Shelf Awareness for Thursday, April 10, 2008

Harper Perennial: Pandora by Susan Stokes-Chapman

Wednesday Books: Missing Clarissa by Ripley Jones

Berkley Books: Sisters of the Lost Nation by Nick Medina

Ronin House: So Close (Blacklist #1) by Sylvia Day

Bloom Books: Queen of Myth and Monsters (Adrian X Isolde #2) by Scarlett St. Clair

Blue Box Press: A Light in the Flame: A Flesh and Fire Novel by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Irh Press: The Unknown Stigma Trilogy by Ryuho Okawa

Other Press (NY): The Rebel and the Thief by Jan-Philipp Sendker, translated by Imogen Taylor


Notes: New York State Sales Tax Online; New Stores

Approved yesterday by the legislature, New York State's budget includes a provision that requires out-of-state online retailers to collect and remit sales tax on purchases by state residents, Bookselling This Week reported. Governor David Paterson has said he will sign the budget.

Last fall former Governor Eliot Spitzer had pushed for a measure to require online companies like Amazon to collect sales tax, but the measure was sidetracked temporarily by one of the ex-governor's pre-Kristen political problems. Nonetheless, the legislature included the measure, which was promoted strenuously by the American Booksellers Association, the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association, the Retail Council of New York State and others. The measure should add about $50 million to the state's coffers, according to today's New York Times.

"Independent booksellers--indeed all independent retailers--in New York are elated to hear that the new budget makes clear that equity and fairness are the guiding principles for the state," Oren Teicher, ABA COO, told BTW. "From the beginning, all we have asked for is an even playing field so that all retailers get the same treatment from New York. This has never been a case of enacting a new tax; rather, we have simply called for the equitable enforcement of existing tax law.

"New York booksellers should be immensely proud of what they have helped accomplish. . . . We helped change the context of the debate and convince both the Governor and the Assembly to support our position. Further, we know that other states have been watching the debate in New York. The victory here will bolster the fight for e-fairness elsewhere, as we continue to work with booksellers and allies in other states."


The Dallas Morning News profiles Legacy Books, a three-level, 24,000-sq.-ft. store that will open in late summer in the Shops at Legacy center in Plano, Tex.

Legacy will stock some 100,000 titles and will have a coffee bar, an area for cooking demonstrations and a wi-fi bar. The architect described the design as "an inviting interior space that happens to be a bookstore."

"This is a great niche location in Plano," managing partner Teri Tanner told the paper. "The demographics are great, and this is a place where people like to hang out."

Tanner said she has patterned the store on independent bookstores, including Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, Wash., Tattered Cover, Denver, Colo., and BookPeople, Austin, Tex. Ironically the store's roots go back to when Tanner worked with Borders, which considered opening a store in the same shopping area. The Morning News wrote, "Borders ultimately decided not to do the deal, but Ms. Tanner couldn't get the site out of her mind."


Capital--or no capital--idea.

Jennifer and Kevin Coffee have opened Oasis Books, a used bookstore, inside Cannon Mine Coffee in Lafayette, Colo., and are accepting book donations and offering trade credit--an approach that requires little initial investment.

The appropriately named Coffees wrote, "We have stocked a room in the most popular local coffee shop with books, and have solicited donations or trades in order to build the seed stock--with excellent response. It's the cooperative relationship with the coffee shop that has made this possible, and it looks like it will be a win/win situation for everyone. We are proud to bring books to a community that has been without a bookstore for nearly two decades. Our town, although well-read, has been a literary desert: thus the name Oasis."

For more information, contact or 303-665-9090.

---, the online bookselling marketplace, has bought Chrislands, which was founded in 2001 by Lance Christen and Jaymes Sorbel and hosts more than 1,000 online bookstores. Most of the stores are used booksellers in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia. Chrislands charges a setup fee of $199 and a monthly fee starting at $19.99.

Chrislands will continue to operate as an independent business but will connect in various ways with AbeBooks and its other subsidiaries. For example, AbeBooks said, stores hosted by Chrislands will soon be able to include their inventory in search results.

Besides, the book price comparison search engine, in recent years AbeBooks has also bought, a Spanish online marketplace for used and rare books, and FillZ, the online book inventory and order management service.


