Shelf Awareness for Thursday, August 18, 2005


Tor Books: The Nine Realms Series by Sarah Kozloff

Flatiron Books: Miss Austen by Gill Hornby

St. Martin's Press: Mind Over Weight: Curb Cravings, Find Motivation, and Hit Your Number in 7 Simple Steps by Ian K. Smith

Candlewick Press: Just Because by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Arsenault

Random House: Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara

News

Bookselling Notes: Landlords, Moves, Renovations

Sour Valentine's Day.

The traditionally Jewish Fairfax district in Los Angeles, Calif., is changing as investors buy up commercial property and hike rents. Among the businesses affected: Arnold Herr Booksellers, which stocks some 40,000 used books. "I'm looking at close to a triple rent increase," Herr told the Los Angeles Times. "I have until February 14 to be out. I don't know where I can go. Maybe I'll rent a warehouse and sell books on the Internet."

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Borders has converted another four Waldenbooks to Borders Express outlets. Three of the four are in Nevada--at the Fashion Show Mall and Meadows Mall in Las Vegas and the Meadowood Mall in Reno. The other store is in the Haywood Mall in Greenville, S.C.

The stores will hold grand opening events this Saturday, August 20.

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In Pacific Grove, Calif., a popular bakery that moved into a part of Bookworks must now vacate the bookstore in a month at the request of the store's new owner. Former owners Bill and Linda Buckhout said the bookstore had struggled for three years. The Monterey County Weekly recounts the dispute.

Dutton Books: The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dare


Media and Movies

Media Heat: John Irving

Tomorrow Diane Rehm speaks with Nancy Segal, author, by herself, of Indivisible by Two: Lives of Extraordinary Twins (Harvard University Press, $24.95, 0674019334).

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Today Leonard Lopate talks evo devo--evolutionary developmental biology--with Sean Carroll, author of Endless Forms Most Beautiful (Norton, $25.95, 0393060160).

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Today Diane Rehm volleys with Selena Roberts, author of A Necessary Spectacle: Billie Jean King, Bobby Riggs, and the Tennis Match That Leveled the Game (Crown, $24.95, 1400051460)

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Last night Jon Stewart grappled with John Irving, whose new book is Until I Find You (Random House, $27.95, 1400063833). Irving also appears on Leonard Lopate's show today.

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Yesterday on Leonard Lopate, James Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of the Oil Age, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-first Century (Atlantic Monthly Press, $23, 0871138883), spread the good news.

Soho Teen: Me and Mr. Cigar by Gibby Haynes


Book TV This Weekend: Summer of Strom

Book TV airs on C-Span-2 from 8 a.m. Saturday until 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on historical and political books as well as the publishing industry. Highlights for this weekend follow. For more information, go to Book TV's Web site.

Saturday, August 21

7 p.m. Encore Booknotes. Zachary Karabell, author of The Last Campaign: How Harry Truman Won the 1948 Election (Vintage, $14, 0375700773), first published in 2000, discussed Truman victory's over Thomas Dewey, Henry Wallace and Strom Thurman, calling it the last presidential election in which the media did not play a significant role.

8 p.m. History on Book TV. In his new book, The Myth of Hitler's Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews from the Nazis (Regnery, $27.95, 0895260344), Rabbi David Dalin argues that Pope Pius XII was not an anti-Semite and that the Catholic Church did more than any other religion to save the lives of European Jews during the Holocaust.

Sunday, August 22

6 p.m. After Words. Anatol Lieven, senior research fellow at the New America Foundation and author of America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism (Oxford University Press, $30, 019516840), interviews Ralph Peters, a retired military officer who argues for a realignment of U.S. engagements abroad and reforming its military and diplomatic corps in his New Glory: Expanding America's Global Supremacy (Sentinel, $24.95, 1595230114). (Re-airs at 9 p.m.)

8 p.m. Public Lives. Jack Bass, co-author with Marilyn Thompson of Strom: The Complicated Personal and Political Life of Strom Thurmond (PublicAffairs, $27.50, 1586482971), spoke at the Charleston (S.C.) Public Library about the late South Carolina senator.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Firewatching by Russ Thomas


Books & Authors

Handful of Handsells

Although the first book on this list won't be out until early September, Valerie Ryan, owner of Cannon Beach Book Co., Cannon Beach, Ore., said her store will "herald" it and have the author for a signing. Her staff of five has read it, and for only the second time, everyone has agreed to handsell it. Auspiciously their first unanimous handsell was The Kite Runner.
 
The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch (Bloomsbury, $23.95, 1582346054). "It is about Miles, a 13-year-old boy who is a naturalist, an insomniac and a true friend, among other things. He goes out in his kayak one moonlit night and sees a giant squid breathe its last. But, wait, there are no giant squid in Puget Sound. What follows is a combination of an absolutely original story that can be understood and enjoyed on several levels: compelling narrative combining humor and poignancy, symbolic moments that are breathtaking, and such flat-out good writing that it brings pleasure on every page. The best book I have read in ages."

