Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Workman Publishing: Ejaculate Responsibly: A Whole New Way to Think about Abortion by Gabrielle Stanley Blair

Simon & Schuster: Defend Banned Books

Simon & Schuster: Defend Banned Books

Blackstone Publishing: River Woman, River Demon by Jennifer Givhan

Sourcebooks Explore: Black Boy, Black Boy by Ali Kamanda and Jorge Redmond, illustrated by Ken Daley


Notes: Literary Life's Award; R.I.P. Nuala O'Faolain

Literary Life Bookstore & More, Grand Rapids, Mich., which opened last fall in a once-abandoned bank (Shelf Awareness, October 10, 2007), has been awarded one of the city's annual historic preservation awards.

"It was such a neat building, I thought someone should fix it up," said owner Dr. Roni Devlin, whose "day job" is as an infectious disease specialist. She spent about $400,000 on the renovations. "I really wanted to take the building to what was striking about it, which was its original architecture."


Nuala O'Faolain died last Friday in Dublin at the age of 68. Author of the bestselling memoir, Are You Somebody, O'Faolain learned just eight weeks ago that she had terminal cancer. Declining treatment, she chose instead to embark "on a last visit to her favourite cultural landmarks" with a small group of friends, according to the Observer, which published compelling tributes by Vanessa Thorpe and Marian Finucane.

Thorpe wrote, "Refusing chemotherapy, the Dublin-born writer instead set off for Paris, Madrid, Berlin and Sicily in search of solace. As she told [Marian] Finucane in her radio interview in April: 'Even if I gained time through the chemotherapy, it isn't time I want. Because as soon as I knew I was going to die soon, the goodness went out of life.'"

"Somehow or other, she just had a wonderful way of articulating her ideas," added Finucane. "As well as having a fierce intellect, she had 'the common touch' in her ability to communicate . . . It's a rare quality, but she could communicate complex ideas in the most readily accessible of ways, in the most entertaining of ways, and in the most truthful of ways, even when that meant she got into trouble." Finucane's April 12 interview with O'Faolain is available on the RTÉ Radio 1 website, Program 29.


Sunday's New York Times Magazine offers a lament for the printed version of the Oxford English Dictionary. "As of now, Oxford University Press has no official plans to publish a new print edition of the Oxford English Dictionary."


Today Tor is releasing The Wolfman ($23.95, 9780765320261/0765320266), a book about a crime-fighting werewolf by Nicholas Pekearo, the New York City bookseller and aspiring writer who was killed last year while serving as an auxiliary police officer (Shelf Awareness, March 16, 2007).

Only four days before Pekearo's death, Tor editor Eric Raab had agreed to publish the book, the New York Times reported. Pekearo's mother, Iola Latman, told the paper that seeing The Wolfman on display at a Barnes & Noble in Greenwich Village "was the most indescribable feeling I ever had. I ran home and called everybody."


Jaime Carey has been promoted to chief merchandising officer at Barnes & Noble, a new position, and is responsible for the merchandise buying of all departments, including the book, music, DVD, magazine and gift departments. He was formerly v-p of newsstand business.

Carey joined B&N in 2003 as director of newsstand. As the company put it, "Carey completely overhauled the system for ordering and replenishing magazines and newspapers, developing what is widely regarded as the most efficient supply chain in the industry," leading to "dramatically increased magazine sales" at B&N.

Carey earlier was v-p, client services, at Curtis Circulation Company. 


Blake Carver and Robin K. Blum have created the Librarian's News Wire, "a 24/7 network to distribute full-text news releases and multimedia content of interest to librarians, journalists, library students, professionals and the general public" in the U.S. and abroad.

In 1999, Carver created LISNews, an online community, and Blum is the founder of In My Book.


Gibbs Smith has launched the Gibbs Smith Books Blog. The Salt Lake City, Utah, publisher suggested that on the site "chefs, for instance, will post excerpted recipes from their upcoming books. Interior design authors will offer up tips for creating your own Country French-style kitchen. Environmentally conscious authors can share their philosophy on how to live in an Earth-friendly manner. Children's authors will be able to interact with the blog-reading audience, challenging them to a virtual game of checkers or tetherball with the help of entertaining videos."