Jhumpa Lahiri's new story collection, Unaccustomed Earth, entered USA Today's bestseller at number 10, "her highest debut and the highest ranking for any of her books." Karen Corvello, book buyer for R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, Conn., told USA Today that "her sales have been growing slowly but steadily, the way sales often grow for an author who you can expect to be around for a long time."


"Is this the world's finest bookshop?" asked the Guardian's Jonathan Glancey, referring to a 13th-century Dutch architectural masterpiece in Maastricht that now houses Selexyz Dominicanen, "a store created from a merger between the town's Bergman's bookshop, the Academische Boekhandel, and the Dutch Selexyz bookshop chain."

Calling it a "bookshop installation," Glancey's description should make bibliophiles want to jump on the next plane to the Netherlands: "The dominant new element in the church is the high-rise bookshelf structure stretching up to the stone vaults. Popular books are kept on lower shelves, while academic, esoteric and theological works are kept closer to heaven. These are reached by stairs within the sleek, well-made bookstack, although there is also a lift.

"Views from the top shelf along the nave of the church are nothing short of uplifting, while just above your head are the faded remains of ceiling paintings from around 1337; in a very different style, there are others by the artist Jan Vessens, depicting saints and sinners and episodes from the Bible, dating from 1619. It is rare to get so close to such paintings anywhere, let alone in a bookshop."


Berkley Books: Jane & Edward: A Modern Reimagining of Jane Eyre by Melodie Edwards

Obituary Note: Melissa Riggio

Very sad news: Melissa Riggio, the 20-year-old daughter of Barnes & Noble CEO Steve Riggio, died on Monday of leukemia. She was 20.

Melissa Riggio had Down Syndrome and was, according to a touching obituary by Patricia Bauer, the inspiration for B&N's creation of a section with books about children with special needs.

According to an obituary notice in the New York Times, Melissa Riggio led a full life. She won the Self Advocate Award from the National Down Syndrome Society in 2003, was a graduate of Bernards High School, class of 2007, was crowned prom queen and worked as an office worker at the Somerset Hills YMCA in Basking Ridge, N.J. She had plans to enter a program to become a counselor at the YMCA. She also was a poet and a songwriter and took voice, drama and dance lessons, aspiring to become a singer.

In lieu of flowers, the family wishes donations be made to the Valerie Center at Morristown Memorial Hospital, Morristown Memorial Health Foundation, P.O. Box 1956, Morristown, N.J. 07962. Please indicate that donations are in memory of Melissa Riggio.

Our condolences to the Riggio family.


ECW Press: We Meant Well by Erum Shazia Hasan

Image of the Day: Road Warrior Goes to Warrior's Home

Last pictured here in Beijing wearing a Shelf Awareness T-shirt (Shelf Awareness, May 24, 2007), Kuo-Yu Liang, v-p, sales and marketing, Diamond Book Distributors, now stands in Kyoto, Japan, in front of the Nin Nin Castle, home of the last Shogun.



BINC: Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship

Bukowski's Los Angeles: An 'Offbeat' BEA Tour

Magical mystery tour: in one of the more unusual tours to be offered during BookExpo America, Esotouric is offering a Saturday evening tour called "Haunts of a Dirty Old Man: Charles Bukowski's Los Angeles."

The tour will visit "the places and people who shaped Bukowski's consciousness, including the post office where he worked, the central library reading room where he discovered John Fante, the Skid Row streets he haunted as a youth, and the East Hollywood apartments and liquor stores which provided comfort to the mature writer.

Among Esotouric's regular Los Angeles tours are several that focus on true crime (the Black Dahlia case, Pasadena Confidential) and literary figures (Raymond Chandler, John Fante and James M. Cain).

BEA attendees who go on the tour with their show badges receive free Tony Millionaire Bukbird beer coasters.

The tour runs 5-9 p.m., on Saturday, May 31, and leaves from Arnie Morton's Steakhouse at 735 S. Figueroa St., downtown. Cost is $55 per person; snacks included. For more information, go to or call 323-223-2767.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: F. Lee Bailey on O.J. Simpson

This morning on Good Morning America: talking about the compound in El Dorado, Tex., which was raided this week to remove more than 400 children, Marci Hamilton, author of Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children (Cambridge University Press, $23, 9780521886215/052188621X).


