Shelf Awareness for Thursday, April 16, 2009

Scribner Book Company: Bear Necessity by James Gould-Bourn

Flatiron Books: Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy

Atheneum Books for Young Readers: You Matter by Christian Robinson

St. Martin's Press: Olive the Lionheart: Lost Love, Imperial Spies, and One Woman's Journey Into the Heart of Africa by Brad Ricca

Quirk Books: This Is Not the Jess Show by Anna Carey

Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books: When I Draw a Panda by Amy June Bates

Random House: Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld

Quotation of the Day

Brooklyn Public Library: 'My Field of Dreams'

"The Brooklyn Public Library's main branch at Grand Army Plaza was my field of dreams. I met Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren there, Studs Lonigan by James T. Farrell, and Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. That library introduced me to Chaim Potok's book The Chosen, as well as to Richard Wright's Native Son. In a tough neighborhood the library can be a refuge, a safe place. But it is also a place to dream of fitting in and understanding others who don't fit in. And for me it was also a place to dream of being a writer."--Juan Williams, news analyst for NPR, political analyst for Fox News and author of six books, speaking to the Washington Post's Short Stack book blog.


Anansi International: This Lovely City by Louise Hare


Notes: ABA on Amazon Responses; ALA Lists Challenged Books

The American Booksellers Association has offered "suggested guidelines for appropriate responses to Amazon policy," according to Bookselling this Week, which observed that "reaction among booksellers and others in the book world to Amazon's recent delisting of certain titles with adult content remains strong."

In consultation with its legal counsel, ABA issued a statement outlining the "appropriate responses," and noting that individuals can make unilateral decisions "to support political groups that seek to ensure equal protection of all persons and/or to ensure freedom of expression. You can also use this situation as a marketing opportunity to promote the differences and the diversity of ideas available at independent, locally owned businesses compared with large, corporately owned chain retail establishments."

ABA cautioned, however, that "it would not recommend that you engage in either of the following activities without a specific legal review of the proposed action: (1) that your bookstore (or an employee acting for the bookstore) join with other businesses in a coordinated response to Amazon's action; or (2) that your bookstore (or an employee acting for the bookstore) advocate a boycott of Amazon."


Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner was among 2008's most challenged books, according to the American Library Association, which "listed 530 challenges last year, a roughly 25% increase from 2007, but well below the levels of 700 and higher in the 1990s," the Associated Press reported (via the Star-Ledger). The list was released just days after the death of Judith Krug, founder of Banned Books Week.

The most challenged book for the third year in a row was And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, which the ALA said "was cited for being anti-family, pro-gay and anti-religion."

The AP added that other titles "high on the list" included "Philip Pullman's Dark Materials trilogy (complaints for being violent and anti-religious), Cecily von Ziegesar's Gossip Girls series (language, sexually explicit), Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories (violence, occultism) and Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower (drugs, suicide, nudity, language). . . . Books pulled or restricted last year included Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Jodi Picoult's My Sister's Keeper and Mark Bowden's Black Hawk Down."


"The Art of the Shelf-Talker," an entertaining post at Green Apple Core, the blog for Green Apple Bookstore, San Francisco, Calif., highlighted some of the staff's creations: "Part of the beauty is the handwritten & sometimes illustrated work that goes into the shelf-talker, other times it can just be the be the writing that draws you in."


Boston and its environs are "full of great used and antiquarian bookstores; perfect to pad out your bookshelf while going easy on your wallet (and the environment)," noted in providing a visual tour "of the top spots and a map that plots out even more in the Boston area. Now get reading!"


Ted Ioakimidis could open a bookshop in Lexington, Mass., this summer if he "finds the right staff," Wicked Local Lexington reported, noting that Ioakimidis "has submitted a business plan to transform the former Waldenbooks at 1713 Mass. Ave. into 'The Lexington Bookstore and Café.' But before the lease is signed, he will need a business manager to run the day-to-day operations."

"It’s clear that a bookstore in town would be a nice thing to have," Ioakimidis said.


While the Obama family had a combined household income of $2,656,902 in 2008, for the fourth year in a row it was Barack Obama the author who was the big wage-earner, with book sales more than $2.4 million last year, according to the New York Times.


In other political news, Bo, the Portuguese water dog who recently took up residence in the Obama White House, is already the subject of a children's book. The New York Times reported that Mascot Books, an indie publisher that specializes in titles based on university and school mascots, is rushing Bo, America’s Commander in Leash, into print. The book, written by Naren Aryal, a founder of the publisher, and illustrated by Danny Moore, is "expected in stores by the end of the month," the Times added.


What this says about 21st century civilization isn't clear, but the Telegraph reported that Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird finished ahead of the Bible in a recent survey conducted by that asked respondents to name their most inspirational book. The top five was rounded out by Dave Pelzer's A Child Called It, John Gray's Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus and the Diary of Anne Frank.


Steven Sussman has joined Dover Publications as director of sales. He was formerly at LearningExpress, where he had been director of sales, print products, since 2006.


University of California Press: The Mating Game: How Gender Still Shapes How We Date by Ellen Lamont

Media and Movies

Media Heat: The Breakthrough

Now on WETA's Book Studio, formerly Author, Author!: Gwen Ifill, moderator of Washington Week and author of The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama (Doubleday, $24.95, 9780385525015/038552501X).


