Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Grand Central Publishing: Dava Shastri's Last Day by Kirthana Ramisetti

Minotaur Books: Hello, Transcriber by Hannah Morrissey

Bloomsbury Publishing: This Is Happiness by Niall Williams

Mineditionus: The Longest Storm by Dan Yaccarino

Atheneum Books: Out of My Heart by Sharon M Draper

Bloomsbury Publishing: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

Blackstone Publishing: I Am Not Who You Think I Am by Eric Rickstad

Scholastic Press: Room to Dream (a Front Desk Novel) by Kelly Yang

Quotation of the Day

'A Bookstore Is About My Favorite Place to Be'

"A bookstore is about my favorite place to be. I could spend hours there. As a new mom I didn't want to have a beer with my girlfriends--I wanted to go to the bookstore, drink coffee and dream about all the things I wanted to read and do when I had the time. I'm so glad you do what you do."--Lee Woodruff, author with her husband, Bob, of In an Instant, speaking at CAMEX and the National Association of College Stores meeting in San Antonio, Tex., last week.


G.P. Putnam's Sons: Just Haven't Met You Yet by Sophie Cousens


Notes: Riggio Buys More B&N; Remembering Dutton's

Barnes & Noble chairman Len Riggio bought another 890,000 shares of company stock last week, according to an SEC filing. He paid an average price of $26.42 to $27.37 each, which amounts to at least $23.5 million.

Riggio, who has been buying B&N stock on the open market regularly during the past year as the stock price has slid, now owns about 14.3 million shares of B&N, worth some $390 million. Last summer, he owned 13 million shares, which, because of the company's higher stock price, were worth $500 million.


"Eulogy for an Independent Bookstore" was the headline for Jessica Teich's essay in the Nation, which added another voice to the chorus of regrets over the closing of Dutton's Brentwood in Los Angeles.

"Like a lot of LA writers, I had a book-signing at Dutton's, a Sunday afternoon event flush with kids and cookies and good will," Teich wrote. "My 6-year-old daughter accompanied me, and as I signed copies of my book, she signed books too. Only they weren't my books she was signing. They were whatever books--Yeats or Bukowski or Sandra Boynton--happened to be lying nearby. To this day, there might be a copy of Dickens or Roth with my daughter's signature scrawled hopefully, mistakenly, on the title page. That was Dutton's too."


Chauni Haslet, owner of All for Kids Books & Music, Seattle, Wash., will close her bookstore "on June 30 unless a buyer comes forward," according to the Post-Intelligencer.

"It's a lot of work for very little income," said Haslet, who is not actively trying to sell the bookshop. "If someone walks in with a check and they have the energy to put into it, I will consider it."

Haslet added that she "felt freer knowing that book buyer Rene Kirkpatrick, an icon in her own right, would land on her feet. Kirkpatrick, whose encyclopedic knowledge of children's books made her a go-to resource for parents, teachers and librarians, starts work May 5 at Third Place Books."


A pair of literary film adaptations continue rack up awards, this time in the always prestigious catchphrase category. USA Today reported that the annual HollyWORD survey by the Global Language Monitor named "Call it, Friendo"--Javier Bardem's "coin-flipping catchphrase" from No Country for Old Men--the top catchphrase of the year, followed by Daniel Day-Lewis's "I drink your milkshake" in There Will Be Blood.


Suggesting that "enlightenment in the U.S. has always come at a price," the Guardian's John Crace dares to question Oprah Winfrey's judgment in touting her latest book club pick, mega-seller The New Earth by Eckhart Tolle: "You can't help feeling, though, that the one person who will really benefit from Oprah's largesse is Tolle, as U.S. booksellers struggle to keep up with demand."


Annick Press: Living with Viola by Rosena Fung

David Nudo Joins Shelfari Executive Community

David Nudo has been named director of sales and marketing at Shelfari, the online community of more than a million book lovers launched in 2006 by Josh Hug and Kevin Beukelman. Among other things, he will head the company's international sales and work with publishing houses to promote titles to Shelfari members.

Nudo was formerly v-p and publisher of Publishers Weekly and earlier was managing director for book advertising at the New York Times.

"Shelfari has been focused on building the optimum user experience for members, and now they're ready to move to the next step," Nudo told Shelf Awareness. He will act as a kind of "bridge" between the company, whose headquarters are in Seattle, and publishers in New York City. "There are many ways publishers can work with Shelfari to get the word out about books," including through advertisements, sponsorships, distribution of ARCs, virtual author tours, author blogs, and more. "Publishers can harness this social networking site in many creative ways," he added.


