Shelf Awareness for Monday, December 11, 2006

Simon & Schuster: Launch a Reading Star With Ready to Read Campaign

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

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Waiting in the Wings by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton, Illustrated by Eg Keller

Webtoon Unscrolled: Boyfriends. Volume Two: A Webtoon Unscrolled Graphic Novel by Refrainbow

Shadow Mountain: The Witch in the Woods: Volume 1 (Grimmworld) by Michaelbrent Collings

Quotation of the Day

Book Recommendations: Like a Blind Date

"Selecting the right book for someone is a task fraught with just as much peril and turmoil as setting up two friends on a blind date. It is part science, part art, with a soupçon of intuition and informed guesswork."--Doug Dutton, owner of Dutton's Brentwood Books and Dutton's Beverly Hills, in a thoughtful, amusing piece in the Los Angeles Times, in which he discusses handselling and making book recommendations.

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


Notes: Murphy Heads West; First Lesbian Book Festival

Congratulations to Joe Murphy, head buyer for 11 years at Olsson's, with five (and soon six) stores in and around Washington, D.C., who is moving to Southern California to become a sales rep for W.W. Norton, effective with the new year. In a note in the Olsson's newsletter, Murphy said that January would have marked his 17th anniversary. "I've spent my entire adult life at Olsson's, and I haven't regretted a single moment of it." Amazingly Murphy has never been to California.

Alexis Akre, the buyer at Olsson's Courthouse/Arlington store, whom Murphy described as "very capable, hyper-intelligent," will succeed him.


The first annual Lesbian Book Festival, sponsored by Bold Strokes Books, a publisher of lesbian fiction, and Casitas Laquita Resort, will take place in Palm Springs, Calif., February 14-17, the Desert Sun reported. The Peppertree Bookstore, which has a store in Palm Springs and will soon open another in La Quinta, is one of several companies that will host events during the fair. For more information, call the Resort at 760-416-9999, ext. 37.


ISBN-13 countdown. In three weeks, the International Standard Book Number becomes a 13-digit number. For more information about the change, go to the Book Industry Study Group's Web site.


Gary Luke, editorial director of Sasquatch Books for 12 years, has been named president and publisher. He replaces founding president and publisher Chad Haight. The company called Luke "the editorial visionary of Sasquatch," among whose titles are Book Lust by Nancy Pearl.

Sarah Hanson has been named v-p, sales and marketing, at Sasquatch Books. She has worked at the publisher 10 years, most recently as director of sales and marketing.


Borders has raised its next quarterly dividend by a penny--or 10%--to 11 cents a share. The fattened dividend will be paid February 1 to shareholders of record as of January 3.


Florida Bookstore for Sale: Email

Black Images Book Bazaar, Dallas, to Close

Sad news: Black Images Book Bazaar, Dallas, Tex., will shut down at the end of the month, according to the Dallas News. Founded in 1977, the store is owned by Emma Rodgers and Ashira Tosihwe and had nearly closed last year.

"It's part of the journey, but we've enjoyed it," Rodgers told the News. "We're just real thankful for the customers who have been faithful with us over the years. We have some who've been with us from day one." She said that competition from Internet retailers and big-box stores had caused the change.

But Rodgers and Tosihwe will not shut down entirely. The pair plan to handle author appearances and host events in the area. The store's Web site will list events and may eventually sell books, too.

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

In Memoriam: Rusty Drugan, NEIBA Executive Director

We were saddened to learn that Rusty Drugan, executive director of the New England Independent Booksellers Association since 1992, died last Thursday. He was 59 and had announced last August that he would resign for health reasons.

Officially Wayne A. Drugan, Jr., Rusty had been a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and from 1977 to 1992 worked at Reading International, once one of the many bookstores in Harvard Square in Cambridge, Mass., and was vice president. He also served as a Republican Election Commissioner for Cambridge.

Rusty helped build NEBA (now NEIBA) into a highly regarded regional booksellers association with a strong organization, a solid range of programs and sound finances. He especially enjoyed discussing politics, whether in the industry or nationally, both which unintentionally provided him a lot of amusement. He spoke guardedly about being a Republican in the book world, and in one of the last e-mails we received from him, he lamented that moderate Republicans were becoming increasingly rare--he was struck that the last election resulted in all but one congressional seat in New England going to Democrats.

