Shelf Awareness for Thursday, September 4, 2008

Margaret K. McElderry Books: Spell Bound by F.T. Lukens

Forge: Mr Katō Plays Family by Milena Michiko Flašar, translated by Caroline Froh

Ballantine Books: The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffer

Island Press: The Jewel Box: How Moths Illuminate Nature's Hidden Rules by Tim Blackburn

Berkley Books: Business or Pleasure by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Berkley Books: The First Ladies by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray

Texas Bookman Presents Texas Remainder Expo

Minotaur Books: Deadlock: A Thriller (Dez Limerick Novel #2) by James Byrne

Quotation of the Day

'The Complete Author Experience'

"If you hear the author speak, you buy the book and you get the book signed--that is the complete author event experience. So we highly recommend that experience every night. You're supporting your local independent bookstore, which is always a good thing."--Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, events coordinator at McNally Jackson Books, New York, N.Y., during her introduction of Thurston Moore and David Browne earlier this summer. A video of the event was recently posted on the bookstore's blog.


William Morrow & Company: Ink Blood Sister Scribe by Emma Törzs


Perseus's New Electronic Constellation

In a move that expands the basic concept of Peter Osnos's Caravan Project (Shelf Awareness, June 11, 2008), Perseus Books Group is launching a service that allows smaller publishers to publish books in a variety of formats and use search functions on major sites "at rates negotiated by Perseus on their behalf," according to today's New York Times.

Called Constellation, the service is working with companies such as Ingram's Lightning Source, which will offer POD services; Amazon and Sony, which will add participants' books to the inventory of what can be read on their e-readers; Google Book Search; and Barnes & Noble, for its website's "see inside" feature.

Perseus president and CEO David Steinberger told the Times, "There's been an increasing sense of urgency about this. We kept asking ourselves, 'What does the independent publisher need to grow and succeed in the future?' And this is what kept coming up." Steinberger added that he sees Constellation as an extension of his company's distribution services, "getting our publishers' books everywhere they need to go and everywhere they want to go."

Osnos, who founded PublicAffairs, which is part of Perseus, echoed this sentiment, saying, "The biggest problem in the book world is availability--measuring how many books you think you need. What you will have now is the development of this ability on behalf of publishers to produce their books any way the consumer wants them."


William Morrow & Company: A Death in Denmark: The First Gabriel Præst Novel by Amulya Malladi

Publishers Marketplace Unfolds Bookstore Maps

Publishers Marketplace is introducing a bookstore database called Bookstore Maps that will have both trade and public versions and could have a variety of uses for publishers, booksellers and other organizations.

The database is combined with Google Map, creating what Publishers Marketplace founder Michael Cader called "a visual database of stores."

Booksellers are encouraged to contribute information about their stores to the database, particularly publicity information for the trade version. This would include event coordinator contacts and descriptions of the store's capabilities and offsite event partners. "So if a publisher is looking for a store in Chapel Hill that can draw 2,000, they can find it here," Cader said.

Some publishers are considering using the database as an interface for gathering information about accounts. Rather than an Excel spreadsheet, the data would show up in map form. Among other things, the data could be used by publishers to map out store tours or look at previous tour or book sales information on national, regional and local bases.

Publishers are also interested in using Bookstore Maps in the "store-finder" sections of their public websites. Newspapers and other online media might use the database in similar ways. "This gets to the heart of local service journalism," Cader said.

Eventually Cader might collect sales and inventory information from independents and chains that could be displayed on Bookstore Maps.

So far, most of the information comes from the American Booksellers Association, chain stores and news reports. The next step is to round out specialty store information, Cader said.

To travel around Bookstore Maps, click here.


AuthorBuzz for the Week of 02.06.23

Notes: Rare Blue Bunny; Consortium to Add Fulcrum

Congratulations to the Blue Bunny Bookstore, Dedham, Mass., which Boston Magazine named the Best Bookstore of the South Shore. Boston wrote: "Once in a blue moon, you get a Blue Bunny. Cofounded by children's author-illustrator Peter H. Reynolds (The Dot, The North Star) five years ago, the magical little bookshop has grown into an area hub of reading and imagination. In scarcely more than 1,000 square feet it offers classic kids' books, young-adult novels (some for grownups, too), and lots of low-tech, high-fun games. But more than that, it provides a genuine springboard for creativity. There's always an art or writing workshop planned, and this spring the store launched a magazine created by and for youngsters called the Hutch--underscoring how rare this Bunny truly is."