Bloomsbury Continuum: Making Nice by Ferdinand Mount

Ingram Digital Realignment

Ingram Digital has created four new business units:

  • Retail Solutions, which will help publishers and online retailers sell e-books and digital audiobooks to consumers. Andrew Weinstein, an Ingram Digital and Lightning Source veteran, has been named v-p and general manager for the unit.
  • Education Solutions, which focuses on sales from publishers to students using the VitalSource file format, VitalBook. VitalSource v-p of sales and marketing William Chesser becomes v-p and general manager.
  • Institutional Solutions, focusing on selling e-books to libraries via the MyiLibrary online e-book plaftorm. Rich Rosy, formerly v-p of business development for Asia Pacific, becomes v-p and general manager of the unit.
  • Content Solutions, which focuses on digital asset management and acts as Ingram Digital's distribution "warehouse." Tyler Ruse has joined the company as v-p and general manager of this unit. He formerly worked with Structured Publishing and Code Mantra.

In addition, Ingram Digital has created a central support team that will present the company's service and technologies to the publishing industry and market to publishers, customers and end users. The new division is composed of three departments: publisher business development, custom solutions and marketing. Martin Marlow, formerly v-p of product and marketing, heads the new division as v-p of marketing and publisher business development.

In a statement, James Gray, president and CEO of Ingram Digital, commented: "With this new structure, Ingram Digital will effectively deliver the rapidly expanding catalogue of digital content management and distribution solutions it has been developing over the past 12 months."


GLOW: Top Shelf Productions: Ballad for Sophie by Filipe Melo, illus. by Juan Cavia, trans. by Gabriela Soares

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Stephen King on Dark Tower

Today on Fresh Air: Steven Waldman, founder of and author of Founding Faith: Providence, Politics, and the Birth of Religious Freedom in America (Random House, $26, 9781400064373/1400064376).


Tomorrow morning's Book Report, the weekly AM radio book-related show organized by Windows a bookshop, Monroe, La., features the following interviews:
  • Josh Wolk, author of Cabin Pressure: One Man's Desperate Attempt to Recapture His Youth as a Camp Counselor (Hyperion, $22.95, 9781401302603/1401302602)
  • Dan Koeppel, author of Banana: The Fate of the Fruit that Changed the World (Hudson Street Press, $23.95, 9781594630385/1594630380)

The show airs at 8 a.m. Central Time and can be heard live at; the archived edition will be posted tomorrow afternoon.


Tomorrow on NPR's Talk of the Nation: Stephen King, who will promote the launch of Dark Tower II: The Long Road Home comics series from Marvel, which will appear in November. Dark Tower I: Gunslinger Born (9780785121442/0785121447), the graphic novel, came out last November.


Tomorrow on the Diane Rehm Show: Joseph Horowitz, author of Artists in Exile: How Refugees from Twentieth-Century War and Revolution Transformed the American Performing Arts (Harper, $27.50, 9780060748463/006074846X).


Tomorrow night on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Ronald Kessler, author of The Terrorist Watch: Inside the Desperate Race to Stop the Next Attack (Crown Forum, $26.95, 9780307382139/0307382133).


G.P. Putnam's Sons: Still Life by Sarah Winman

Television: No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency on HBO

HBO has reached agreement "with the Weinstein Co., the BBC and filmmakers Anthony Minghella and Richard Curtis for a drama skein based on Alexander McCall Smith's popular book series The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency," Variety reported.

A two-hour pilot was recently completed in Botswana, and HBO hopes to launch the series early next year.

Jill Scott will play Precious Ramotswe. Other cast members include "Anika Noni Rose as Ramotswe's quirky secretary and Lucien Msamati as Ramotswe's love interest," Variety said.

"Particularly fascinating to me was working and filming in an African country where old and new are currently coexisting," said Minghella, "where traditional values have not yet been eroded by the demands and efficiencies and neuroses of the modern. It was a privilege to be working on a film which celebrates what we can learn from Africa, and not what we think we can teach it."



Parallax Press: How to Live When a Loved One Dies: Healing Meditations for Grief and Loss by Thich Nhat Hanh

Books & Authors

Awards: Dilys; Iowa Short Fiction and Simmons Short Fiction

Thunder Bay by William Kent Krueger (Atria) has won the annual Dilys Award, honoring the book that members of the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association most enjoyed selling last year. The announcement was made Saturday evening at the Left Coast Crime 2008 conference in Denver, Colo. Thunder Bay is the latest Krueger book featuring Cork O'Connor, a Minnesota sheriff turned PI.

The award is named for Dilys Winn, founder of the first specialty bookstore of mystery books in the U.S., Murder Ink.


Glen Pourciau, author of the collection Invite, has won the 2008 Iowa Short Fiction Award, and Molly McNett, author of One Dog Happy, has won the 2008 John Simmons Short Fiction Award.