G.P. Putnam's Sons: All I Want for Christmas by Maggie Knox

Image of the Day: Haddix and B.O.O.K.W.O.R.M.s

A week ago, author Margaret Peterson Haddix visited Books & Company, Oconomowoc, Wis., and three local schools and met with the store's young adult book club, called B.O.O.K.W.O.R.M. (Best of Oconomowoc Kids Working on Reading Millions).



Disney-Hyperion: Drizzle, Dreams, and Lovestruck Things by Maya Prasad

HarperCollins Catalogue to Go Online

HarperCollins is launching an online sales catalogue for booksellers and librarians that will include all the information in a traditional paper catalogue but also be interactive, updated in real time, allow ordering and include media alerts. Booksellers and librarians will be able to create lists and see an author's backlist, too.

HarperCollins will preview the online catalogue at BookExpo America and launch a beta version in six to 12 months.

"Catalogues are out of date as soon as they are printed," HarperCollins president and CEO Jane Friedman said in a statement. "So much of what we do today is in real time. Why not our catalogues? In addition, an electronic version reduces a tremendous amount of waste in all areas, paper, production and shipping."

And Josh Marwell, president of sales at HarperCollins, said, "Today both our customers and our salespeople need a selling tool that offers the most up-to-date information about our titles delivered in the most efficient and sustainable way possible. The electronic catalogue is the solution we have been waiting for."


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G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!

How Am I Doing?
40 Conversations to Have with Yourself

by Dr. Corey Yeager

GLOW: Harper Celebrate: How Am I Doing?: 40 Conversations to Have with Yourself by Dr. Corey YeagerWho is the most important person in your life? What determines your joy? What mistakes have you learned from the most? Corey Yeager--a psychotherapist who works with the Detroit Pistons basketball franchise--poses 40 self-reflective questions to facilitate positive personal change. His inviting, empathetic approach came to prominence via the Apple TV series The Me You Can't See, produced by Oprah and Prince Harry. Dr. Yeager draws from his own life story to dispel mental health stigmas and help others gain greater personal clarity. Danielle Peterson, senior acquisition editor at Harper Celebrate, says, "The format of How Am I Doing? makes it a stand-out in the mental health genre--an excellent choice for someone looking for high-density wisdom in small, bite-sized doses." Yeager's winning insights deliver a slam-dunk of empowered inspiration bound to elicit tremendous personal reward. --Kathleen Gerard

(Harper Celebrate, $22.99 hardcover, 9781400236763, 
October 18, 2022)


Shelf vetted, publisher supported


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Elissa Wall on Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect

Today on Talk of the Nation: actor Evan Handler--Charlotte's husband on Sex and the City--talks about his new memoir, It's Only Temporary: The Good News and the Bad News of Being Alive (Riverhead, $24.95, 9781594489952/1594489955).


Now on TitlePage: four writers born outside the U.S. discuss their books, the "strengths and beauty of the English language" and whether any writer can or should try to represent an entire culture: Simon Winchester, author of The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom (Harper, $27.95, 9780060884598/0060884592); Aleksandar Hemon, author of The Lazarus Project (Riverhead, $24.95, 9781594489884/1594489882); Rabih Alameddine, author of The Hakawati (Knopf, $25.95, 9780307266798/0307266796); and Nam Le, author of The Boat (Knopf, $22.95, 9780307268082/030726808X).


Tomorrow morning on Good Morning America: Tony Danza, author of Don't Fill Up on the Antipasto: Tony Danza's Father-Son Cookbook (Scribner, $22, 9781416544876/1416544879). He will also appear tomorrow on the View.


Tomorrow on Fox's O'Reilly Factor: Jason L. Riley, author of Let Them In: The Case for Open Borders (Gotham, $22.50, 9781592403493/1592403492).


