted to figure out how to get around New Testament denunciations about divorce (in part to avoid alienating the growing number of divorced evangelicals) and focus on other "sexual sins" like abortion and homosexuality (neither of which Jesus denounced). Using "selective literalism," it formulated its program, and the reason it settled on abortion as a defining theme is appalling: the Religious Right came together as a political movement with the attempt by the IRS in 1975 to rescind the tax-exempt status of Bob Jones University (and thus all segregated private schools) because of racially discriminatory policies. Abortion was back-doored in to suggest noble motives and to help create a larger political movement. Balmer says he has no interest is making abortion illegal; rather, he'd like to make it unthinkable. What would that take? More than political rhetoric about an issue that those in power don't want to see resolved, since it would remove one of their most potent rallying points.
 
With regard to the Right's anti-environmentalism, Prof. Balmer explains the concept of dispensationalism and its effects on evangelical thought: if one believes that Christ's return is imminent, the focus is on individual regeneration, not on the maintenance of a fallen and transitory world (he also says this is why evangelicals produce such bad architecture: functionalism trumps art; however, this doesn't fully explain velvet Jesus paintings or WWJD bracelets). Bemoaning dominion theology and "wise use" ideology, he notes that a growing number of evangelicals have begun to question the stance of the religious right, and once they begin to dispute the orthodoxy on environmental matters (Serve God, Save the Planet: A Christian Call to Action by J. Matthew Sleeth, Chelsea Green, and Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy by Matthew Scully, Griffin), further challenges are possible. Balmer hopes this emerging environmental consciousness will be the seed for a greater awakening and questioning of the Religious Right's agenda.
 
Thy Kingdom Come is a challenging and illuminating work, written with deliberation and passion, and deserves attention. Randall Balmer's regard for evangelicals and "respect for their integrity is undiminished. Ultimately it is they who must reclaim the scandal of the gospel and rescue us from the distortions of the Religious Right." He declares, "My evangelical theology assures me that no one, not even Karl Rove or James Dobson, lies beyond the reach of redemption and that even a people led astray can find their way home. That sounds like good news to me. Very good news indeed."--Marilyn Dahl



Ooops

The Deal With Deal Breaker: First Time in Hardcover

A point of clarification: mentioned in yesterday's issue of Shelf Awareness, Deal Breaker by Harlan Coben (Dell, $24, 0385340605), which has a laydown date of next Tuesday, July 25, is the first novel in the series starring sports agent Myron Bolitar. Deal Breaker was published for the first time in 1995 as a Dell mass market paperback original. This is the book's first appearance in hardcover.


The Bestsellers

Top Mysteries at IMBA Stores

The following are the June bestsellers at Independent Mystery Booksellers Association member stores:

Hardcover

1. Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich
2. The Art of Detection by Laurie King
3. The Last Assassin by Barry Eisler
4. The Cold Moon by Jeffrey Deaver
5. The Hard Way by Lee Child
6. Piece of My Heart by Peter Robinson
7. Blue Screen by Robert B. Parker
8. Murder in Little Italy by Victoria Thompson
9. Through a Glass Darkly by Donna Leon
10. Unnatural Selection by Aaron Elkins

Paperback

1. Bookmarked to Die by Jo Dereske
2. Murder by the Book by D.R. Meredith
3. Flicker of Doubt by Tim Myers
4. Embroidered Truth by Monica Ferris
5. To Darkness and to Death by Julia Spencer-Fleming
6. Blood from a Stone by Donna Leon
6. Don of the Dead by Casey Daniels
8. Strange Affair by Peter Robinson
8. Deadly Greetings by Elizabeth Bright
10. Killing Rain by Barry Eisler

Trade Paperback of Note:

A Fifth of Bruen by Ken Bruen


[Thanks to IMBA!]


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