The judges wrote about Invite: "Intense inner and outer monologues resonate through the lives of Glen Pourciau's characters. We hear the voice of a man who will not stop talking, the voice of a man who does not want to talk, the voice of a man stunned into silence by his sudden awareness of a desire he did not know he felt, and the voice of a man struggling to accept his imminent death.

"Inhabiting an outwardly bland landscape that overlays internal questions and recurring confusion, the narrators of these ten intensely felt stories strive to understand their varied predicaments. Conflicts with neighbors arise, troubling memories return, suspicions and fears lead people into isolated corners as distances open up inside them and around them. And in those open spaces, the sometimes humorous, sometimes obsessive voices continue their quest. In the final story, 'Deep Wilderness,' the voices seem to fragment as a family comes apart.

"While his characters struggle to come to terms with their inner wilderness, Glen Pourciau's spare, riveting voice maintains a constant presence. Invite is a debut collection that speaks volumes."

Concerning McNett, the judges wrote: "In One Dog Happy, McNett couples laugh-out-loud dialogue and wry observation reminiscent of Flannery O'Connor with disquieting strains of dashed hope, troubled sexuality, and disillusionment. The adults in these stories can seem as hapless and helpless as the younger characters. Two neglected daughters use the language of clothes to cope with their parents' divorce and their father's mail-order bride. A young girl's bizarre sexual fantasies help her gain control over the chaos of her family life. A gang of teenagers accuse a farmer of bestiality. A divorced father tries to create a pony-filled world that might appeal to his daughters. In the title story, Mr. Bob, the minister's housesitter, loses a dog but finds someone to believe in. And in 'Helping,' the darkest story in this amazing collection, Ruthie's anger conquers her religious faith when she takes care of a severely disabled child."


American Booksellers Association: ABA Children's Institute, August 30 - September 1! Register today!

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles out next Tuesday, March 18:

Seen It All and Done the Rest: A Novel by Pearl Cleage (One World/Ballantine, $25, 9780345481122/0345481127) follows an actress as she copes with reaching middle age.

Charley's Web: A Novel by Joy Fielding (Atria, $24.95, 9780743296014/074329601X) chronicles a newspaper columnist's interviews with a convicted child killer.

The Dark Tide by Andrew Gross (Morrow, $25.95, 9780061143427/0061143421) examines the aftermath of an explosion in Grand Central Terminal that kills a hedge fund trader.

Black Widow
by Randy Wayne White (Putnam, $24.95, 9780399154560/0399154566) is the 15th thriller featuring marine biologist/government agent Doc Ford.

Dead Heat by Joel C. Rosenberg (Tyndale House, $24.99, 9781414311616/1414311613) follows the Secret Service's attempts to stop a presidential candidate's assassination.

Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet by Jeffrey D. Sachs (Penguin Press, $27.95, 9781594201271/1594201277) offers solutions to many current and future world problems.

The Translator: A Tribesman's Memoir of Darfur by Daoud Hari (Random House, $23, 9781400067442/1400067448) explores a local translator's efforts to inform the world about Darfur's genocide.

Now in paperback:

The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace
by Ali A. Allawi (Yale University Press, $20, 9780300136142/0300136145), in a new edition published on the fifth anniversary of the war.


Rebel Girls: Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Real-Life Tales of Black Girl Magic, 4 edited by Lilly Workneh

GBO Pick for March: How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone

How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone by Saša Stanišić is the German Book Office's book selection for March. Translated by Anthea Bell, the book will be published in June by Grove Press ($24, 9780802118660/0802118666).

Saša Stanišić was born in Visegrad in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1978. At the age of 14, he fled to Germany with his family to escape the Yugoslavian civil war. How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone is his first novel and was nominated for the German Book Prize in 2006. Stanišić will participate in the PEN World Voices Festival in New York City, April 28-May 2.

The GBO described the book this way: "Aleksandar Krsmanović grows up in Višegrad, a small town in Bosnia. He has inherited a talent for imaginative story-telling from his grandfather, and through these stories, Aleksandar infuses his world with a fairy tale-like vibrancy and childhood innocence. Suddenly this idyllic world disintegrates into violence and bloodshed as civil war grips the country. Aleks and his parents flee to Germany, where Aleks' story-telling plays a vital role for him and his family. He is able to keep alive the happiness they knew before the war and to stave off the difficulties of assimilation. Gradually Aleksandar begins to crave a deeper understanding of what really happened in his country and what forced his family from their home. His fantasies collide with reality, and Aleks must decide where to end his stories and let reality into his life. How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone is an accomplished, tragic-comic tale that magnificently captures the space between fantasy and reality."


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