Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Aladdin Paperbacks: The Islanders by Mary Alice Monroe and Angela May

Tordotcom: The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Just Pretend by Tori Sharp

Mandala Publishing: Big Panda and Tiny Dragon by James Norbury and Insight Editions

Simon & Schuster Fall Preview: Join us for a virtual panel featuring your favorite authors and their editors!

Tor Books: When the Sparrow Falls by Neil Sharpson

Liveright Publishing Corporation: Mrs. March by Virginia Feito

Zest Books: When Dogs Heal: Powerful Stories of People Living with HIV and the Dogs That Saved Them by Jesse Freidin, Robert Garofalo, Zach Stafford, and Christina Garofalo

Quotation of the Day

Better Business People, More Fragile Industry

"We've all become better business people. I think independent booksellers are much more expert than they used to be. But the industry, both bookselling and publishing, as a whole is more fragile. The average American today buys one book a year and reads two."--Mike Barnard, owner of Rakestraw Books, Danville, Calif., in an East Bay Business Times story about East Bay booksellers.

Harper: The Taking of Jemima Boone: The True Story of the Kidnap and Rescue That Shaped America by Matthew Pearl


Clark Kepler on His 'Most Amazing Experience'

Calling the last few weeks "the most amazing experience of my life," Clark Kepler, owner of Kepler's Books and Magazines, Menlo Park, Calif., told Shelf Awareness that he is "very optimistic" that the store will be able to reopen in the near future.

In addition to negotiating for a change in the store's lease, Kepler is devoting all his energies to covering many other "fronts," including communicating with "our primary vendors to apprise them of events and to work out terms to resume shipping" and with employees, most of whom he hopes will return. Although "some deadwood" in the store has built up, Kepler said that the store will be relatively easy to reopen once shipping, receiving and returns operations are running again.

Asked about moving the store, Kepler responded, "I won't say 'never,' but all of our efforts are focused on making it work where we are. Our objective is to stay where we are, where our customers like us."

Before this month, Kepler did not know the three high-powered members of the store's newly constituted board of directors who have volunteered money and expertise. (See yesterday's Shelf Awareness.) Besides their financial support, which is contingent on securing a lease, the board members, who are "very experienced in business," will provide advice. Still, Kepler will "be free to operate and continue the Kepler's tradition." The board members, he added, are "very passionate about wanting to keep the heart and soul of the store."

In addition to the board members, several professionals are working pro bono in marketing, business planning and other areas. A key goal of marketing in a revived Kepler's will be to increase sales to its core customers. It may be inconvenient but "if they come to us first, it will have a huge impact," Kepler said.

A substantial reduction in foot traffic and sales in 2000 and 2001 following the bubble caused financial difficulties at the store, Kepler said. And many of his best customers left Silicon Valley for work reasons. Since that time, Kepler has cut costs in a lot of ways, including personnel, but the longterm escalating lease increased occupancy costs. From time to time, Kepler covered dry cash-flow periods using his own money, but this summer he was unable to do so. Ironically he noted that in the beginning of the current fiscal year (February through July), Kepler's was doing better than the same period a year earlier. The straw that broke the camel's back was not being able to get books the store needed for the holiday season.

The period since announcing the store closing at the end of August "has been physically and emotionally demanding and incredibly hopeful and helpful at the same time," he said. "It's really wonderful and humbling to have such an outpouring of support from family, friends, strangers and customers."

He added that many people in the book world have communicated with him, offering help and advice and sharing experiences. "They have many ideas to implement when we reopen," he said.

Bronzeville Books: Rising and Other Stories by Gale Massey

Bookselling Notes: Librarian Gag Remains

Connecticut librarians challenging an FBI demand for patron records must continue to be silent about the case. Yesterday a federal appeals court agreed to stay a lower court ruling that would have allowed the plaintiffs to speak about the case. The government could yet lose the appeal of the lower court ruling.

After doing some database legwork, the New York Times said today that the plaintiff likely is Library Connection in Windsor, Conn.


Three authors and the Authors Guild filed suit against Google yesterday, charging that the company's program to scan millions of books in several major libraries and make the texts searchable online constitutes "massive copyright infringement."


As part of a series on women of Hawaii, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin profiles Maile Meyer, owner of Native Books/Na Mea Hawaii, a store that sells books about Hawaii as well as Hawaiian arts and crafts and has two locations in Honolulu. The store is two years old; Meyer had run a bookstore for 13 years before that.

Among unusual aspects about the store: Meyer insists employees take a book home each month for free to learn more about Hawaiian history. She also encourages the more than 300 artisans who sell products in her store, most of whom are female, to go into business for themselves, saying that women are natural business owners because they can communicate well, multitask and solve problems.


Borders is converting the Waldenbooks at the Del Monte Center in Monterey, Calif., into a Borders Express, part of the company's revamping of some 100 Walden stores this year. The 8,615-sq.-ft. store will celebrate its grand opening October 15 and 16.


After a 20-year career as a school librarian, Paula McDonald has opened a children's bookstore in Carlsbad, Calif., north of San Diego, called Salty Tales for Young Readers. As McDonald explained to the North County Times, "I wanted to retire from being a librarian, but I didn't want to give up children's books. I love children's literature. The nonfiction is just so beautiful."

Salty Tales stocks books, gifts such as baby blankets, finger puppets, CDs and DVDs. Besides "the best of recent children's literature," Salty Tales stocks classics and titles particularly suited to her clientele. These include Anne Rockwell's books about beach and marine life, popular with tourists, and Eve Bunting's My Red Balloon, popular with the many local military families.

