Shelf Awareness for Friday, November 4, 2005

Scholastic Press: Beastly Beauty by Jennifer Donnelly

St. Martin's Essentials: Build Like a Woman: The Blueprint for Creating a Business and Life You Love by Kathleen Griffith

Margaret Ferguson Books: Not a Smiley Guy by Polly Horvath, Illustrated by Boris Kulikov

Bramble: Pen Pal Special Edition by J.T. Geissinger

Sourcebooks Landmark: Long After We Are Gone by Terah Shelton Harris

Soho Crime: Broiler by Eli Cranor

Berkley Books: We Love the Nightlife by Rachel Koller Croft


Amazon Ups the E-Ante

Google may be getting more headlines lately, but continues to be digitally busy. Yesterday the company announced expansions of its Search Inside the Book program in ways that make it resemble iTunes. And because Amazon said it plans to work with copyright owners, the plan may have an easier time than Google's Print Library project, the object of suits by both the Authors Guild and five publishers supported by the AAP.

The new Amazon Pages program will allow customers to buy and read online a few pages of a book, likely for a few cents a page. For example, the company said, "an entrepreneur interested in marketing his or her business could purchase the relevant chapters from several bestselling business books."

Amazon Upgrade will allow customers who buy a book on to have "complete online access" to the same text. "Buy a cookbook," the company said, "and you will not only have it on your shelf, but also be able to access it anywhere via the Web." This extra e-bonus could cost several dollars for a $20 book.

"It makes it more like browsing in a bookstore," Think Equity Partners analyst Edward Weller told the Los Angeles Times, "and you don't even have to put your clothes on."

Publishers and the Authors Guild reacted positively to Amazon's approach of allowing copyright holders to determine such matters as whether pages could be printed or downloaded. The company will give publishers leeway with pricing, too. Also yesterday, Random House issued guidelines for online cooperation that seem to mesh with Amazon's plans--but not Google's. Apparently Random intends to charge more for peeks at certain texts, such as cookbooks.

Not to be left out of the digital fray, Microsoft yesterday announced that it will provide digital copies of some 25 million pages of books from the British Library over the Internet, the Wall Street Journal reported. The Library has 13 million books, and Microsoft will scan more material in the future. Microsoft's service is called MSN Book Search and focuses for now on books in the public domain.

Talking about e-books in general, David Steinberger, CEO of Perseus Book Group, told the New York Times that the developments of the past week are "much more significant than what we saw during the Internet boom. This time it looks like this really might happen."

University of California Press: May Contain Lies: How Stories, Statistics, and Studies Exploit Our Biases--And What We Can Do about It by Alex Edmans

General Retail Sales: Glass Half Fuller

Cooler weather warmed sales at many general retailers in October and consumers were more positive than many expected after three severe hurricanes and a huge runup in energy prices, according to figures released yesterday. Still, most retailers remain wary about the holiday season, when they fear that heating costs, an erratic economy and consumer pessimism will dampen sales.

The Goldman Sachs retail composite index pegged the overall gain at stores open at least a year at 4.4%, according to the New York Times.

As in September, warehouse clubs and discounters did well. Sales at Costco stores open at least a year jumped 10%, and even when gasoline sales are excluded, same-store sales were up 8%. Target same-store sales rose 5.7%. And Wal-Mart stores open at least a year increased 4.3%. Interestingly each store's results were higher than analysts expected.

Continuing the trend from September, department stores and specialty operations had mixed results. Talbots same-store sales dropped 0.3% and Federated fell 0.7%. But J.C. Penney's same-store sales climbed 2.4%. High-end department stores did as well as many discounters. Saks's same-store sales rose 4.6%, Nordstrom was up 8.7% and Neiman Marcus climbed 7%.

"Consumers are hanging in there, despite facing significant pressure on their discretionary income," Ken Perkins, president of Retail Metrics, told the AP.

GLOW: becker&mayer! kids: The Juneteenth Cookbook: Recipes and Activities for Kids and Families to Celebrate by Alliah L. Agostini and Taffy Elrod, illus. by Sawyer Cloud

Notes: ABACUS Overview; Da Vinci Departs; AppleKids

More booksellers than ever participated in the most recent ABACUS study, the annual survey of ABA members' finances.

This year's results, according to Bookselling This Week, in percentage terms "show a continued trend of rising gross margins that is offset by increased operating expenses, leading to a small decline in net income." Although the association is not sure whether in dollar terms operating expenses have risen or sales have fallen, it did note that a sampling of the 90 stores that have participated in ABACUS surveys each of the last three years shows that in dollar terms, "sales have remained relatively flat while operating expenses have increased."