We'll miss Rusty, particularly having long conversations either on the phone or at many ABAs and BEAs, where he loved both catching up on--and providing--gossip.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, Pancreatic Cancer Research, 30 Speen St., Framingham, Mass. 01701. A funeral will be held in his home state of North Dakota, but a memorial will be held in January in New England.

Harper: Our Kind of Game by Johanna Copeland

Holiday Hum: Eat, Drink & Be Merry at Rakestraw Books

Books are selling in categories across the board at Rakestraw Books in Danville, Calif. No single title is a standout so far this season, and that's just fine with owner Mike Barnard.

"Sometimes there is one big book, but I prefer it when there's not," said Barnard. "It's more interesting and easier to keep up with stock levels, and recommendations carry a little more weight than when customers are coming in and asking for The Da Vinci Code."

Cookbooks and wine books are strong sellers for Rakestraw, noted Barnard, who increased the number of food events this past year and is launching a food and wine book club at the store in January. In the last several days, he said, The Gourmet Cookbook edited by Ruth Reichl "has taken off." Another customer favorite is The PlumpJack Cookbook: Great Meals for Good Living by Jeff Morgan. PlumpJack is a San Francisco company that owns several restaurants and cafés as well as a Napa Valley winery.

Wine maven and local celebrity Leslie Sbrocco helped Rakestraw celebrate the holidays during an in-store soiree this past Friday. Sbrocco is the host of the PBS show Check Please!, a wine columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and author of The Simple & Savvy Wine Guide: Buying, Pairing & Sharing for All. "Our final event of the year is typically a wine tasting," said Barnard. For $12 per person, customers sampled food and four different wines. A portion of the proceeds is going to the charity Project Open Hand.

Books that trigger the taste buds aren't the only ones selling at Rakestraw. "The things we've done well with all year pick up at the holidays," said Barnard. "People buy their favorites for gifts." Some of the steady sellers now picking up steam are Bill Bryson's The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid and the fiction tomes A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon, The Lay of the Land by Richard Ford and Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier.

A children's book proving popular for gift-giving is Kate DiCamillo's The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. Two pictorial local interest titles selling well are San Ramon Valley: Alamo, Danville, and San Ramon by photographer Ralph Cozine and Beverly Lane, curator of the Museum of the San Ramon Valley, and Galen Rowell: A Retrospective, a compendium of photographs taken by the late photographer Galen Rowell that includes a foreword by Tom Brokaw.

As for surprise sellers, "I've been impressed that the classic reissues from Penguin and Harper are doing very well," said Barnard. A table display features The Bell Jar, Gravity's Rainbow, On the Road, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and other titles in the two series. The audio version of To Kill a Mockingbird is also proving popular.

"Customers seem cheerful and are certainly spending," Barnard said. "It was a good fall, so I'm hopeful it will be a good holiday season."--Shannon McKenna

Media and Movies

Eragon Begins Movie Journey on Friday

Directed by Stefen Fangmeier, the movie version of Eragon, Christopher Paolini's bestseller, opens this Friday, December 15. The film stars Edward Speleers as Eragon. Other cast members include Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich and Rachel Weisz.

Eragon, the first book in Paolini's Inheritance Trilogy, has sold more than seven million copies worldwide, and Knopf Books for Young Readers is ready for interest whipped up by the movie: more than 1.3 million copies of the mass market ($6.99, 044023848X) and trade paperback ($10.95, 0375840540) tie-in editions are in print.

Eldest, book two in the trilogy, which has sold more than 3.5 million copies worldwide since publication in August 2005, has also benefited from movie publicity.

Media Heat: Kermit, Carter, Scottoline

This morning Kermit the Frog hops onto the Early Show to discuss his new book, Before You Leap: A Frog's Eye View of Life's Greatest Lessons (Disney, $16.95, 0696232324).


Oggi on the Martha Stewart Show: Mario Batali, chef, restaurateur and author of Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home (Ecco, $34.95, 0060734922).


Today on WAMU's Diane Rehm Show: E. Fuller Torrey, M.D., author of Surviving Prostate Cancer: What You Need to Know to Make Informed Decisions (Yale University Press, $25, 0300116403).