The store is located at 527 Carlsbad Village Dr., Carlsbad, Calif.; 760-730-7321.

KidsBuzz for the Week of 04.19.21

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Holly Peete Controls the Remote

Oprah unveils her next book club pick today. And the ISBN is . . . 0307276902.


Today on Good Morning America, Holly Robinson Peete, wife of NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, gives a play by play on her new book, Get Your Own Damn Beer, I'm Watching the Game!: A Woman's Guide to Loving Pro Football (Rodale, $14.95, 1594861633).


Today on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show:

  • Word maven Patricia T. O'Conner teaches Internet etiquette and grammar rules in You Send Me: Getting It Right When You Write Online (Harcourt, $17.95, 0151005931).
  • Paul Clemens describes growing up in a racially unstable city in his new book, Made in Detroit: A South of 8 Mile  Memoir (Doubleday, $23.95, 038551140X).
  • MacKenzie Bezos talks about her first novel, The Testing of Luther Albright (Fourth Estate, $23.95, 006075141X).
  • Filmmaker Norman Jewison reminisces on his life in the movies in This Terrible Business Has Been Good to Me: An Autobiography (Thomas Dunne/St. Martin's, $25.95, 0312328680).

Yesterday Fresh Air spoke with Anthony Shadid, the Baghdad correspondent for the Washington Post whose new book is Night Draws Near: Iraq's People in the Shadow of America's War (Holt, $26, 0805076026).

G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Turnout by Megan Abbott

Books & Authors

Awards for Mailer and Poets

The National Book Foundation will give its Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters to novelist and essayist Norman Mailer and its new Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community to poet and bookseller Lawrence Ferlinghetti. The two octogenarian literary lions will be honored at the National Book Awards ceremony, to be held November 16 in New York.

The Academy of American Poets is giving the Wallace Stevens Award for proven mastery in the art of poetry (worth $100,000) to Gerald Stern; the Academy Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement at mid-career (worth $25,000) to Claudia Rankine; and the James Laughlin Award for a second book ($5,000) to Barbara Jane Reyes. The recipients will be honored November 3 at the Academy's book awards in New York.

University of Minnesota Press: Yang Warriors by Kao Kalia Yang, illustrated by Billy Thao

The Bestsellers

Book Sense Bestsellers: Hardcovers

The following are the bestselling hardcover titles for the week ended September 18 as reported by hundreds of Book Sense stores from across the country. More Book Sense bestsellers tomorrow!

Hardcover Fiction

1. On Beauty--debut--by Zadie Smith (Penguin Press, $25.95, 1594200637)
2. The Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich (HarperCollins, $25.95, 0060515104)
3. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (Little, Brown, $25.95, 0316011770)
4. The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks (Warner, $24.95, 0446500127)
5. The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd (Viking, $24.95, 0670033944)
6. Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie (Random House, $25.95, 0679463356)
7. Polar Shift by Clive Cussler with Paul Kemprecos (Putnam, $26.95, 0399152717)
8. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (Doubleday, $24.95, 0385504209)
9. Thud!--debut--by Terry Pratchett (HarperCollins, $24.95, 0060815221)
10. Lipstick Jungle by Candace Bushnell (Hyperion, $24.95, 0786868198)
11. Until I Find You by John Irving (Random House, $27.95, 1400063833)
12. Sweetwater Creek by Anne Rivers Siddons (HarperCollins, $24.95, 0066213355)
13. The Last Days of Dogtown by Anita Diamant (Scribner, $25, 0743225732)
14. No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy (Knopf, $24.95, 0375406778)
15. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (Random House, $21.95, 1400060281)

On the Rise:
19. Good Poems for Hard Times edited by Garrison Keillor (Viking, $25.95, 0670034363). Keillor selects more memorable, recitable nuggets.

Hardcover Nonfiction

1. The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman (FSG, $27.50, 0374292884)
2. 1776 by David McCullough (S&S, $32, 0743226712)
3. Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (Morrow, $25.95, 006073132X)
4. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell (Little, Brown, $25.95, 0316172324)
5. Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About by Kevin Trudeau (Alliance, $29.95, 0975599518)
6. A Man Without a Country--debut--by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (Seven Stories, $23.95, 158322713X)
7. Bait and Switch by Barbara Ehrenreich (Metropolitan, $24, 0805076069)
8. You: The Owner's Manual by Michael F. Roizen, M.D., and Mehmet C.Oz, M.D. (Collins, $24.95, 0060765313)
9. On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt (Princeton, $9.95, 0691122946)
10. New Rules by Bill Maher (Rodale, $24.95, 1594862958)
11. The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer (Hyperion, $23.95, 1401300642)
12. Wild Ducks Flying Backward by Tom Robbins (Bantam, $25, 0553804510)
13. 1491 by Charles C. Mann (Knopf, $30, 140004006X)
14. Where God Was Born: A Journey by Land to the Roots of Religion--debut--by Bruce Feiler (Morrow, $26.95, 0060574879)
15. The Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren (Zondervan, $19.99, 0310205719)

On the Rise:
16. The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality by the Dalai Lama (Random House, $24.95, 076792066X). His Holiness encourages an exchange between science and spirituality.

[Many thanks to Book Sense and the ABA!]

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Blush by Jamie Brenner

KidsBuzz: FSG BYR: The Adventure Is Now by Jess Redman
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