Shelf Awareness for Friday, August 10, 2007


Dutton Books: The Familiar Dark by Amy Engel

Amulet Books: Village of Scoundrels by Margi Preus

Flatiron Books: American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

Canongate Books: The Art of Dying by Ambrose Parry and The Way of All Flesh by Ambrose Parry

Scribner Book Company: Follow Me to Ground by Sue Rainsford

Sfi Readerlink Dist: Sesame Street: The Monster at the End of This Book: An Interactive Adventure by Jon Stone, adapted by Autumn B Heath

News

Life After Harry: Eclipse of the Gloom

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (Little Brown, $18.99, 9780316160209/0316160202), the third in her vampire series, sold 150,000 copies on Tuesday, its first day of sale, today's Wall Street Journal reported. The publisher has already gone back to press after its first printing of one million. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers publisher Megan Tingley commented: "I've been in this business for 20 years, and I've never seen anything like this." And Barnes & Noble CEO Steve Riggio told the Journal: "We were anticipating the book would be very big, but it has exceeded our expectations."

At an appearance Wednesday at a B&N in Skokie, Ill., Meyer drew 1,000 people, and Anderson's Bookshops, Naperville, Ill., sold 1,000 books during the author's appearance at North Central College. At the Anderson's event, the store served cookie dough, "one of Ms. Meyer's favorite treats."

Tingley said that Meyer's series has done well because it "has vampires, romance and suspense. Also, the heroine is appealing because she's every girl. She's not rich, she's not gorgeous, but she's strong." At the same time, the books don't include "sexually provocative material or graphic language, which makes it an easier sell for parents," the Journal noted.

Until now, Meyer has built her audience quietly, relying "on the Internet for promotion--with an active presence" on MySpace and her own website.


Amulet Books: Blood Countess (a Lady Slayers Novel) by Lana Popovic


Notes: A&R Digs In; First Family's First Picture Book

More on Angus & Robertson's demand that suppliers that don't contribute enough net profit to the Australian chain pay amounts ranging from A$2,500 (about US$2,100) to A$100,000 (US$84,600) to continue having their books sold in its stores.

The Sydney Morning Herald includes reproductions of A&R's letter to Tower Books and a scathing response from Tower director Michael Rakusin. Tower is publisher of the Miles Franklin winner Carpentaria by Alexis Wright.

And on Crikey, Dave Fenlon, COO of A&R, defends the company in an open letter, saying in part, "We currently have 1,200 suppliers to our business and have sent letters to 47 of those whom we hope to hold discussions with over the coming weeks. The payments we have requested from those suppliers represent a gap payment for profits that were lost or costs that were incurred as a result of our commercial relationship with those particular suppliers.

"We are trying to operate a successful bookstore chain and if we cannot strike a balance that allows us to maintain our retail operations, the impacts on the industry will be far greater if we are forced to close stores or drastically cut down titles."

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Bookselling This Week celebrates Fact & Fiction and its owner, Barbara Theroux, who founded the Missoula, Mont., store in 1986. Theroux, by the way, was trained as a school librarian and joined the U.S. Forest Service before becoming a bookseller. For more on a great store and bookseller, click here. Also check out Fact & Fiction's MySpace page, myspace.com/missoulabookstore.

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Bookselling This Week also offers details about displays at BookPeople, Austin, Tex., which have traditionally been among the most creative in the business. There is method to the seeming madness: every January, the store draws up a yearly display schedule; a merchandiser manages the schedule and works with buyers. The store has continued its monthly staff picks, which are highlighted at eye-level and proven very effective.

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Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, N.C., teamed up with the United Through Reading/Military Program to put on a Memorial Day event. Customers were encouraged to buy children's books to donate to a USO program under which service members read the book aloud and are recorded on DVD. The DVD and book then sent to their children at home. The store collected more than 300 books and $700. For more information, see the BTW story.

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First Lady Laura Bush and daughter Jenna will write a picture book for HarperCollins, to be illustrated by Denise Brunkus, illustrator of Barbara Park's best-selling Junie B. Jones series. The book will star a boy who does not like to read but whose teacher turns him onto books, inspired by the co-authors' experiences in the classroom. "My mom has been my lifelong inspiration, sharing her love of reading and books with Barbara and me since we were little girls," said Jenna Bush in a statement. The Bushes' proceeds from the book (plus a portion of the publisher's proceeds) will go to Teach for America and the New Teacher Project. Jenna Bush is also the author of Ana's Story: A Journey of Hope, a nonfiction title based on her experience in Latin America with UNICEF, to be released by HarperCollins on September 28.

