Shelf Awareness for Friday, November 10, 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


Random House Cuts Sales Force

Random House has apparently cut 20-30 members of its sales force, mostly reps both in the field and New York office as well as a few people in sales management. Another 10-20 may have been let go in operations and IT. Some of the reps who have been laid off have decades of service with the company. The accounts serviced by the departing reps will apparently be handled by remaining reps. Cuts in other parts of Random House are rumored.

Random House spokesperson Stuart Applebaum stated that the sales group "is constantly evaluating the ever-changing book marketplace and adjusting accordingly" and that "with a restructuring this month, some of our salespeople will take on expanded duties upon retirements and the elimination of some sales positions." He emphasized that "a small fraction" of the Random House sales force was affected and that Random House "continues to maintain the largest field sales force in the industry--by far." 


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: Hastings Model Store; Indie Support Report

Hastings Entertainment has opened a "new store model" flagship store in Amarillo, Tex., where its corporate headquarters are located. The 27,000-sq.-ft. store at 2020 S. Georgia features a new branding concept, "Discover Your Entertainment," that aims, the company stated, to highlight "the sense of discovery . . . customers seek in an entertainment shopping experience." The store has a new logo, interior design and merchandising

The store's book stock has expanded to more than 90,000 titles, including a separate children's department. Among changes in other categories: the store has added Fender and Gibson guitars to the musical instrument selection and offers more personal electronics. The Hardback Coffee Café has indoor and outdoor seating, wi-fi, a fireplace and drive-through service.

"Refining and enhancing the Hastings brand has been a priority over the past two years at the company," Kevin Ball, v-p of marketing, said in a statement.


In a report called Water for Elephants: An Independent Booksellers Success Story, the American Booksellers Association has documented how the early enthusiasm of indies for Sara Gruen's first novel and how collaborative work with publisher Algonquin helped make the title a bestseller.

"ABA took quick notice of our members' excitement about this superb book," ABA CEO Avin Mark Domnitz told Bookselling This Week. "So we decided to track its progress. Our thinking was to create a case study showing that if independent booksellers get behind a book, a certain kind of book, they can make it happen in a big way, where it might not have happened otherwise."


In a 24/7 profile of Vox Pop in Ditmas Park in Brooklyn, N.Y.--part coffeehouse, part bookstore, with a decidedly leftist slant--CEO Sander Hicks talks about opening new Vox Pops, beginning in other parts of Brooklyn.

"What happens if we had 3,000 Vox Pops stimulating discussion about what the U.S. should be doing in Iraq, and what is the identity of this country?" he asked.

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

Hedge Fund Buys 11% of Borders, Boosts Stock

Yesterday Borders Group stock rose 9.8% and closed at $23.65 a share on trading volume of 4.4 million shares, almost five times the usual volume, after Bill Ackman, managing partner of hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management, called Borders stock "cheap" and said the firm had taken an 11% stake in the bookseller. He also predicted Borders shares could rise 50% to $36 a share in 18 months.

Ackman has bought parts of McDonald's and Wendy's and agitated for major changes in those companies. In the case of Borders, Ackman seems to have a more passive, admiring approach. "We don't want the company to be sold," Ackman told Dow Jones. "We think it's worth a lot more money if the company gets a chance to implement their plan." He praised new CEO George Jones.

Pershing Square also owns about 8% of B&N. Ackman told Dow Jones that results at both chains recently have been hurt by short-term factors: "No Harry Potter book this year--that sort of thing." He called the two companies "undervalued" and said, "We like the business. People go to these places for an experience. It's not just about buying a certain book."

The boost in Borders stock yeserday is reminiscent of a 7.2% jump to $20.60 a share that occurred in early September after a Credit Suisse report lauded Borders and its new CEO (Shelf Awareness, September 10, 2006).

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

Media and Movies

On the Movie Menu Next Week: Fast Food Nation

This may sound like an odd recipe for movie success: Fast Food Nation, directed by Richard Linklater, is a fictional thriller based on Eric Schlosser's nonfictional investigation of the fast food industry and its detrimental effects on the country. The concoction will be served up a week from today, November 17. There is a movie tie-in edition of Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal (HarperCollins, 006116139X).

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

Media Heat: Funnyman John Leguizamo

This morning on Imus in the Morning: Col. Jack Jacobs, the main spokesperson for Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty photographs by Nick Del Calzo, text by Peter Collier (Artisan, $45, 1579653146). Jacobs is also on Fox & Friends Weekend tomorrow.