Last year more than 7,000 books were abandoned in Travelodge hotels across the U.K. According to the Guardian, "Paul Anstey, Travelodge operations director, said that overall the most discarded genres were autobiographies, chick lit and thriller books. 'This summer we have found a number of money saving books, revealing just how much the credit crunch is taking hold.'"


The Australian edition of the Daring Book for Girls is scheduled to be published next month, but BBC News reported "aboriginal leaders in Australia have called for a book teaching girls how to play the didgeridoo to be scrapped. . . . It has angered some indigenous leaders who view the didgeridoo as a male instrument not to be played by women."


Effective January 1, U.S. trade distribution and fulfillment for Fulcrum Publishing and its Speck Press imprint will be handled by Consortium Book Sales and Distribution. Since its founding 25 years ago, Fulcrum has always handled its own distribution and fulfillment.

In a statement, Fulcrum publisher Sam Scinta said, "We obviously live in a world where it is getting difficult not only for the independent booksellers but also for the big chains to spend time with every publisher in the country. Being a part of Consortium will ensure that booksellers get to know all of our great titles. Additionally, CBSD will provide excellent service to these and other retailers."


G.P. Putnam's Sons: Killing Me by Michelle Gagnon

Pennie Picks The Gold Coast

Pennie Clark Ianniciello, Costco's book buyer, has picked The Gold Coast, a 1990 novel by Nelson DeMille, as her pick of the month for September. In Costco Connection, which goes to many of the warehouse club's members, she wrote:

"Over the years I've met many, many authors. One who sticks out in my mind as being genuinely kind, a delight to speak with and overall great person is . . . Nelson DeMille. Not only is he a real gentleman, he's also a great writer. That combination of talent and charm made selecting [The Gold Coast] a no-brainer.

"Wall Street lawyer John Sutter is desperately trying to hold on to an aristocratic legacy when a Mafia don draws him and his wife into a violent world. If you're looking for something with drama, passion, friendship and big stakes, this is the book for you."


Texas Bookman Presents Texas Remainder Expo

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Eric Heiden's Gold Medal Health Advice

Tomorrow on Tavis Smiley: Thomas Frank, author of The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule (Metropolitan Books, $25, 9780805079883/0805079882).


Tomorrow on ABC's 20/20: Eric Heiden, author of Faster, Better, Stronger: 10 Proven Secrets to a Healthier Body in 12 Weeks (Collins Living, $25.95, 9780061215230/0061215236).


Tomorrow night on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher: Scott McClellan, author of What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception (PublicAffairs, $27.95, 9781586485566/1586485563).


Sourcebooks Young Readers: Global: One Fragile World. an Epic Fight for Survival. by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin, illustrated by Giovanni Rigano

This Weekend on Book TV: All the Candidates' Books

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, September 6

12 p.m. Stephen Kinzer, author of A Thousand Hills: Rwanda's Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It (Wiley, $25.95, 9780470120156/0470120150), talks about the life of Paul Kagame, the Rwandan rebel leader whose army is credited with ending the genocide in Rwanda in the mid-1990s. (Re-airs Sunday at 4:30 a.m.)
7 p.m. Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, author of Big Man on Campus: A University President Speaks Out on Higher Education (Touchstone, $26, 9781416557197/1416557199), is the University Professor of Public Service and President Emeritus at George Washington University.

10 p.m. After Words. For an event hosted by Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, D.C., Dana Priest of the Washington Post interviews Jane Mayer, author of The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals (Doubleday, $27.50, 9780385526395/0385526393). (Re-airs Sunday at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., Monday at 3 a.m. and Sunday, September 14, at 12 p.m.)
Sunday, September 7

12 p.m. In Depth. Jonathan Karp, who edited all of John McCain's books, and John K. Wilson, author of Barack Obama: This Improbable Quest (Paradigm Publishers, $22.95, 9781594514760/1594514763), join Book TV for a live interview to discuss books written by the presidential candidates. Viewers can participate in the discussion by calling in during the program or e-mailing questions to (Re-airs Monday at 12 a.m. and Saturday, September 13, at 9 a.m.)
8:15 p.m. Joseph Persico, author of Franklin & Lucy: President Roosevelt, Mrs. Rutherford, and the Other Remarkable Women in His Life (Random House, $28, 9781400064427/1400064422), profiles several women--including FDR's mother and wife--and details his romance with Lucy Mercer-Rutherford.


Books & Authors

Awards: Rittenhouse; Guardian's Monkey Business

Richard E. Abel, the "father of the modern day library approval plan" and founder of Timber Press and other publishers, has won the 2008 Jack D. Rittenhouse Award, sponsored by Publishers Association of the West and given to people "who have made outstanding contributions to the book community in the West."