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Gone with the independent bookstore. The Newtown Bee reported on the curious relationship between a Connecticut bookstore that went out of business in 2001 and Donald McCaig's upcoming and much-publicized Gone with the Wind sequel, Rhett Butler's People.

In 1999, Hope Dellon, executive editor at St. Martin's, walked into the Book Review, a Newtown bookstore owned by Scott Bell and Camilla Crist. Dellon was searching for an author to write the GWTW sequel. Crist had built a display to promote Donald McCaig's Jacob's Ladder: A Story of Virginia During the Civil War. The display drew the editor's attention; a book was sold and read. The rest, as they say, is now publishing history.

This story was unearthed by another enterprising bookseller, Thomas Upchurch, owner of Capitol Book & News Company, Montgomery, Ala., who wrote about it in his column for the Montgomery Advertiser.

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The Port Townsend, Wash., Leader celebrated the 20th birthday of William James Bookseller, owned by Jim Catley.

Before becoming a bookstore owner, Catley had worked at Powell's Books, Portland, Ore., "back when it employed only 10 people," and for the first two years after starting his own business, he bussed tables at night.

"The humbling part about it was sometimes I had to close up shop an hour early for bussing obligations," he told the paper. "Then I'd bus tables for some of the same customers I just had in my shop." He added that over two decades, "It's amazing how supportive people have been. Twenty years go by so fast."

 


Scribner Book Company: Follow Me to Ground by Sue Rainsford


General Retail in July: Tale of Two Countries

General retail sales were sluggish in July, and solid gains were posted mainly by retailers with more affluent customers. Retail Metrics's index of 48 chains showed a 2.9% increase in sales at stores open at least a year, according to the Wall Street Journal, while an index of 48 stores by the International Council of Shopping Centers-UBS found comp-store sales up 2.6%, the New York Times reported.

Industry observers blamed higher gasoline prices, falling home values and "stores [that] just do not seem to have the merchandise that people want to buy," as the Times put it.

Wal-Mart comp-stores sales rose just 1.9%, Macy's dropped 1.4%, Kohl's was flat, but some high-end stores and discounters who have many wealthy customers performed better. For example, Saks rose 15%, Nordstrom gained 9.4%, and Neiman Marcus was up 8.3% while Costco rose 7% and Target was up 6.1%.

Despite the tentative numbers in some areas, Dan Hess, CEO of Merchant Forecast, told the Journal, "We still feel the environment is healthy and there's no crisis with the consumer."


Berkley Books: Master Class by Christina Dalcher


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Billy Graham in the White House

This morning on Good Morning America: Nancy Gibbs, co-author of The Preacher and the Presidents: Billy Graham in the White House (Center Street, $26.99, 9781599957340/1599957345). Co-author Michael Duffy, a Time magazine editor, is on NPR's All Things Considered today.

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Tomorrow on the Today Show: Teresa Rodriguez Williamson, author of Fly Solo: The 50 Best Places on Earth for a Girl to Travel Alone (Perigee, $15.95, 9780399533105/0399533109).

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Today on NPR's All Things Considered, Alan Cheuse reviews Malcolm MacPherson's satire of the Iraq War, Hocus POTUS (Melville House, $24.95, 9781933633282/193363328X).

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On Sunday, on NPR's Weekend Edition: Dennis McFarland, author of Letter from Point Clear: A Novel (Holt, $25, 9780805077667/0805077669).


G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers: The Best of Iggy by Annie Barrows, illustrated by Sam Ricks


Book Review

Book Review: Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures

Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures: Stories by Vincent Lam (Weinstein Books, $23.95 Hardcover, 9781602860001, September 2007)



The new winner of the Giller Prize, Canada's top literary honor, is a collection of 12 interrelated stories about four young medical students and their unfolding lives as doctors. The stories are meant to dazzle, and they do.