This morning on the Early Show: Ariel Levy, author of Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture (Free Press, $14, 0743284283).


Today on Live with Regis and Kelly: actor and comic John Leguizamo talks about his memoir, Pimps, Hos, Playa Hatas, and All the Rest of My Hollywood Friends: A Life (Ecco, $25.95, 006052071X).


Today on NPR's Science Friday: Steven Johnson, author of The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World (Riverhead, $26.95, 1594489254).


Tonight on Real Time with Bill Maher, Salman Rushdie talks about Shalimar the Clown (Random House, $14.95, 0679783482).


The Tonight Show spices things up with chef and television personality Rachael Ray, author of Rachael Ray 2, 4, 6, 8: Great Meals for Couples or Crowds (Crown, $19.95, 1400082560).


On tomorrow's Early Show, John Van Epp, author of How to Avoid Marrying a Jerk: The Foolproof Way to Follow Your Heart Without Losing Your Mind (McGraw-Hill, $22.95, 0071472657).


Tomorrow NPR's Weekend Edition gives a turn to Kate Atkinson, whose new book is One Good Turn (Little, Brown, $24.99, 0316154849).

Books & Authors

Mandahla: Bacon and Baking Reviewed

Seduced by Bacon by Joanna Pruess with Bob Lape (Lyons Press, $24.95, 1592288510, October 1, 2006)
Every now and then, I entertain the idea of becoming a vegetarian, but then realize it's not buttermilk fried chicken I would miss, or juicy hamburgers, or ballpark hotdogs. It's bacon. Salty, sweet bacon (now nitrate-free!). As Joanna Pruess says in the introduction, "Bacon is far more than a food. It is a happy state of mind. It excites people to the point where some aficionados liken it to illicit pleasures. Can it be a religion?" Maybe, now that the word "artisanal" is attached.
The recipes, for the most part, look scrumptious: Brioche French Toast Soufflé--a classic dish, and if you want to cut down on butter intake, challah can be substituted, although once you've committed to bacon and bread, why bother? Jumbo Shrimp Wrapped in Bacon with Curried Mayonnaise--easy to make and O.K. with Atkins. If you're a bacon fan but don't eat red meat, there are some good recipes using turkey bacon, like Nicole's Carbonara, which also uses white wine instead of cream. People who say they dislike Brussels sprouts could be converted by trying Stir-Fried Brussels Sprouts, Shiitakes & Scallions. Pruess includes a paean to the peanut butter and bacon sandwich, extolling the yin and yang of sweet and salty, smooth and crunchy, saying, "Some PB&B fanciers add mayo, a move calculated to stun others." It did give me pause, but what totally stunned me was the recipe for White Chocolate Bacon Curls, made with pork rinds dipped in white chocolate and seasoned liberally with salt and pepper. Now we're getting into deep-fried Twinkie territory. There are three other dessert recipes in the cookbook, and after the bacon curls, Pecan-Brown Sugar & Bacon Ice Cream looks reasonable; even, perhaps . . . yummy.
With alluring photographs and tempting recipes, this is a fine book for bacon fanciers. Even if Chronicle Books' Everything Tastes Better with Bacon is already on the cookbook shelf (and it should be), the fact that Pruess devotes two pages to creating the perfect BLT is reason enough for inclusion in a cook's library. "Ounce for ounce, slice per slice, no other quintessential American ingredient has the seductive powers of bacon."


Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan (Houghton Mifflin, $40, 0618443363, September 25, 2006)
Baking (unlike bacon) mystifies me. I worry about beating too much, beating too little; I haven't come to terms with my old convection oven yet; I don't know what sablés or dacquoises are. Dorie Greenspan may be just the person to de-mystify the process. She has a winning way with description, for a start: "Dacquoise is the name given to both a meringue pastry . . . and the meringues themselves. But when you take the first bite, etymological considerations disappear and sighs take their place." Or Café Volcano Cookies: "Light, bumpy, nutty and completely higgledy-piggledy shaped . . . they are featherweight but packed with flavor . . . they disappear in your mouth--quickly, so quickly and fizzily that if they didn't have nuts, you'd think you were eating espresso Pop Rocks." Greenspan also clarifies techniques so well that a novice will feel confident. When explaining biscuit-making, she says, "Be a little lackadaisical about working the butter into the flour . . . You want the mixture to resemble a rocky road--there should be some sandy patches, some tiny little pebbly pieces, pieces as slim as flakes and pieces as chubby as peas. Let diversity reign."
The recipes, from Breakfast Treats to Spoon Desserts, are enhanced by luscious photographs. Real Butterscotch Pudding, made with brown sugar, cream, butter and single malt--what's not to love? Even better, she suggests topping the pudding with buttered pecans, or whipped cream and then buttered pecans. Wow. Her recipe for Berry Surprise Cake typifies the richness of her prose and attention to detail. It opens with a childhood reminiscence of eating charlotte russe packaged in a cardboard cylinder. In a sidebar titled "Playing Around," she says the filling is so good you might want to use it without the cake, as a topping for fruit mixed with a liqueur. She then tells you (as with each recipe) how to serve the cake and how to store it. A few recipes look daunting for all but the most expert (or the most determined) cooks, like the three-page Black-and-White Chocolate Cake; most, however, look not only doable, but necessary for life--Chocolate-Chocolate Cupcakes, Apple-Coconut Family Cake, Brown Sugar Bundt Cake ("tender texture and comforting taste"), Midnight Crackles, Savory Corn and Pepper Muffins, or Flaky Apple Turnovers, whose dough "is a little miracle."
Greenspan has a nice, chatty style: "Holiday dinner is about the pie. Always was. Always will be. And that's good news for those of us who bake: it means we've got the culinary last word." After listing her five favorite holiday pies, all easy to make, she says, "Any pie can be a problem when you've got a turkey just about living in the oven," and lists strategies for what she considers battlefront conditions. Holiday bakers might want to get Baking right away for the Thanksgiving Twofer Pie, which combines two fillings: "pumpkin on the bottom and pecan more or less on top." The recipes are scrumptious, the directions are clear and who could resist a cookbook writer who uses words like higgledy-piggledy and lackadaisical?--Marilyn Dahl

The Bestsellers

The Book Sense/SCBA List

The following were the bestselling titles at Southern California Booksellers Association stores during the week ended Sunday, November 5, as reported to Book Sense:

Hardcover Fiction

1. For One More Day by Mitch Albom (Hyperion, $21.95, 1401303277)
2. Echo Park by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown, $26.99, 0316734950)
3. The Lay of the Land by Richard Ford (Knopf, $26.95, 0679454683)
4. The Road by Cormac McCarthy (Knopf, $24, 0307265439)
5. Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier (Random House, $26.95, 0375509321)
6. Hundred-Dollar Baby by Robert B. Parker (Putnam, $24.95, 0399153764)
7. Paint It Black by Janet Fitch (Little, Brown, $24.99, 0316182745)
8. What Came Before He Shot Her by Elizabeth George (HarperCollins, $26.95, 0060545623)
9. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks (Warner, $24.99, 0446528056)
10. What Is the What by Dave Eggers (McSweeney's, $26, 1932416641)
11. Lisey's Story by Stephen King (Scribner, $28, 0743289412)
12. The Collectors by David Baldacci (Warner, $26.99, 044653109X)
13. Under Orders by Dick Francis (Putnam, $25.95, 0399154000)
14. One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson (Little, Brown, $24.99, 0316154849)
15. H.R.H. by Danielle Steel (Delacorte Press, $27, 0385338295)

Hardcover Nonfiction

1. The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama (Crown, $25, 0307237699)
2. You: On a Diet by Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet C. Oz (Free Press, $25, 0743292545)
3. State of Denial by Bob Woodward (S&S, $30, 0743272234)
4. I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron (Knopf, $19.95, 0307264556)
5. The Innocent Man by John Grisham (Doubleday, $28.95, 0385517238)
6. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins (Houghton Mifflin, $27, 0618680004)
7. I Like You by Amy Sedaris (Warner, $27.99, 0446578843)
8. Culture Warrior by Bill O'Reilly (Broadway, $26, 0767920929)
9. Life After Death by Deepak Chopra (Harmony, $24, 0307345785)
10. French Women for All Seasons by Mireille Guiliano (Knopf, $24.95, 0307265234)
11. A Photographer's Life: 1990-2005 by Annie Leibovitz (Random House, $75, 0375505091)
12. Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris (Knopf, $16.95, 0307265773)
13. The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson (Broadway, $25, 076791936X)
14. Walt Disney by Neal Gabler (Knopf, $35, 067943822X)
15. Thunderstruck by Erik Larson (Crown, $25.95, 1400080665)

