Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Roaring Brook Press: Crossing on Time: Steam Engines, Fast Ships, and a Journey to the New World by David Macaulay

Grand Central Publishing: Out East: Memoir of a Montauk Summer by John Glynn

Head of Zeus: Killing State (A Michael North Thriller) by Judith O'Reilly

Seven Stories Press: Bernie by Ted Rall

Forge: A Dog's Journey (Dog's Purpose #2) by W. Bruce Cameron

Soho Crime: The Satapur Moonstone (A Perveen Mistry Novel) by Sujata Massey

Greenwillow Books: A Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne Parry


Notes: PMA's Jan Nathan Dies at 68; Store Changes

We're deeply saddened to report that Jan Nathan, executive director of PMA, the Independent Book Publishers Association since its beginning in 1983, died on June 17 after a year-long battle with cancer. She was 68.

In 1983, after serving as president of Manhattan Publishing Company, which created inflight magazines for regional commuter airlines, Nathan established Jan Nathan & Associates to manage professional trade associations. Soon thereafter, a group of 15 Southern California publishers joined to send her to the old ABA, now BEA show, on their behalf. PMA, the organization that grew out of that trip event, now represents 4,200 book, audio and videotape publishers.

"Jan Nathan gave independent publishers a voice and support in an industry dominated by large publishers," Howard W. Fisher, president of PMA from 1989 to 1990, stated. "She was the right person for the time in creating a national vision. The beginnings of this group coincided with the first desktop publishing computers that created an explosion of publishers, all who needed help growing every aspect of their business."

Nathan was instrumental in all of PMA's accomplishments, including establishing the Benjamin Franklin Awards, the PMA/BEA Publishing University, the trade distribution program, advertising and marketing programs in major media and to major markets, regular exhibitions at major international book fairs and PMA Independent, the monthly newsletter. She also helped found Small Press Week, which has become Small Press Month, and has been involved with such industry groups as the Media Coalition and the Book Industry Study Group, where she was serving as treasurer at the time of her death.

Nathan's family is holding a private memorial service on June 28. Details about a public celebration, under the auspices of PMA, will be announced soon.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to a fund that is being created to honor Nathan's interests. For more information, contact Alice B. Acheson at or Florrie Binford Kichler, president, PMA, the Independent Book Publishers Association at


On February 1, Books Inc. plans to move its store in Palo Alto, Calif., to a 4,000-sq.-ft. space at the Town and Country Center, which is undergoing a $25 million renovation. The Books Inc. Palo Alto store opened in the Stanford Shopping Center 50 years ago.

"Despite the well-known challenges to our industry, Books Inc. has proven that independent booksellers can thrive when we're in the heart of a community," Michael Tucker, president of Books Inc., said in a statement. "We belong here and we appreciate Ellis Partners [owners of Town and Country Center] for their commitment to create an atmosphere at T & C that is more about what the people of this community really want than their own bottom line."

Books Inc. has nine other stores in the Bay Area and one in Disneyland in Anaheim.


Barnes & Noble has announced another opening/closing combo. In April 2008, the company plans to open a new B&N in the Bradley Fair Shopping Center at 1920 North Rock Road in Wichita, Kan. The day before that store opens, B&N will close its current store at 3045 North Rock Road. 


Rachel Bressler has been named associate publisher of Ecco. For the past year, she was Barnes & Noble national accounts manager for Ecco as well as for HarperCollins, HarperOne, Amistad and Harper Perennial. Earlier she was associate director of marketing for Morrow and before that was co-op account manager at B&N and manager of several B&N stores in New York City.


Mentioned here last Thursday, Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse, La Cañada Flintridge, Calif., is opening this coming Thursday, June 28, not on Saturday. 


The black line that runs across the hardwood floor of the Haskell Free Library and Opera House may represent the subtlest international boundary anywhere, as it literally straddles the Canada/U.S. border. 

But the library's calling card and tourist attraction may be endangered. According to the Associated Press (via the Worcester Telegram), the 103-year-old Haskell "has taken on added significance this year as border officials contemplate a crackdown on three unguarded streets linking Derby Line [Vt.] and Stanstead, Quebec. What many here fear is that border authorities will close the book on an unspoken agreement under which locals can come and go from the library without reporting to customs, even if they cross the border en route."


Dorothy Sim-Broder and David Broder recently held a preview party to showcase their new bookshop, Written Words Bookstore in Shelton, Conn., the Connecticut Post reported.

"This parking lot wasn't paved until a day ago," said Sim-Broder, who has already noticed great anticipation on the part of the community. "I had little old ladies braving the parking lot and dodging construction equipment to find out when we would be open. We finally had to put a note on the door."