Tomorrow on the Martha Stewart Show: Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food (Wiley, $21.95, 9780471789185/0471789186).


Tomorrow on Oprah: Elissa Wall, author of Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs (Morrow, $25.95, 9780061628016/0061628018).


Tomorrow on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart: John Harwood, co-author of Pennsylvania Avenue: Profiles in Backroom Power (Random House, $26, 9781400065547/1400065542).


Books & Authors

Awards: Best of the Booker Shortlist

The shortlist for the 40th anniversary Best of the Bookers contest consists of six titles chosen by biographer Victoria Glendinning, broadcaster Mariella Frostrup and John Mullan, professor of English at the University of London, the Guardian reported. Now the public will be able to vote for "the greatest Booker prize winner of all time" at the Man Booker prize website. Results will be announced July 10.

The shortlist:

  • Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
  • Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee
  • The Siege of Krishnapur by J.G. Farrell
  • The Conservationist by Nadine Gordimer
  • The Ghost Road by Pat Barker
  • Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey

Novel Destinations: Eudora Welty House

Editor's note: The following is the first of several excerpts Shelf Awareness will run in the next few weeks from Novel Destinations: Literary Landmarks from Jane Austen's Bath to Ernest Hemingway's Key West by Shannon McKenna Schmidt and Joni Rendon (National Geographic, 9781426203664), which goes on sale next week. Click here for information about the book, which includes a foreword by Matthew Pearl, and to visit the authors' literary travel blog, go to Shannon is a contributing writer to Shelf Awareness.

From Margaret Mitchell's Atlanta to Harper Lee's small-town Alabama, the southern states are rich with author houses and museums. The first stop on our literary tour is the home of Eudora Welty in Jackson, Miss.

Eudora Welty House
Jackson, Miss.

"The house was on a slight hill . . . covered with its original forest pines, on a gravel road then a little out from town, and was built in a style very much of its day, of stucco and brick and beams in the Tudor style."--One Writer's Beginnings

"Human life is fiction's only theme," asserted Eudora Welty. A writer, photographer, gardener, and world traveler, the various aspects of her multifaceted life are evident in the home that served as her primary residence for more than 76 years, from the age of 16 until her death in 2001. The Eudora Welty House (which Welty bequeathed to the state of Mississippi) displays her possessions much as she left them, including furniture, artwork, and a voluminous collection of books. The dwelling is "one of the most intact literary houses in America," says Mary Alice White, director of the Eudora Welty House and the writer's niece. "Visitors often comment that the home seems as if Eudora had just stepped out and will return at any time."

Welty's oeuvre includes the story collection A Curtain of Green, her first published book, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Optimist's Daughter. She crafted her unique brand of southern fiction at a desk in her bedroom overlooking a leafy, landscaped yard. On display in this spacious abode are cherished possessions, like a piano presented to nine-year-old Eudora by her parents; an antique comb, brush, and mirror set; a whimsical lamp featuring a dancing bear (made from a Venetian vase she brought back from her travels); and a 24-volume set of Charles Dickens's works that her mother once braved a burning house to rescue.

Welty and her mother were avid gardeners, and references to plants and gardening abound in Welty's works. The now-restored Welty House gardens include sections devoted to roses (her mother's favorite flower) and camellias (the writer's preferred bloom). To take a virtual tour of the house and gardens, visit

Reprinted with permission of the National Geographic Society from the book
Novel Destinations: Literary Landmarks from Jane Austen's Bath to Ernest Hemingway's Key West, by Shannon McKenna Schmidt and Joni Rendon. Copyright © 2008 Shannon McKenna Schmidt and Joni Rendon.


Book Brahmins: Rob Spillman

Rob Spillman is editor and co-founder of Tin House, a nine-year-old bi-coastal (Brooklyn, N.Y., and Portland, Ore.) literary magazine. Tin House has been honored in Best American Stories, Best American Essays, Best American Poetry, O'Henry Prize Stories, the Pushcart Prize Anthology and other anthologies. He is also the executive editor of Tin House Books and co-founder of the Tin House Literary Festival, now in its sixth year. His writing has appeared in BookForum, the Boston Review, Connoisseur, Details, GQ, Nerve, New York Times Book Review, Real Simple, Rolling Stone, Salon, Spin, Sports Illustrated, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Worth, among other magazines, newspapers and essay collections. He is the editor of The Time of My Life, an anthology of prom essays to be published by Doubleday this month, and is currently editing The Penguin Anthology of Contemporary African Fiction, which will be published next year.