Today on the O'Reilly Factor: Christine Wicker, author of Lily Dale: The Town That Talks to the Dead (HarperSanFrancisco, $13.95, 0061153745) and Not In Kansas Anymore (HarperSanFrancisco, $13.95, 0060741155).


Tonight on Court TV's Murder By the Book: Lisa Scottoline, one of the "masters of the American crime novel" (other shows featured James Ellroy, Michael Connelly and Linda Fairstein), who explores the real-life crimes that inspired her to write.


Scheduled for tonight on the Charlie Rose Show: Lou Dobbs, whose new book is War on the Middle Class: How the Government, Big Business, and Special Interest Groups Are Waging War on the American Dream and How to Fight Back (Viking, $24.95, 0670037923).


Tonight on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno: former president Jimmy Carter, whose new book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid (S&S, $27, 0743285026), maps his views in the Middle East.

Books & Authors

Image of the Day: A NAIPR Night

Busy alphabetical lives. At a NAIPR event a week ago Sunday in NYC (see last Monday's issue): Wendy Werris, former bookseller, sales rep extraordinaire, author escort, photographer and now also an author--of An Alphabetical Life: Living It Up in the Business of Books (Carroll & Graf, $15.95, 078671817X)--with her editor, Philip Turner, who is moving soon to Sterling Publishing, where, among other things, he will head up Union Square Press.

Ali Rap Enters the Bookselling Ring

Ali Rap . . . small book from a big man, punchy lines from a mighty man.

Ali Rap . . . 300 quotations: "witticisms, insults, wisecracks, politically incorrect quips, courageous stands and words of inspiration."

Ali Rap . . . out for a month, gives a lift, good for a gift.

Ali Rap . . . editor man is ad man is Ali friend is George Lois.

Ali Rap . . . 5 1/2 by 7 1/2, 608 pages, $24.99, wild ISBN: 3822851566

Ali Rap . . . ESPN documentary cast, shown everywhere Saturday last.

Ali Rap . . . from Taschen, the house of GOAT, heavyweight book about the heavyweight champ

[With apologies to everyone.] 

Book Sense: May We Recommend

From last week's Book Sense bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Book Sense Picks:


The Museum of Lost Wonder: A Graphic Guide to Reawakening the Human Imagination
by Jeff Hoke (Weiser, $49.95, 1578633648). "Philosophy, history, psychology, fantasy--they all meet in this work of art that's part comic book (emphasis on 'comic'--it's very funny), part historic tome, and all fascinating. The seven three-dimensional paper models invite readers to create and broaden their horizons. I really enjoyed it!"--Colleen White, Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop, Shorewood, Wis.

Death Angel by Martha Powers (Oceanview, $24.95, 1933515031). "A great psychological thriller that kept me reading into the night. When Kate and Richard Warner's daughter, Jenny, is kidnapped and murdered, the chief of police is sure that Richard is the rapist and murderer. It's almost too late when he realizes that he's wrong. This is one of the best thrillers I've read."--Andra Tracy, Out Word Bound, Indianapolis, Ind.


The Last Van Gogh by Alyson Richman (Berkley, $14, 042521267X). "Like one of Vincent's van Gogh's paintings, this book blends vibrant colors and hidden emotion, telling the story of what may have happened during the final days of his life. This book is an ode to Vincent, his tragic genius, and to his last muse, who may have been his only true love. An engrossing read."--Karen Vail, Armchair Bookstore, Dennis, Mass.

For the Middle Years

Clementine by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Marla Frazee (Hyperion, $14.99, 0786838825). "Clementine is an energetic third grader with her heart in the right place, even if her attention isn't always where grown-ups think it should be! A great read for anyone who has ever had trouble sitting still!"--Jane Stroh, The Bookstore, Glen Ellyn, Ill.

Horns & Wrinkles by Joseph Helgerson, illustrated by Nicoletta Ceccoli (Houghton Mifflin, $16, 0618616799). "This whimsical story, set on the banks of the Mississippi River, overflows with magic that will delight readers young and old. When 'rivery' things start to happen, Claire has to be both brave and clever to save her family. Nicoletta Ceccoli's charming drawings suit the odd goings on perfectly."--Julie Leonard, Troubadour Books, Boulder, Colo.

[Many thanks to Book Sense and the ABA!]

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