Berkley Books: Layover by David Bell

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Jackie Collins on Drop Dead Beautiful

This morning the Today Show talks with Jackie Collins about her new page-turner, Drop Dead Beautiful (St. Martin's, $24.95, 9780312341794/0312341792).


Today on the Early Show: Elisa Strauss, author of The Confetti Cakes Cookbook: Spectacular Cookies, Cakes, and Cupcakes from New York City's Famed Bakery (Little, Brown, $29.99, 9780316113076/0316113077).


Today the Oprah Winfrey Show re-airs an episode with Lee and Bob Woodruff, authors of In an Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing (Random House, $25.95, 9781400066674/1400066670).


Today the Diane Rehm Show hears from Gregg Mitman, author of Breathing Space: How Allergies Shape Our Lives and Landscapes (Yale University Press, $30, 9780300110357/0300110359).


Today on NPR's All Things Considered: Mark Peter Hughes, whose new YA book is Lemonade Mouth (Delacorte, $15.99, 9780385733922/0385733925), talks about how he, his wife and three small children are preparing for a 9,000-mile book tour that they will take in a minivan and on "a shoestring budget." For more information, including his schedule and many pictures, see the author's website.


Tonight on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Tina Brown dishes on The Diana Chronicles (Doubleday, $27.50, 9780385517089/0385517084).

GLOW: Atria/Emily Bestler Books: The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal

Books & Authors

Attainment: New Books Out Next Week

On sale July 2:

The Judas Strain by James Rollins (Morrow, $25.95, 9780060763893/0060763892). The third high-octane thriller featuring the top secret Sigma Force team.

The Quickie by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge (Little, Brown, $27.99, 9780316117364/0316117366). After an NYPD cop discovers her husband leaving a hotel with another woman, her plan for revenge goes dangerously awry.

On sale July 3:

Sammy's House by Kristin Gore (Hyperion, $24.95, 9781401302641/1401302645). Gore's second novel brings back White House aide Sammy Joyce for another Beltway romp.

The Raw 50: 10 Amazing Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Snacks, and Drinks for Your Raw Food Lifestyle by Carol Alt (Clarkson Potter, $17, 9780307351746/0307351742). The supermodel, actress and author of Eating in the Raw shares 50 of her favorite recipes.

Shadow of the Silk Road by Colin Thubron (HarperCollins, $25.95, 9780061231728/006123172X). Travel writer Thubron chronicles his 7,000-mile journey along the Silk Road, the ancient trade route between China and the Mediterranean Sea.

On sale July 5:

Slummy Mummy by Fiona Neill (Riverhead, 24.95, 9781594489440/1594489440). A debut novel about the adventures of a stay-at-home mom who never discovered her inner domestic goddess.

On sale in paperback July 3:

The Messenger by Daniel Silva (Signet, $9.99, 9780451221728/0451221729).

G.P. Putnam's Sons: How Not to Die Alone by Richard Roper

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 Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney (S&S, $25, 9781416540748/1416540741). "Reading this book instantly transported me into a freezing and foreboding scene: the far north of Canada in the winter of 1867. It's hard to believe this is a first novel, because the characters are rich in personality and history, the plot is intricate, and the writing is so accomplished."--Pauline Ziniker, Country Bookshelf, Bozeman, Mont.

F5: Devastation, Survival, and the Most Violent Tornado Outbreak of the 20th Century by Mark Levine (Miramax, $25.95, 9781401352202/1401352200). "Levine brings a colossal act of nature, a storm that spun nearly 150 tornadoes through the heartland, down to human scale by following the lives of the people most affected. He gives us corner stores and broken bones, AM rock and Gerald Ford: It's a big story made up of small pieces of temporary defeat and long-lived resilience."--Mark David Bradshaw, Watermark Books, Wichita, Kans.


Jesus Land: A Memoir by Julia Scheeres (Counterpoint, $14, 9781582433547/1582433542). "This unsparing memoir tells a sad and poignant tale of abuse, alienation, and personal redemption. Scheeres' always-hopeful voice lends humanity to her story and made me imagine her as a flower that grows between the unforgiving cracks in a sidewalk."--Danielle Marshall, Powell's Bookstore, Beaverton, Ore.