Payroll and occupancy expenses continue to represent "the two most significant expenses for almost all stores." Some 30% of the stores reporting were highly profitable (with an average net income of 6.66% of total sales), 40% were in the middle ground (0.27% average net income), and 30% were in the lowest area (-9.41%).


Arrivederci, Da Vinci. The New York Times notes that this Sunday, for the first time in 136 weeks, The Da Vinci Code will not be on its bestseller list. The tome ranked 16th on the 15-place tabulation. The movie based on the book should appear next spring.


The Detroit News offers a long profile of a new business created by former Apple Book Center owner Sherry McGee--AppleKids--to promote reading and writing in more than 30 schools. AppleKids centers on a series of books McGee has written starring characters who like various academic subjects.

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Assassins Anonymous by Rob Hart

Media and Movies

Media Heat: The Pope, A Governor, A Crack

This morning on the Today Show:

George Weigel, author of God's Choice: Pope Benedict XVI and the Future of the Catholic Church (HarperCollins, $26.95, 0066213312).
Rachael Ray, author of Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats: A Year of Deliciously Different Dinners (Clarkson Potter, $19.95, 1400082544).


Today All Things Considered shakes up things with Simon Winchester, author of A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906 (HarperCollins, $27.95, 0060571993).


Today on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show, Lisa Grunwald and Stephen J. Adler talk about the book they edited, Women's Letters: America from the Revolutionary War to the Present (Dial Press, $35, 0385335539).


Tonight on the Charlie Rose Show: Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico and author of the memoir Between Worlds: The Making of an American Life (Putnam, $25.95, 0399153241), which was published this week.


Tomorrow the Early Show boogies with Peter Guralnick, author of Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke (Little, Brown, $27.95, 0316377945).

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Summer Romance by Annabel Monaghan

Books & Authors

Hurston/Wright Legacies for the Year

The 2005 Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards, honoring books by writers of African descent, have gone to:

  • Fiction: Who Slashed Celanire's Throat: A Fantastical Tale by Maryse Conde (Washington Square Press, $13, 0743482611).
  • Nonfiction: Warrior Poet: A Biography of Audre Lorde by Alexis de Veaux (Norton, $29.95, 0393019543).
  • Debut Fiction: Graceland by Chris Abani (Picador, $14, 0312425287).
  • Contemporary Fiction: A Woman's Worth by Tracy Price-Thompson (One World/Ballantine, $12.95, 0375757783).

Winners each received $10,000. The awards are sponsored by the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation, which was founded in 1990 to "develop, nurture and sustain the world community of writers of African descent."

The Bestsellers

The Book Sense/MPBA List

The following are the bestselling titles during the week ended Sunday, October 30, at Mountains & Plains Booksellers Association stores as reported to Book Sense:

Hardcover Fiction

1. Predator by Patricia Cornwell (Putnam, $26.95, 0399152830)
2. Saving Fish From Drowning by Amy Tan (Putnam, $26.95, 0399153012)
3. Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Knopf, $20, 140004460X)
4. The March by E. L. Doctorow (Random House, $25.95, 0375506713)
5. Knife of Dreams by Robert Jordan (Tor, $29.95, 0312873077)
6. The Camel Club by David Baldacci (Warner, $26.95, 0446577383)
7. The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown, $26.95, 0316734934)
8. The Scorpion's Gate by Richard A. Clarke (Putnam, $24.95, 0399152946)
9. At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks (Warner, $24.95, 0446532428)
10. Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire (ReganBooks, $26.95, 0060548932)
11. A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon (Delacorte, $28, 0385324162)
12. On Beauty by Zadie Smith (Penguin, $25.95, 1594200637)
13. A Wedding in December by Anita Shreve (Little, Brown, $25.95, 0316738999)
14. The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks (Warner, $24.95, 0446500127)
15. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (Little, Brown, $25.95, 0316011770)

Hardcover Nonfiction

1. The Truth (With Jokes) by Al Franken (Dutton, $25.95, 0525949062)
2. The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt (Penguin, $25.95, 1594200580)
3. Healthy Aging by Andrew Weil (Knopf, $27.95, 0375407553)
4. The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman (FSG, $27.50, 0374292884)
5. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (Knopf, $23.95, 140004314X)
6. A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle (Dutton, $24.95, 0525948023)
7. A Crack in the Edge of the World by Simon Winchester (HarperCollins, $27.95, 0060571993)
8. Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin (S&S, $35, 0684824906)
9. Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (Morrow, $25.95, 006073132X)
10. 1776 by David McCullough (S&S, $32, 0743226712)
11. 1491 by Charles C. Mann (Knopf, $30, 140004006X)
12. Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard (Penguin Press, $26.95, 1594200726)
13. Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About by Kevin Trudeau (Alliance, $29.95, 0975599518)
14. Julie and Julia by Julie Powell (Little, Brown, $23.95, 031610969X)
15. The River of Doubt by Candice Millard (Doubleday, $26, 0385507968)