Today on In Session on Tru TV (formerly Court TV): discussing new developments concerning O.J. Simpson, F. Lee Bailey, author of When the Husband Is the Suspect (Forge, $24.95, 9780765316134/0765316137).


Tomorrow morning on Good Morning America: Martha Beck, author of Steering by Starlight: Find Your Right Life, No Matter What! (Rodale, $24.95, 9781594866135/1594866139).


Tomorrow morning on the Today Show: Neris Thomas, author of Neris and India's Idiot-Proof Diet: A Weight-Loss Plan for Real Women (Wellness Central, $24.99, 9780446508766/0446508764).


Tomorrow on Oprah:

  • Marcus Buckingham, author of Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance (Free Press, $30, 9780743261678/0743261674).
  • Sophie Uliano, author of Gorgeously Green: 8 Simple Steps to an Earth-Friendly Life (Collins, $16.95, 9780061575563/0061575569).


This Weekend on Book TV: How We Missed the Story

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, April 12

5:30 p.m. Douglas Feith, author of War and Decision: Inside the Pentagon at the Dawn of the War on Terrorism (HarperColllins, $27.95, 9780060899738/0060899735), provides an insiders look at the Bush administration's planning following the attacks on 9/11. (Re-airs Sunday at 3:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.)
6 p.m. Encore Book Notes. For a segment first aired in 2003, Connie Bruck, author of When Hollywood Had a King: The Reign of Lew Wasserman, Who Leveraged Talent into Power and Influence (Random House, $16.95, 9780812972177/0812972171), discussed Wasserman's life, which led from humble beginnings in Cleveland to becoming one of the most powerful people in Hollywood.

7 p.m. Erika Falk, author of Women for President: Media Bias in Eight Campaigns (University of Illinois Press, $19.95, 9780252075117/0252075110), argues the media has demonstrated gender bias in covering female candidates since the first woman ran for President of the United States in 1872. (Re-airs Sunday at 1 p.m.)
8 p.m. At an event hosted by BookPeople bookstore, Austin, Tex., Mark Skousen, author of EconoPower: How a New Generation of Economists Is Transforming the World (Wiley, $24.95, 9780470138076/0470138076), talks about economists that have had an impact on fields outside economics. (Re-airs Monday at 4:45 a.m.)
10 p.m. After Words. Moisés Naím, editor of Foreign Policy magazine, interviews Roy Gutman, author of How We Missed the Story: Osama Bin Laden, the Taliban and the Hijacking of Afghanistan (U.S. Institute of Peace Press, $26, 9781601270245/1601270240). Gutman looks into why the U.S. media and government failed to realize the threat posed by the Taliban in Afghanistan. (Re-airs Sunday 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., Monday at 12 a.m. and Sunday, April 20, at 12 p.m.)
11 p.m. Grover Norquist, author of Leave Us Alone: Getting the Government's Hands Off Our Money, Our Guns, Our Lives (Morrow, $26.95, 9780061133954/0061133957), traces what he considers the essential issues that keep the Republican party unified and why the Democratic party is inherently fractious. (Re-airs Sunday at 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., and Saturday, April 26, at 12 p.m.)


Books & Authors

Awards: Langum Prize; Kafka Award; Galaxy British Books

From today's New York Times, in their entirety:

"Kurt Andersen has won the 2007 David J. Langum Sr. Prize in American Historical Fiction for his best-selling novel Heyday (Random House). Mr. Andersen, a columnist for New York magazine and host of Studio 360 on public radio, will receive $1,000.

"The Czech novelist Arnost Lustig has been named the eighth winner of the Franz Kafka award for literature, Agence France-Presse reported. Previous winners include Harold Pinter, Philip Roth and Haruki Murakami."


Ian McEwan, J.K. Rowling, Khaled Hosseini and Francesca Simon took top honors at the Galaxy British Book awards. The Guardian reported that "the Nibbies, as they are usually known, are decided by various combinations of publishers, booksellers and the general public."

