Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Workman Publishing: Paint by Sticker: Plants and Flowers: Create 12 Stunning Images One Sticker at a Time! by Workman Publishing

Sourcebooks Landmark: The Ways We Hide by Kristina McMorris

Simon & Schuster: Recording for the Simon & Schuster and Simon Kids Fall Preview 2022

Soho Crime: Lady Joker, Volume 2 by Kaoru Takamura, translated by Allison Markin Powell and Marie Iida

Berkley Books: Once Upon a December by Amy E. Reichert; Lucy on the Wild Side by Kerry Rea; Where We End & Begin by Jane Igharo

Kensington Publishing Corporation: The Lost Girls of Willowbrook by Ellen Marie Wiseman

St. Martin's Press: Wild: The Life of Peter Beard: Photographer, Adventurer, Lover by Graham Boynton

Quotation of the Day

Vonnegut's Praise for Libraries

"The America I loved still exists in the front desks of public libraries."--Kurt Vonnegut in a discussion with USA Today last Thursday in which he mentioned his admiration for librarians who resist removing books from library shelves and resist giving out information about readers.

Vintage: Morningside Heights by Joshua Henkin


Text Lists; B&T Takes Koen Inventory; 'Auction Culture'

Today's Rocky Mountain News highlights another battleground in the textbook market: an off-campus bookseller (in this case a future one) that objects to paying for text lists that the state says must be made public.

A Beat the Bookstore franchisee, who plans to open a 3,000-sq.-ft. text store in Boulder, does not want to pay an estimated $3,000-$3,500 per semester for the University of Colorado's textbook list. An off-campus B&N pays the fee, and Colorado Bookstore says it pays even more than what Beat the Bookstore would pay. Because the list is not electronic, the university says, it's more expensive to duplicate than at some other schools.


Baker & Taylor is buying the inventory of defunct Koen Book Distributors--more than 60,000 books--for $4.5 million, which will go to repay the $3.5 million Koen owes PNC Bank, PW Daily reported. The rest will go to unsecured creditors, mainly publishers, who are owed several times the amount owed PNC.


What nobody is calling the energy crisis is expected to help online retailers--according to several surveys and predictions quoted by the "E-Commerce Report" in Monday's New York Times. Some 40% of Internet shoppers have increased Web purchases to save gas on trips to the store, a Shopzilla survey found. And eMarketer predicted that online sales in the last quarter of the year will rise 22% to $26 billion. By contrast, store sales during the holidays may rise 5%.

Donna L. Hoffman, a marketing professor at Vanderbilt, told the Times that high gas prices "won't necessarily bring in more people to shop online, but [they] will bring in people more often." Some sites are doing away with shipping fees to help make the online marketplace more attractive to consumers. But, Hoffman said, even a $5 charge for shipping can seem reasonable for people who don't want to pay for gas and place a high value on their time.


Most of a piece in yesterday's Christian Science Monitor on the used book market covers familiar Book Industry Study Group ground (Shelf Awareness, September 29). But the Monitor story included an interesting way of framing the used book dynamic.

Dan Nissanoff, whose book, Futureshop: How the New Auction Culture Will Revolutionize How We Buy, Sell, and Get Things We Really Want, will be published by Penguin Press January 19 (and be available "used" minutes thereafter), told the paper that an "auction culture," which "promotes temporary ownership as an efficient way to live a better life," underlies the public's growing acceptance of buying used books.

"We've historically been a society that accumulates, that views acquisition as permanent," he continued. "Now channels such as, eBay, and Barnes & Noble have made it easy for us not only to buy books but sell our books as well. They're accelerating the auction culture and pushing this behavior to the mainstream. It's beginning to have a big impact on the book industry."

Beaming Books: Sarah Rising by Ty Chapman, illustrated by Deann Wiley

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Italy, Iraq

This morning Good Morning America welcomes to its cucina Mario Batali, author of Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home (Ecco, $34.95, 0060734922).

Also on Good Morning America, journalist Micah Green recalls experiences covered in American Hostage: A Memoir of a Journalist Kidnapped in Iraq and the Remarkable Battle to Win His Release (S&S, $25, 0743276604). Later he appears on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show with his wife and co-author, Marie-Helene Carleton, who recalls her efforts to release him.


Today on WAMU's Diane Rehm Show, Judith Viorst marvels about her I'm Too Young to Be Seventy: And Other Delusions (Free Press, $16, 0743267745).


Today on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show, Michael York talks about dealing with a kind of Red tape, as discussed in his new book, Are My Blinkers Showing?: Adventures in Filmmaking in the New Russia (Da Capo Press, $22, 0306814447).


Last night Charlie Rose talked with Garry Wills, author of Henry Adams and the Making of America (Houghton Mifflin, $30, 0618134301).