The following are handselling favorites this month at Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, N.C., with comments from owner Nancy Olson:

44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith (Knopf, $13.95, 1400079446), now out in paperback. "It's absolutely wonderful. It's about a group of people living in an apartment house in Edinburgh whose lives are woven together. This book is so much like Austen. Smith is the Jane Austen of our time. He observes with a lot of fun, dry satire. It appeared originally in the newspaper like Dickens. It's selling like crazy."


Waiting for Teddy Williams by Howard Frank Mosher (Houghton Mifflin, $13, 0618619038), now out in paperback. "It's a baseball story but really familiar. It's good summer reading, and it's especially fun this year since the Red Sox won the World Series."


Freddy and Fredericka by Mark Helprin (Penguin, $27.95, 1594200548). "I loved it. Mark Helprin extended himself on this, creating a very different, lighter satire. He has a big heart and says important things about America. His satire of royalty is great--they deserved it--and he comments a lot about American politics."


The Pleasure Was Mine by Tommy Hays (St. Martin's, $23.95, 0312339321). "This is a beautiful story about a man who loses his wife to Alzheimer's disease and has to readjust to life and readjust his relationships with his son and grandson. It's doing very well. Hays is a local writer."

Familius: Now Part of the Workman Family!



Deeper Understanding

New Store on the Bay: Tale of the Salty Dog

When Tamba Trevarrow decided it was time to follow her dream of opening a bookstore after stints doing social work and car advertising, she took an exceptionally intense approach. Instead of opening near home in Michigan, she searched up and down the East Coast looking for cities and towns without a bookstore and with appealing demographics. She went to Paz & Associates's booksellers school, where she learned the "straight stuff" and made friends who have helped "every step of the way." She talked to independents (some were discouraging but others let her "hang out" and learn from them). And she worked at a local Borders for a year to get hands-on experience and study the company's "marketing and merchandising policies."

The two-year process came to a happy conclusion this past July 11, when Trevarrow opened Salty Dog Books & Music in St. Michaels, Md., a scenic town of 1,200 on the eastern shore of Maryland that swells in the warmer months with tourists and summer people. At various times, a few stores in town had stocked books in a corner, but no bookstore had ever operated in St. Michaels. Some had told her the store would appeal mostly to tourists, but so far 80% of her customers are locals. "We've been very well received," Trevarrow said.

In 1,500 square feet on two floors in a historic home, Trevarrow stocks about 5,000 titles. She aims for an "eclectic selection" and emphasizes smaller presses. Regional and children's titles are popular. Among hot adult titles: On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt (Princeton University Press, $9.95, 0691122946), "a big bestseller. We can't keep it on the shelf"; The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman (FSG, $27.50, 0374292884); Being Dead Is No Excuse: The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral by Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays (Miramax, $19.95, 1401359345); Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss (Gotham, $19.95, 1592400876); and Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond (Norton, $16.95, 0393317552).

One major surprise for Trevarrow has been that the 600 music titles, ranging from rap to classical, have found an audience. "I didn't think music would be a big thing," she said. "But the only place nearby that sells music is Wal-Mart, and they're censored." Music isn't particularly profitable, she riffed, but "it brings people in." Putumayo CDs do particularly well, and the store sells six or seven copies of American Blues a week. In the store, Trevarrow plays music all the time, which helps keep the cash register singing.

Salty Dog also carries games, calendars, gift wrap and maps and has a coffee and pastry bar.

Trevarrow wants to wait until all is shipshape at Salty Dog before beginning author events. But they will be a focus of the store. She will have "salty dog" watermen come to tell tales and will also offer traditional author events and children's story telling hours. She'll include the many self-published authors whose subjects are St. Michaels and the Chesapeake Bay. Other customer draws include a senior discount every Wednesday and a 20% discount for residents the second Thursday of every month.

Salty Dog has a staff of seven part timers and is open seven days a week and until 9 or 10 every night but Sunday. The store has done some advertising, including in a captain's guide for yachters sailing up and down the coast. The store's salty dog logo appears on T-shirts and bookmarks.

Trevarrow thanks so many people and groups for helping the store become a reality, including Donna Paz; Barbara Mead, a fellow booksellers school student who ultimately decided not to open a store but bought Paz & Associates's Reading Group Choices (Shelf Awareness, August 4); several indies in Michigan; her son and daughter; her friends and family; and professionals like her accountant, lawyer and banker.

The year of working in Borders's Birmingham, Mich., store also helped tremendously, Trevarrow said. "The big guys know what they're doing, and I wanted to learn how they position books, about colors, about traffic flow in the store, their selling techniques," she commented. "I use their handselling technique of taking a customer to a section, taking the book off the shelf and handing it to them. And I'm constantly revolving books, moving them up front, sending them back. I want to keep things fresh."

Trevarrow moved to St. Michaels a year ago this month, partly to find the right space. "Stores don't open up often here," she said. "I had to be on top of it." Once she found her space, there was a lot of work to be done, particularly having fixtures custom made since the building has a sloping ceiling and "crazy" floors. "It's quite an investment," she sighed. "But it looks wonderful."

Salty Dog Book & Music is located at 402 Talbot St., St. Michaels, Md. 21663; 410-745-2974; www.saltydogbooksandmusic.com.

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