McEwan's On Chesil Beach won the Reader's Digest Author of the Year award. Rowling earned this year's Outstanding Achievement honor, adding it to her collection of four previous Nibbies. Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns earned the Richard & Judy Best Read of the Year, "which puts the TV show's hugely popular book club choices to the public vote."

The Guardian also noted that the Children's Book of the Year category, which was won by Simon's Horrid Henry and the Abominable Snowman, attracted unusually intense media attention over the controversial shortlisting of Perfect Ponies: My Pony Care Book by Katie Price "because it is not all her own work."


Children's Book Review: Sunrise Over Fallujah

Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers (Scholastic Press, $17.99, 9780439916240/0439916240, 304 pp., ages 12-up, May)

Twenty years ago, Myers published Fallen Angels, a novel narrated by Richard Perry, fresh from high school graduation, who is on his way to Vietnam. This companion book begins with a letter to Richard Perry, dated February 27, 2003, penned by his nephew Robin (aka "Birdy"). Birdy is stationed in Kuwait, waiting to be dispatched to Iraq. Lately politicians cite the similarities between the two wars. Myers makes the parallels crystal clear: Both books begin with a map of lands unfamiliar to most students. Both emphasize the youth of the protagonists, and both submerge readers in the heat and mud, hunger and thirst of battles on foreign shores in a war that's "just about over." The most remarkable quality these two teen heroes share is their ability to retain a kind of innocence in the face of temptations to give in to their basest instincts in order to survive.
Gallows humor permeates the pages, as the soldiers in Iraq receive "ROE" cards (Rules of Engagement) that change daily. In reply to the standard, "Are you okay?" the retort is, "I'm not shot so I guess I'm okay." The narrative makes reference to the capture of Jessica Lynch, the toppling of Saddam Hussein's statue on April 12, 2003, the killing of Saddam's two sons as well as Bush's proclamation of a "Mission Accomplished." Birdy, who grew up in Harlem and measures 6' 2", is assigned to the Civil Affairs unit, along with Charles Jones ("Jonesy"), a fellow African-American from Stone Mountain, Ga., with dreams of starting a blues joint, and Marla Kennedy, a "tall blond" from Dix Hills, N.Y., with a sharp edge due to growing up in foster homes. Their job, as Jonesy puts it, is to trail behind the fighting soldiers, "making friends with anybody they don't kill." It's a complicated task that they perform well, for the most part, and their success takes them into increasingly murkier waters. By placing Birdy's team in the precarious position of aspiring peacekeepers in the "rebuilding" efforts, Myers makes readers privy to the most treacherous areas of the war. After a U.S. military raid on a well-to-do family's home in the Old City section of Baghdad, Civil Affairs is making apologies when Marla discovers a wooden tub full of flour in the kitchen that conceals a horde of detonators; Birdy saves one of the American medics from nearly getting raped in a hospital; and Birdy's group comes to the aid of kidnapped children who play a surprising role in tribal and military negotiations.   
Nothing is as simple as it first appears. No one is fully bad or fully good. Like the ROE cards, the rules are always changing. In perhaps one of the novel's best scenes, the Civil Affairs group goes to visit a tribal leader in Fallujah. The sheik tells Major Scott, who has led them to the sheik's tent, "Sir, the war you began is over. . . . What is going on now is a completely different war. . . . Do you think that people who have lived together for more years than your country has been in existence suddenly find it impossible?" Echoes of Graham Greene and Joseph Conrad reverberate through these passages as human foibles play out upon the battlefield. And the image that gives this searching novel its title leaves a lasting impression: "In the distance the bright reddish gold of the Iraqi sunrise began to spread over the horizon . . . The foul smell of the Euphrates River mixed with the sweet odors rising from the sands along its banks, adding texture to the rising sun, like a chorus of strings backing up a sad saxophone. It was just another sunrise over the city that had seen sunrises from long before men wrote history." But this time, the soldier has killed a man, and the sunrise will never look the same to him. Birdy reminds us that, generation after generation, war changes us all, that one man's death is a blow to all humanity--and that once innocence is gone, we can never reclaim it.--Jennifer M. Brown


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