Yesterday All Things Considered conducted a postmortem with Sergio Luzzatto, whose The Body of Il Duce: Mussolini's Corpse and the Fortunes of Italy, translated by Frederika Randall (Metropolitan Books, $26, 0805066462) is what the show called a biography of the dictator's body. (After Mussolini's execution in 1945, his corpse was strung up in public and desecrated, then buried, stolen, hidden and buried again--finally, it seems.


Yesterday Fresh Air heard some fresh ideas from Jason Christopher Hartley, the Army National Guard blogger and author of Just Another Soldier: A Year on the Ground in Iraq (HarperCollins, $22.95, 0060843667).

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Books & Authors

November Book Sense Picks

The following are the November Book Sense Picks. More on November Book Sense Notable titles in a forthcoming issue.

  • Marley & Me: Life and Love With the World's Worst Dog by John Grogan (Morrow, $21.95, 0060817089). Also a Harper Audio (Abridged CD, 006082994X)
  • The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey by Candice Millard (Doubleday, $26, 0385507968). Also a Random House Audio (Abridged CD, 0739323032)
  • The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook: Featuring More Than 1,200 Everyday Recipes From America's Most Trusted Kitchen (America's Test Kitchen, $34.95 ringbound, 0936184876).
  • The Lost Painting: The Quest for a Caravaggio Masterpiece by Jonathan Harr (Random House, $24.95, 0375508015). Also a Random House Audio (Unabridged CD, 0739313940)
  • All the Fishes Come Home to Roost: An American Misfit in India by Rachel Manija Brown (Rodale, $23.95, 1594861390).
  • Angel and Apostle by Deborah Noyes (Unbridled, $24.95, 1932961100).
  • The Oxford Murders: A Mystery by Guillermo Martinez (MacAdam/Cage, $23, 1596921501).
  • The Planets by Dava Sobel (Viking, $24.95, 0670034460). Also a Random House Audio (Unabridged CD, 0739322869).
  • Two Lives: A Memoir by Vikram Seth (HarperCollins, $27.95, 0060599669). Also a Harper Audio (Abridged CD, 0060878940).
  • Between Two Worlds: Escape From Tyranny: Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam by Zainab Salbi and Laurie Becklund (Gotham, $26, 1592401562). Also A Tantor Media Audio (Unabridged CD, 1400101808).
  • The Arms of God: A Novel by Lynne Hinton (St. Martin's, $24.95, 0312347952).
  • Smartbomb: The Quest for Art, Entertainment, and Big Bucks in the Global Videogame Revolution by Heather Chaplin and Aaron Ruby (Algonquin Books, $24.95, 1565123468).
  • Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke by Peter Guralnick (Little, Brown, $27.95, 0316377945).
  • Alexander II: The Last Great Tsar by Edvard Radzinsky, translated by Antonina Bouis (Free Press, $35, 074327332X).
  • A Wedding in December: A Novel by Anita Shreve (Little, Brown, $25.95, 0316738999). Also a Time Warner Audio (Unabridged CD, 159483086X).
  • The Amphora Project by William Kotzwinkle (Grove, $23, 0802118038).
  • Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits by Laila Lalami (Algonquin, $21.95, 1565124936).
  • Son of a Witch: A Novel by Gregory Maguire (Regan Books, $26.95, 0060548932). Also a Regan Books Audio (Unabridged CD, 0060829206)
  • Lincoln's Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness by Joshua Wolf Shenk (Houghton, $25, 0618551166). Also a Highbridge Audio (Unabridged CD, 1598870041).
  • Fondling Your Muse: Infallible Advice from a Published Author to the Writerly Aspirant by John Warner (F&W Publications, $19.99, 1582973482).

Book Review

Mandahla: Untrodden Grapes Reviewed

Untrodden Grapes by Ralph Steadman (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), $35.00 Hardcover, 9780151011674, November 2005)

for the luscious and witty art, not the writing. But I was soon seduced by the author's words, and his infatuation with wine.

He starts with the complaint that wines are now "a finely modulated shelf product [and] have become market-force blends. Divorced from their natural outlet as a local product, they have entered the domain, the appellation of the designer . . . there can be no room for temperament in wine, which is possibly the most temperamental liquid in the world save for nitroglycerin." His hope is there still can be fun and adventure in wine, and thus sets off to visit unique and original winemakers. Ranging from the Americas to South Africa to Europe, with brief digressions on "wine dogs of the world," Phoenician history and his own wine-label art, Steadman revels in the complexities and eccentricities of wine "made with the alchemic precision of uncertainty."

In Alsace, he reflects, "Of all the wines I have tasted, I always linger over Gewürztraminer. It is like reminiscing with an old friend who loves you as much as you love them. There are not many friends like that, and they remain precious, as does the wine. . . . Never buy a cheap one any more than you might buy the friendship of a one-night stand."

Untrodden Grapes is a wonderful book for both wine lovers and art lovers with a keen appreciation for wackiness and lyrical prose.--Marilyn Dahl

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