Trade Paperback Fiction

1. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Riverhead, $14, 1594480001)
2. Wicked by Gregory Maguire (ReganBooks, $15, 0060987103)
3. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Penguin, $15, 0143034901)
4. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult (Washington Square, $14, 0743454537)
5. The Plot Against America by Philip Roth (Vintage, $14.95, 1400079497)
6. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (Penguin, $14, 0142001740)
7. Case Histories by Kate Atkinson (Back Bay, $13.95, 0316010707)
8. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (Vintage, $12.95, 1400032717)
9. Snow by Orhan Pamuk (Vintage, $14.95, 0375706860)
10. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (Harvest, $14, 015602943X)
11. The Known World by Edward P. Jones (Amistad, $13.95, 0060557559)
12. An Unfinished Life by Mark Spragg (Vintage, $13.95, 1400076145)
13. The Alchemist (10th Anniversary Edition) by Paulo Coelho (HarperSanFrancisco, $13, 0062502182)
14. I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe (Picador, $15, 0312424442)
15. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury, $15.95, 1582346038)

Trade Paperback Nonfiction

1. A Million Little Pieces by James Frey (Anchor, $14.95, 0307276902)
2. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (Vintage, $14.95, 0375725601)
3. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (Back Bay, $14.95, 0316346624)
4. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz (Amber-Allen, $12.95, 1878424319)
5. Why Do Men Have Nipples? by Mark Leyner et al. (Three Rivers, $12.95, 1400082315)
6. Chronicles by Bob Dylan (S&S, $14, 0743244583)
7. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle (New World Library, $14, 1577314808)
8. Bad Dog by R. D. Rosen et al. (Workman, $9.95, 0761139834)
9. Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer (Anchor, $14.95, 1400032806)
10. Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond (Norton, $16.95, 0393317552)
11. Sudoku Easy, Volume 1 by Will Shortz (St. Martin's, $6.95, 0312355025)
12. Sudoku Easy to Hard edited by Will Shortz (St. Martin's, $6.95, 0312355033)
13. Clueless George Goes to War by Pat Bagley (White Horse, $7.95, 0974486051)
14. Don't Think of an Elephant by George Lakoff (Chelsea Green, $10, 1931498717)
15. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi (Random House, $13.95, 081297106X)

Mass Market

1. Angels & Demons by Dan Brown (Pocket, $7.99, 0671027360)
2. State of Fear by Michael Crichton (Avon, $7.99, 0061015733)
3. Whiteout by Ken Follett (Signet, $7.99, 0451215710)
4. The Colorado Kid by Stephen King (Hard Case Crime, $5.99, 0843955848)
5. The Constant Gardener by John le Carre (Pocket, $7.99, 1416503900)
6. The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason (Dell, $7.99, 0440241359
7. Deception Point by Dan Brown (Pocket, $7.99, 0671027387)
8. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (Ballantine, $6.99, 0345342968)
9. Hour Game by David Baldacci (Warner, $7.99, 0446616494)
10. The Witch's Tongue by James D. Doss (St. Martin's, $6.99, 0312991088)

Children's (Fiction and Illustrated)

1. The Penultimate Peril (A Series of Unfortunate Events #12) by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Brett Helquist (HarperCollins, $11.99, 0064410153)
2. Eldest by Christopher Paolini (Knopf, $21, 037582670X)
3. Inkspell by Cornelia Funke (Chicken House, $19.99, 0439554004)
4. Eragon by Christopher Paolini (Knopf, $9.95, 0375826696)
5. Winter's Tale: An Original Pop-Up Journey by Robert Sabuda (Little Simon, $26.95, 0689853637)
6. Fairyopolis by Cicely Mary Barker (Frederick Warne, $19.99, 0723257248)
7. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (children's movie tie-in) by C. S. Lewis (HarperCollins, $7.99, 0060765461)
8. Flush by Carl Hiaasen (Knopf, $16.95, 0375821821)
9. A Family of Poems by Caroline Kennedy, illustrated by Jon J. Muth (Hyperion, $19.95, 0786851112)
10. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (HarperCollins, $7.99, 0064431789)
11. Dragonology by Ernest Drake, illustrated by Helen Ward and Douglas Carrel (Candlewick, $19.99, 0763623296)
12. Junie B., First Grader: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! (P.S. So Does May) by Barbara Park, illustrated by Denise Brunkus (Random House, $11.95, 0375828087)
13. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic, $8.99, 0439139600)
14. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd (HarperCollins, $7.99, 0694003611)
15. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (Scholastic, $29.99, 0439784549)

[Many thanks to Book Sense and MPBA!]

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