Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Delacorte Press: Six of Sorrow by Amanda Linsmeier

Shadow Mountain: To Love the Brooding Baron (Proper Romance Regency) by Jentry Flint

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

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

Pixel+ink: Missy and Mason 1: Missy Wants a Mammoth

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


Notes: Santa Wanda; Commandeur Ferlinghetti

The State, Columbia, S.C., chronicles the first stop on Wanda Jewell's Excellent Book Giving Back Adventure tour. Jewell, executive director of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, is visiting 10 stores in four days and will spend $100 in each buying books for people who happen to be shopping while she is there.

At the Happy Bookseller in Columbia, one of the beneficiaries was a "shocked" high school junior who bought a book of poetry as a Christmas present for a friend. "It was a wonderful surprise," she told the paper. "You don’t find that sort of kindness anymore."

For more on the tour, inspired by Oprah's Gift of Giving Back program, see Nicki Leone's story on SIBA's Web site.


Congratulations to Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet, publisher and bookseller, who is now also a Commandeur des Arts et Lettres, following a presentation at the French consulate in San Francisco on Friday, Bloomberg reported. Ferlinghetti was honored for his poetry and publishing; he apparently joked that now he could command, among others, George Whitman, "my old friend at Shakespeare & Co. [the one in Paris]. He's only a chevalier. I can order him around!"


The book tour as campaign and political issues forum has become ever more intense. Following Senator Barack Obama's two nationally covered appearances in New Hampshire over the weekend--one of which was a book signing--former president Jimmy Carter appeared last night at Vroman's in Pasadena, Calif., to sign Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. The Los Angeles Times reported that as many as 2,000 people stood on line and a few protestors gathered outside. Carter held an impromptu press conference before the event and defended the book. 


Bryan Christian has been appointed director of marketing at Amistad at HarperCollins. He was formerly senior marketing manager at S&S's adult publishing group.


Another Beat the Bookstore franchise has opened, this time near Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn., the Murfreesboro Post reported. The operation, which has headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, plans to open another 30 stores in 2007.

Murfreesboro franchisees Horace Smith and David Conley also have Beat the Bookstores near the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and the University of Georgia in Athens.


In April, Barnes & Noble plans to open a store in Bolingbrook, Ill., near Chicago. The store will be in the Promenade Bolingbrook shopping center at Boughton Road and Janes Avenue and will stock nearly 200,000 books, music, DVD and magazine titles.


M.J. Rose is sponsoring a contest for writers, publishers, booksellers, librarians and others--and the beneficiary is the winner's favorite charity. Entering is easy: write to the Book Biz Santa in care of saying what you want the Book Biz Santa to bring you this year. All letters should arrive at this North Pole by December 20 and will be posted from December 21 to January 1. The best entry based on readers' comments wins the writer's favorite charity $100.


BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

Book Sales a la AAP: October Up 13.8%

Net sales of books rose 13.8% to $773.8 million in October and for the year to date fell 0.3% to $7.8 billion, according to sales data from 81 publishers compiled by the Association of American Publishers.

Among the major categories with significant gains in net sales in October:
  • Audiobooks, up 47.1% to $23.9 million
  • E-books, up 34.2%, to $2.1 million
  • Adult hardcover, up 29.4%, to $295.1 million
  • Adult mass market, up 25%, to $76.4 million
  • University press paperback, up 13.2%, to $5.3 million
Among declines:
  • Higher education, down 15.9%
  • Children's/YA paperback, down 9.5%, to $52.3 million
  • Religious books, down 4.1%, to $72.3 million

AuthorBuzz for the Week of 04.22.24

Media and Movies

The Pursuit of Happyness Arrives in Theaters

Directed by Gabriele Muccino, the movie version of The Pursuit of Happyness by Christopher Gardner (Amistad, $14.95, 0060744871) stars Will Smith as Gardner and Jaden Smith as Gardner's son, Christopher. The movie opens this Friday, December 15.

The book is Gardner's account of the period when he was a single dad, trying to provide for his five-year-old son. For a time, he was an unpaid intern at a stock brokerage, hoping that the position would lead to a paying job. In the meantime, however, he and his son wound up living on the streets. Eventually Gardner received help from the food program of the Glide Memorial Church in the Tenderloin in San Francisco.

On Thursday, both Smith and Gardner will be on Oprah, a repeat of a show that originally ran on November 22. 

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

Media Heat: Three Booksellers' Faves

This morning on the Today Show: Jude Milner, author of Fat Free: The All-True Adventures of Supersize Woman! (Tarcher, $10.95, 158542501X).


Today on NPR's Morning Edition, Susan Stamberg talks with three booksellers about their favorite holiday titles. The trio are Rona Brinlee, the Bookmark, Atlantic Beach, Fla.; Karl Pohrt, Shaman Drum Bookstore, Ann Arbor, Mich.; and Lucia Silva, Portrait of a Bookstore, Los Angeles, Calif. For their recommendations, go to NPR's Web site.