For Babies and Pre-Schoolers

Family Lullaby by Jody Fickes Shapiro, illustrated by Cathie Felstead (Greenwillow, $16.99, 9780060514822/0060514825). "This book's lyrical text will hit the right note for any family with a little one. It's also a fun read-aloud for preschool story time because it features loving descriptions of all the things a family does to help welcome a new baby into the family circle. Felstead's collages on pastel backgrounds reinforce the theme of a loving and gentle family experience."--Jeri Lupton, Adventures for Kids, Ventura, Calif.

Here's a Little Poem: A Very First Book of Poetry, collected by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters, illustrated by Polly Dunbar (Candlewick, $21.99, 9780763631413/0763631418). "This large-format, sunny volume is perfect for the youngest listeners ready for the next step after Mother Goose. Each double-page spread is filled with a single poem, gloriously illustrated by Dunbar. A beautiful new anthology is something to cheer about!"--Nancy Olson, Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, N.C.

[Many thanks to Book Sense and the ABA!]

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Her Daughter's Mother by Daniella Petrova

Book Brahmins: Nick DiMartino

Nick DiMartino, a college bookseller for many years, author and more (see first question below), will begin to review books for Shelf Awareness occasionally. Here in a kind of introduction, he answers questions that we put to people in the industry from time to time:

Who you are:

I've been an out-of-control reader all my life. I was forced to move bed and books to the family basement in my teens when my book collection got out of hand. I've been a bookseller at University Book Store in Seattle since 1970, the buyer for the little branch in the HUB on the University of Washington campus. I was an active playwright in the '70s and '80s, with four musicals and more than 20 plays in full production. I have three novels in print--contemporary holiday thrillers set in Seattle--written in the classic Victorian tradition of Christmas ghost stories. For seven years I've promoted the best new novel or memoir I could find each month as Nick's Pick and currently host two friendly, member-seeking book clubs for University Book Store. Two months ago I created a blog for my reviews of the best current international fiction,

On your nightstand now:

Chronicle in Stone by Ismail Kadare. I've slowed down to savor each chapter. I've read a lot of books about war seen through a kid's eyes, but NONE like this little masterpiece from Albania, so wonderfully funny and goofy and sad. I know everyone in this vertical little mountain village made of stone.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Rinkitink in Oz by L. Frank Baum. Given to me by a cousin in a box of old children's books, this was the seed of my book addiction: the adventures of Prince Inga and his tubby, funny friend, King Rinkitink, riding his grumpy goat. They'll be with me till the day I die.

Your top five prose fiction authors:

Marcel Proust, Anton Chekhov, Iris Murdoch, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Joseph Conrad

Book you've "faked" reading:

When Tracy Kidder's Mountains Beyond Mountains was chosen as the University of Washington Common Book last year, I gave lip service to it as though I'd read it for months. Then I was asked to interview Kidder on stage. I quickly read the book. To my amazement and delight, I found it superb beyond my wildest expectations.

Book you are an "evangelist" for:

When someone has a flight or beach vacation and wants a book that's easy, satisfying, funny and sexy, a book that has it all, I always ask, "You've read The Book of Joe, haven't you?" Jonathan Tropper's modern comic masterpiece is a quality page-turner, pure reading pleasure, with complex characters and wonderful plot surprises, from its walloping first sentence to its triple-decker, straight-to-the-heart ending.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Our Lady of the Flowers by Jean Genet. The old Bantam Modern Classic cover was incredibly steamy. For a closeted Catholic boy, it was irresistible. Confession: I was too scared and embarrassed to buy the book, so I secretly tore off the cover and stole it from Washington Book Store. I will burn in hell for this. Finally curiosity drove me to be brave enough to return and buy it. The book turned out to be one of the literary highlights of my life.

Book that changed your life:

The Plague by Albert Camus. I read it three times in the first quarter of my freshman year, and it made me face morality in a world without God. I think in my own way I've been trying to be Dr. Rieux ever since.

Favorite line from a book:

"Love must never supersede the truth."--Iris Murdoch, A Fairly Honourable Defeat

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust. I've read it all the way through twice. I've barely touched the surface. It's a life-transforming experience. Your ideas about what memory is and how much you can ever know another person change forever.

Most upsetting novel:

The Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum. After the boy Tip has searched through the entire book for the kidnapped Princess Ozma, the witch Mombi finally reveals that she's disguised the Princess as . . . the boy Tip! He's not really a boy at all. The hero has to be changed back into a princess. Terrifying moral of the story to an eight-year-old reader: that could happen to you.

Favorite new writer:

Rory Stewart (The Places In Between, The Prince of the Marshes). Brave, even-handed, passionate, eloquent, engaged with the world, helping to rebuild Kabul, he's my personal hero. He writes like an angel and behaves like an honest and good man.

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