The young Toronto author, Vincent Lam, is not only a doctor himself but an unfairly talented writer as well, with a swift, honest style and a compelling sense of storytelling. Again and again he quickly takes the moral pulse of a character. Some of these stories are knockouts, featuring spellbinding plots with all kinds of messy complications and unexpected resolutions. A possible poisoning that's also a possible psychosis; a violent, mentally unstable arrested man who may be the victim of police brutality; a harrowing pregnancy--these are the dramatic medical set-pieces against which the personal dramas unfold.

The first and third stories, "How to Get into Medical School, Parts I and II," provide the narrative fulcrum for the other tales. They're a two-part self-contained novella, a Proust-like narrative of obsessive love--the decades-spanning, sometimes one-sided passion of Fitzgerald for the cool, succeed-at-all-costs Ming.

Along with two of their classmates, Chen and Sri, these four students-become-doctors are each featured in one or more of the separate tales, weaving in and out of each other's personal and professional lives as they go about loving and marrying each other, infecting each other with diseases, treating each other.

Lam presents the reader with the dizzying ambiguities that haunt physicians, making their lives a chain of educated guesses. How honest should a doctor be to a patient without hope? On an emergency, should a doctor run or walk down the hall? Is an elevator excusable when every second counts? What if the doctor suspects the police have gone a little too far? What if the doctor knows the anesthesiologist won't get there in time?

It's a show-stopper of a debut, a pulse-pounding tribute to medicine and the complexity of human motivation, concluding with the terrifying introduction of SARS into the world. Heartfelt, human stuff. Then there's one more tale.

Unfortunately, the last story is inexplicably negative, a chain of vignettes composing the frustrating, rage-filled day of a hair-trigger, whining, overworked doctor on the night shift. It comes off as self-pitying and mean-spirited, not to mention embarrassingly over-written. I can't imagine why it's included.--Nick DiMartino



The Bestsellers

The Book Sense/Heartland List

The following were the bestselling titles at member stores of the Great Lakes Booksellers Association and the Midwest Booksellers Association during the week ended Sunday, August 5, as reported to Book Sense:

Hardcover Fiction

1. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (Riverhead, $25.95, 9781594489501)
2. The Secret Servant by Daniel Silva (Putnam, $25.95, 9780399154225)
3. The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke (S&S, $26, 9781416548485)
4. Thunder Bay by William Kent Krueger (Atria, $24, 9780743278416)
5. The Quickie by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge (Little, Brown, $27.99, 9780316117364)
6. Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich (St. Martin's, $27.95, 9780312349493)
7. The Maytrees by Annie Dillard (HarperCollins, $24.95, 9780061239533)
8. Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult (Atria, $26.95, 9780743496728)
9. On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan (Nan Talese, $22, 9780385522403)
10. Peony in Love by Lisa See (Random House, $23.95, 9781400064663)
11. The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon (HarperCollins, $26.95, 9780007149827)
12. Invisible Prey by John Sandford (Putnam, $26.95, 9780399154218)
13. Keeping the House by Ellen Baker (Random House, $24.95, 9781400066353)
14. Michael Tolliver Lives by Armistead Maupin (HarperCollins, $25.95, 9780060761356)
15. The Navigator by Clive Cussler (Putnam, $26.95, 9780399154195)

Hardcover Nonfiction

1. The Dangerous Book for Boys by Conn Iggulden and Hal Iggulden (Collins, $24.95, 9780061243585)
2. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, Camille Kingsolver and Steven Hopp (HarperCollins, $26.95, 9780060852559)
3. The Secret edited by Rhonda Byrne (Atria/Beyond Words, $23.95, 9781582701707)
4. Quiet Strength by Tony Dungy (Tyndale, $26.99, 9781414318011)
5. A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah (Sarah Crichton/FSG, $22, 9780374105235)
6. God Is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens (Twelve, $24.99, 9780446579803)
7. Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein (Abrams, $18.95, 9780810914933)
8. Sin in the Second City by Karen Abbott (Random House, $25.95, 9781400065301)
9. Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson (Little, Brown, $24.99, 9780316067591)
10. The World Without Us by Alan Weisman (Thomas Dunne, $24.95, 9780312347291)
11. The Diana Chronicles by Tina Brown (Doubleday, $27.50, 9780385517089)
12. The Assault on Reason by Al Gore (Penguin Press, $25.95, 9781594201226)
13. Here If You Need Me by Kate Braestrup (Little, Brown, $23.99, 9780316066303)
14. You: On a Diet by Michael F. Roizen, M.D., and Mehmet C. Oz, M.D. (Free Press, $25, 9780743292542)
15. Weight Loss Cure They Don't Want You to Know About by Kevin Trudeau (Alliance, $24.95, 9780978785109)