Today on the Martha Stewart Show: Arianna Huffington, author of On Becoming Fearless. . . . in Love, Work, and Life (Little, Brown, $21.99, 0316166812).


Today on the Satellite Sisters Show, formerly on NPR, now riding on ABC Radio: Chris Balish, author of How to Live Well Without Owning a Car (Ten Speed Press, $12.95, 1580087574).


Today on WAMU's Diane Rehm Show: Gayle Pritchard, author of Uncommon Threads: Ohio's Art Quilt Revolution (Ohio University Press, $19.95, 0821417061).


Tonight Joel Osteen, author of the bestselling Your Best Life Now: 7 Steps to Living at Your Full Potential, will be featured on ABC's annual Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of the Year.


Scheduled for tonight on the Charlie Rose Show:

  • Lisa Randall, professor of physics at Harvard University and author of Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions (Ecco, $27.95, 0060531088)
  • Edward O. Wilson, professor of biology at Harvard University and author of The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth (Norton, $21.95, 0393062171)



Tonight on the Colbert Report: Dan Savage, author of The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Get Pregnant (Plume, $14, 0452281768).

Deeper Understanding

Robert Gray: In Search of Virtual Holiday Spirit

I wanted to be in a proper seasonal mood, but since I hadn't attained pure retail bliss yet, I sought further inspiration with a little bookstore Web site window shopping.

My holiday quest was inspired by a few recent non-virtual experiences, including the sudden appearance of a 12-ft. high, fully illuminated inflatable snowman, tethered to the snowless front lawn of a house nearby. Vermont strives for, and occasionally attains, a Currier & Ives print effect this time of year, but we can fall decidedly short of that goal now and then. A Michelin Man Christmas doesn't help the cause.

Another bit of inspiration came during my recent trip to New York, where, in a single day, I visited the elegant Christmas tree at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, heard a concert by the Tallis Scholars (16th century polyphony) at St. Thomas Church on 53rd and Fifth Avenue, and then counterbalanced this with an evening stroll down to Rockefeller Center--dazzling lights, loud music, boisterous crowds as well as the addition, like excess spice to mulled cider, of seasonal offerings by street musicians like one musically challenged trumpeter, who wrenched Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas note by painful note out of his battered horn.

The weird and wonderful mood created by this assortment of ingredients dropped into the holiday blender made me wonder what might be happening online. So, like Santa on Christmas Eve, I decided to make a whirlwind Yuletide tour of bookstore Web sites.

I quickly discovered that far too many bookshops had chosen to Scrooge out of the season, but there was enough digital decorating going on to merit attention. Here's a sampling:

Independent bookstores are often located in beautiful buildings. Town House Books and the Book Vault took advantage of their visual advantage by altering home page photographs to reflect the season.  

Despite annual news reports about "the Christmas wars" and our increasing reliance upon "Happy Holidays" to cover all of the seasonal bases, Bookland's site found a simple and inclusive way to acknowledge diversity.

There are numerous book donation efforts going on this time of year, almost all of them for children, and an amazing number are called "book angel" programs. This is either a sign that angels have transcended the Christmas wars or that some images are just too strong to be ignored or diluted. In any case, book donations are always a good idea, and this year Anderson's Bookshop, Politics & Prose Bookstore, Russo's Books and Tattered Cover Book Store were among indies offering variations on the theme.  

Holiday catalogues are a bookstore staple. Few things warm a bookseller's heart more than hearing the words, "I saw this book in your catalogue," except perhaps when they are followed by, "I'd like 10 copies." Many bookstores posted their catalogues online, including Brookline Booksmith, Elliott Bay Book Company, McLean & Eakin Booksellers and R.J. Julia. An appropriately homicidal shopping guide was up for Murder By the Book (Can you say "slay ride," boys and girls?).

Special deals turned up here and there. The Regulator Bookshop gave customers a $5 gift card with online orders over $40; Powell's offered a 30% discount on its holiday catalogue titles; and Harvard Book Store's "Holiday Hundred" were discounted 20%. Baker Books offered staff picks as well as a link to the NEIBA catalogue. Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops had a nice charity/catalogue combo on its home page and the Northshire Bookstore used its e-mail newsletter to highlight book recommendations, Book Angel donations and a holiday message to the community.

Such messages of peace, good cheer, and customer appreciation are a holiday tradition. I found them posted at bookstores nationwide, including Cornerstone Books, Port in a Storm Bookstore, the Reader's Loft and Liberty Bay Books. And I loved the announcement of a children's event at Bound to Read and community events at Pass Christian Books.

My virtual sleigh ride made me aware of what Santa calls the "naughty and nice factor." Athough mine was a random and limited sampling, what struck me most was how many bookstore Web sites completely ignored the online marketing option during this most important season of their business year. (Should I mention the site that is still announcing its "new summer hours"?)

I think Emerson Lake, & Palmer addressed the subject best in the song, "I Believe in Father Christmas":

Hallelujah Noel be it Heaven or Hell
The Christmas we get we deserve.

--Robert Gray (column archives available at Fresh Eyes Now)

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