PAS noted that Abel has "worked in a bookstore, became a bookstore owner, started a private press for limited edition books, founded a company that grew into an international library distributor, founded a book marketing and distribution company, started a trade publishing company that has grown into a well respected mid-sized publisher, and is the author of numerous articles and a forthcoming book."

The award will be presented at PubWest's National Publishing Conference and Book Industry Trade Show in Portland, Ore., on Saturday, November 15.


The author of one of the 10 books on the longlist for the £10,000 (US$21,396) Guardian first book award holds the distinction of having co-starred in the 1939 film Tarzan and bitten the hand of Rex Harrison in 1964's Doctor Doolittle. The Guardian reported that Me: Cheeta, which will be published in the U.K. October 1, "is billed as the true story of Cheeta the Chimp, star of Hollywood blockbusters, told 'in his own words.'"

The award honors "new writing across fiction and non-fiction" and is judged by a panel, as well as readers from Waterstone's book groups. This year it pits the 76-year-old chimpanzee's "memoir" against A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif, Stalin's Children by Owen Matthews, The Outcast by Sadie Jones, Empire of the Indus by Alice Albinia, The Rest Is Noise by Alex Ross, God's Own Country by Ross Raisin, Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan, A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz and Sunday at the Skin Launderette by Kathryn Simmonds.

The shortlist will be announced in November and the overall winner in December.


Children's Book Review: Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury (Harcourt, $16, 978015206057/015206057X, ages 6 months-4 years, October 2008)

Perhaps this title--by two forces of nature in the children's book field--needs no introduction or review. But because the text and pictures celebrate babies around the world and the families who love them, it is worth pausing a moment to take in this perfect book for new parents, new siblings and newborns everywhere. Both Fox and Oxenbury claim to have come out of retirement for this book. The text came to Fox, to hear her tell it, as she was waking from a melatonin-induced slumber on a 40-hour-long journey from Boston to London to Singapore to her native Australia. Oxenbury had hung up her cap more than eight years ago and was enjoying her retirement with husband John Burningham. But this text lured her back to her easel. No wonder.

"There was one little baby who was born far away," the book begins. Oxenbury paints a sherbet-colored landscape of cantaloupe- and honeydew-colored rolling hills, as a child standing next to her seated friend, barely visible, waves to a flock of birds soaring over a small town on the other side of a lemon-colored lake, gently suggesting the humbling size of the world we inhabit. "And another who was born on the very next day," the text continues. Here, Oxenbury zooms in on a sleeping infant being held by a nurse; only the woman's arms are visible--the entire image rests on the tiny child she presents, the center of the unseen parents' universe. Next Fox introduces the book's refrain, "And both of these babies,/ as everyone knows," (a redhead and an Asian toddler look across the book's gutter at each other) "had ten little fingers/ and ten little toes"--and here, against a completely white backdrop, readers see 10 life-size wiggling fingers on the left of the spread, and 10 life-size squirmy toes on the right. Other babies enter the narrative, two by two. Oxenbury shifts between urban and rural backdrops, to close-ups of the children for a visual pacing that superbly augments the text and continues that pattern--established from the outset--of the vast universe with each new child at its center. "There was one little baby who was born on the ice" features a bundled-up Eskimo child in a snowfall with arms lifted to mimic a small penguin companion, while a toddler in a tunic and sandals struts behind a chicken for the line "And another in a tent, who was just as nice." In their joint refrain, the 10 little fingers and toes are on display as the two children ride on swings, one coming toward viewers (on the right of the spread) while the other swings away (on the left). The joy on their faces seems to say, "We're alive! Ain't life grand?," their boundless enthusiasm infectious. The coda spotlights a new mother ("But the next baby born was truly divine, a sweet little child who was mine, all mine"), yet the subtle twist on the refrain at the close keeps this book solidly focused on the child. A must for every nursery.--Jennifer M. Brown


The Bestsellers's Hottest August Titles

The following were the bestselling titles on during August:
1. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
2. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
3. Night by Elie Wiesel
4. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
5. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
6. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
7. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
8. The God Chasers by Tommy Tenny
9. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
10. A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

[Many thanks to!]


AuthorBuzz: Berkley Books: Lemon Curd Killer (Tea Shop Mystery #25) by Laura Childs
AuthorBuzz: Nonlinear Publishing LLC: Moral Code by Lois and Ross Melbourne
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