Trade Paperback Fiction

1. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (Algonquin, $13.95, 9781565125605)
2. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky (Vintage, $14.95, 9781400096275)
3. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Riverhead, $14, 9781594480003)
4. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (Random House, $13.95, 9780812968064)
5. The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards (Penguin, $14, 9780143037149)
6. The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud (Vintage, $14.95, 9780307276667)
7. The Road by Cormac McCarthy (Vintage, $14.95, 9780307387899)
8. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult (Washington Square, $15, 9780743454537)
9. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (Picador, $15, 9780312427733)
10. Astrid and Veronika by Linda Olsson (Penguin, $14, 9780143038078)
11. Whistling in the Dark by Lesley Kagen (NAL Accent, $13.95, 9780451221230)
12. Can't Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg (Ballantine, $13.95, 9780345494887)
13. The Whistling Season by Ivan Doig (Harvest, $14, 9780156031646)
14. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (HarperOne, $13.95, 9780061122415)
15. The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai (Grove, $14, 9780802142818)

Trade Paperback Nonfiction

1. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (Penguin, $15, 9780143038412)
2. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (Penguin, $15, 9780143038252)
3. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (Scribner, $15, 9780743247542)
4. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (Vintage, $14.95, 9780375725609)
5. The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan (Mariner, $14.95, 9780618773473)
6. Chosen by a Horse by Susan Richards (Harvest, $13, 9780156031172)
7. Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick (Penguin, $16, 9780143111979)
8. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (Vintage, $13.95, 9781400078431)
9. Truck by Michael Perry (Harper Perennial, $13.95, 9780060571184)
10. The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman (Picador, $16, 9780312425074)
11. 1,000 Places to See in the USA and Canada Before You Die by Patricia Schultz (Workman, $19.95, 9780761136910)
12. 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper (Revell, $12.99, 9780800759490)
13. Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert (Vintage, $14.95, 9781400077427)
14. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell (Back Bay, $15.99, 9780316010665)
15. The Faith Club by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver and Priscilla Warner (Free Press, $14, 9780743290487)

Mass Market

1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Warner, $6.99, 9780446310789)
2. The Bourne Ultimatum by Robert Ludlum (Bantam, $7.99, 9780553287738)
3. Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich (St. Martin's, $7.99, 9780312349530)
4. Echo Park by Michael Connelly (Grand Central, $7.99, 9780446616461)
5. Dark Tort by Diane Mott Davidson (Avon, $7.99, 9780060527327)
6. The Messenger by Daniel Silva (Signet, $9.99, 9780451221728)
7. Spy by Ted Bell (Pocket, $9.99, 9780743277242)
8. One for the Money by Janet Evanovich (St. Martin's, $7.99, 9780312990459)
9. Copper River by William Kent Krueger (Pocket Star, $7.99, 9781416514466)
10. Beach Road by James Patterson and Peter de Jonge (Warner, $9.99, 9780446619141)

Children's Titles

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, $34.99, 9780545010221)
2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic, $9.99, 9780439785969)
3. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic, $8.99, 9780439064873)
4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic, $6.99, 9780590353427)
5. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic, $8.99, 9780439136365)
6. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic, $9.99, 9780439139601)
7. Sealed with a Diss (A Clique Novel #8) by Lisi Harrison (Little, Brown, $9.99, 9780316115063)
8. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic, $9.99, 9780439358071)
9. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd (HarperCollins, $7.99, 9780694003617)
10. Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy by Jane O'Connor, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser (HarperCollins, $16.99, 9780060542139)
11. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (Megan Tingley, $8.99, 9780316015844)
12. Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser (HarperCollins, $16.99, 9780060542092)
13. Puff, the Magic Dragon by Peter Yarrow and Lenny Lipton (Sterling, $16.95, 9781402747823)
14. Marley: A Dog Like No Other by John Grogan (Collins, $16.99, 9780061240331)
15. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Knopf, $16.95, 9780375831003)

[Many thanks to Book Sense, GLBA and MBA!]


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