Trade Paperback Fiction

1. The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards (Penguin, $14, 0143037145)
2. Saving Fish From Drowning by Amy Tan (Ballantine, $14.95, 034546401X)
3. Snow by Orhan Pamuk (Vintage, $14.95, 0375706860)
4. The Lighthouse by P.D. James (Vintage, $13.95, 0307275736)
5. March by Geraldine Brooks (Penguin, $14, 0143036661)
6. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (Random House, $13.95, 0812968069)
7. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (Back Bay, $15.99, 0316154547)
8. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (HarperSanFrancisco, $13.95, 0061122416)
9. The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai (Grove, $14, 0802142818)
10. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Riverhead, $14, 1594480001)
11. The Night Watch by Sarah Waters (Riverhead, $15, 1594482306)
12. Case Histories by Kate Atkinson (Back Bay, $13.95, 0316010707)
13. Slow Man by J.M. Coetzee (Penguin, $14, 0143037897)
14. Halo: Ghosts of Onyx by Eric Nylund (Tor, $12.95, 0765315688)
15. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Penguin, $15, 0143034901)

Trade Paperback Nonfiction

1. Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs (Picador, $14, 0312425414)
2. The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt (Penguin, $15, 0143036939)
3. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (Scribner, $14, 074324754X)
4. Zagat Survey: Los Angeles/Southern California Restaurants 2007 (Zagat, $14.95, 1570068119)
5. Bad President by R.D. Rosen, Harry Prichett and Rob Battles (Workman, $8.95, 0761146202)
6. 1491 by Charles C. Mann (Vintage, $14.95, 1400032059)
7. 100 Words to Make You Sound Smart by American Heritage Dictionaries editors (Houghton Mifflin, $4.95, 061871488X)
8. Marie Antoinette by Antonia Fraser (Anchor, $16.95, 0307277747)
9. Hegemony or Survival by Noam Chomsky (Owl, $13, 0805076883)
10. Spook by Mary Roach (Norton, $13.95, 0393329127)
11. Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris (Back Bay, $8.95, 0316779237)
12. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (Vintage, $14.95, 0375725601)
13. The River of Doubt by Candice Millard (Broadway, $14.95, 0767913736)
14. What to Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi E. Murkoff, Arlene Eisenberg and Sandee Hathaway (Workman, $13.95, 0761121323)
15. Teacher Man by Frank McCourt (Scribner, $15, 0743243781)

Mass Market

1. Valley of Silence by Nora Roberts (Jove, $7.99, 0515141674)
2. The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly (Warner, $7.99, 0446616451)
3. Mary, Mary by James Patterson (Warner, $9.99, 0446619035)
4. The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard (HarperTorch, $9.99, 0060724234)
5. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman (HarperTorch, $7.99, 0060515198)
6. The Ambler Warning by Robert Ludlum (St. Martin's, $9.99, 0312990693)
7. Predator by Patricia D. Cornwell (Berkley, $9.99, 0425210278)
8. Death and Judgment by Donna Leon (Penguin, $7.99, 0143035827)
9. The Camel Club by David Baldacci (Warner, $7.99, 0446615625)
10. Thanksgiving by Janet Evanovich (HarperTorch, $7.99, 0060598808)

Children's Titles

1. The End (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 13) by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Brett Helquist (HarperCollins, $12.99, 0064410161)
2. Eragon by Christopher Paolini (Laurel-Leaf, $6.99, 044023848X)
3. Mommy? by Arthur Yorinks and Maurice Sendak (Michael Di Capua, $24.95, 0439880505)
4. Captain Underpants and the Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People by Dav Pilkey (Scholastic, $4.99, 0439376149)
5. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd (HarperCollins, $7.99, 0694003611)
6. Pirateology by Captain William Lubber (Candlewick, $19.99, 0763631434)
7. The Beatrice Letters by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Brett Helquist (HarperCollins, $19.99, 0060586583)
8. The Night Before Thanksgiving by Tammie Lyon, illustrated by Natasha Wing (Grosset & Dunlap, $3.99, 0448425297)
9. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (HarperCollins, $16.95, 0060254920)
10. Blizzard of the Blue Moon (Magic Tree House #36) by Mary Pope Osborne, illustrated by Sal Murdocca (Random House, $11.95, 0375830375)
11. Mythic Vision: The Making of Eragon by Mark Cotta Vaz (Knopf, $12.95, 0375839178)
12. The English Roses, Too Good to Be True by Madonna (Callaway Editions, $19.95, 0670061476)
13. Tails by Matthew Van Fleet (Red Wagon, $13.95, 0152167730)
14. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving by Charles M. Schulz (Little Simon, $5.99, 0689850271)
15. Your Personal Penguin by Sandra Boynton (Workman, $6.95, 0761143726)

[Many thanks to Book Sense and SCBA!]

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