On your nightstand now:

The Fate of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence
by Martin Meredith. A real horror show of strongman rule, which puts the democratic struggles of much of the continent in perspective.
Favorite book when you were a child:

Peanuts cartoons and The Prince of Central Park by Evan Rhodes. Escapism was all for me.

Your top five authors:

Elizabeth Bishop, Marcel Proust, Denis Johnson, William Shakespeare, Hunter S. Thompson.

Book you've faked reading:

The Bible. I'm always impressed with non-religious people who can quote scripture at will. I've never had the patience to wade through. I have the James Earl Jones audio version on CD, and if I ever get trapped in a blizzard in my car, I'll listen to it.
Book you are an evangelist for:

Swann's Way by Marcel Proust, translated by Lydia Davis. A deeply enjoyable reading experience.
Book you've bought for the cover:

How to Do Nothing With Nobody All Alone by Yourself
by Robert Paul Smith. This 1958 book shows a boy, maybe nine or ten, throwing a penknife. Paul Collins wrote a piece for Tin House about the whimsical book, and I tracked it down, the cover selling me.
Book that changed your life:

Two books read back-to-back when I was a teenager: Ken Kesey's Sometimes a Great Notion and Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas introduced me to the idea of American righteous indignation, delivered with humor and very personal points of view.
Favorite line from a book:

"I feel like a wet seed wild in the hot blind earth."--Faulkner, from As I Lay Dying
Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Proust's Remembrance of Things Past. Every time you read it there is more revelation, whether it is character or simply an amazing sentence, so it is almost like reading it again for the first time.


Attainment: New Books Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, May 20:

The Front by Patricia Cornwell (Putnam, $22.95, 9780399154188/0399154183) continues the adventures of Massachusetts state investigator Win Garano.

Snuff by Chuck Palahniuk (Doubleday, $24.95, 9780385517881/0385517882) follows 600 men waiting for their turns in a record-breaking porn movie.

A Time to Fight: Reclaiming a Fair and Just America
by Jim Webb (Broadway, $24.95, 9780767928359/0767928350) contains political insight from the U.S. Senator from Virginia.

Executive Privilege: A Novel by Phillip Margolin (Harper, $25.95, 9780061236211/0061236217) follows a private detective and rookie lawyer as they attempt to tie the murder of a college student to the White House.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
by James Rollins (Del Rey, $26, 9780345501288/0345501284) is an adaption of the upcoming Indiana Jones movie.

Moon Shell Beach: A Novel by Nancy Thayer (Ballantine, $24, 9780345498182/0345498186) traces the reconciliation of two childhood friends on Nantucket.

Blood Trail by C. J. Box (Putnam, $24.95, 9780399154881/0399154884) is the seventh crime novel with investigator Joe Pickett.

Hospital: Man, Woman, Birth, Death, Infinity, Plus Red Tape, Bad Behavior, Money, God and Diversity on Steroids by Julie Salamon (Penguin Press, $25.95, 9781594201714/1594201714) chronicles a year in Maimonides Hospital in Brooklyn.

Odd Hours by Dean Koontz (Bantam, $27, 9780553807059/0553807056) is the newest supernatural mystery starring Odd Thomas, a former fry cook who can communicate with the dead.

The Answer: Grow Any Business, Achieve Financial Freedom, and Live an Extraordinary Life
by John Assaraf and Murray Smith (Atria, $25.95, 9781416561996/1416561994) provides business advice from successful entrepreneurs.

Now in paperback:

The Diana Chronicles by Tina Brown (Anchor, $7.99, 9780307388766/030738876X).


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