Today on Fresh Air: Kristin Chenoweth, author of A Little Bit Wicked: Life, Love, and Faith in Stages (Touchstone, $25, 9781416580553/1416580557). She is also on Fox and Friends tomorrow morning.


Tomorrow morning on the Early Show: Jonah Lehrer, author of How We Decide (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25, 9780618620111/0618620117).


Tomorrow on Live with Regis and Kelly: Nancy O'Dell, author of Full of Life: Mom-to-Mom Tips I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was Pregnant (Simon Spotlight, $16.99, 9781439110256/1439110255).


Tomorrow night on 20/20: Monica Seles, author of Getting a Grip: On My Body, My Mind, My Self (Avery, $26, 9781583333303/1583333304).


Tomorrow night on the Late Show with David Letterman: Charles Grodin, author of How I Got to Be Whoever It Is I Am (Springboard Press, 9780446519403/0446519405).


AuthorBuzz for the Week of 04.06.20

Movies: Harry Potter; White Tiger; Eat, Pray, Love

Events coordinators, mark your calendars. Variety reported that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will open Wednesday, July 15, two days earlier than originally planned.


A new company, Smuggler Films, has acquired the film rights to Aravind Adiga's Booker prize-winning novel, The White Tiger. According to Variety, "John Hart, who has been a producer on Broadway shows from the 1992 revival of Guys and Dolls to the currently-running production of Chicago, announced the formation of Smuggler last week with his partners Patrick Milling Smith and Brian Carmody." This is the company's first acquisition.


Richard Jenkins, who earned an Oscar nomination for his performance in The Visitor, has signed to star opposite Julia Roberts in the film version of Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love. Variety noted that "Jenkins will play a Texan whom Roberts' character befriends at an Indian ashram. Brad Pitt and Dede Gardner are producing through their Plan B shingle." Filming begins in July on location in New York, Rome, India and Bali.


Berkley Books: Meet You in the Middle by Devon Daniels

This Weekend on Book TV: Honeymoon in Tehran

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 18

8 a.m. Mahmood Mamdani, author of Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror (Pantheon, $26.95, 9780307377234/0307377237), talks about the roots of the conflict and argues that while atrocities were committed, what is happening in Darfur is not genocide. (Re-airs Sunday at 6 p.m.)

11:30 a.m. Book TV presents live coverage of the 2009 Annapolis Book Festival in Annapolis, Md. (Re-airs Saturday at 11 p.m.)
3:30 p.m. Jeff Guinn, author of Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde (S&S $27, 9781416557067/1416557067), recounts the Barrow Gang's criminal exploits. (Re-airs Sunday at 11 p.m.)

5 p.m. Nonie Darwish, author of Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law (Thomas Nelson, $24.99, 9781595551610/1595551611), recalls the 30 years she spent in a primarily Muslim nation and how her life was affected by Sharia, the Islamic law. (Re-airs Sunday at 1 p.m.)
8:45 p.m. Joel Rosenberg, author of Inside the Revolution: How the Followers of Jihad, Jefferson & Jesus are Battling to Dominate the Middle East and Transform the World (Tyndale House, $24.99, 9781414319315/1414319312), examines the people and groups competing for power in the Middle East. (Re-airs Sunday at 10 a.m.)

10 p.m. After Words. Jane Turner Censer interviews Paul Escott, author of What Shall We Do with the Negro?: Lincoln, White Racism, and Civil War America (University of Virginia Press, $29.95, 9780813927862/0813927862). Escott contends Lincoln's policies were those of a politician more concerned with reunification than the future rights of slaves. (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m., and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

Sunday, April 19

5:30 a.m. Time magazine correspondent Azadeh Moaveni, author of Honeymoon in Tehran: Two Years of Love and Danger in Iran (Random House, $26, 9781400066452/140006645X), explores the complex underground world in Iran. (Re-airs Monday at 1 a.m.)

3:30 p.m. Thomas Woods, author of Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse (Regnery, $27.95, 9781596985872/1596985879), provides an analysis of the financial market's degeneration from a conservative perspective. (Re-airs Monday at 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.)


University of California Press: A Brief History of Fascist Lies by Federico Finchelstein

Books & Authors

Shelf Starter: An American Trilogy

An American Trilogy: Death, Slavery and Dominion on the Banks of the Cape Fear River by Steven M. Wise (Da Capo Press, $26, 9780306814754/0306814757, March 23, 2009)

Opening lines of books we want to read, excerpted from the prologue:

In the fall of 2008, I learned that an undercover agent working for People for the Unethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) had been investigating reports of cruelty at a large hog-breeding farm. I asked PETA lawyer Dan Paden to send me some video showing what their agent had seen.

I thought that nothing we humans do to pigs could upend me. Then Paden sent me a four-minute highlights clip of what the latest farm investigator had seen. Soon after I flicked it on, I began crying so uncontrollably that it took me an hour and a half to finish it.

In this book, I do not recite the atrocities we perpetuate upon pigs. Instead, I discuss why we think it's okay to inflict them. And that discussion brings us to the study of history. [The slaughterhouse] rested on what were once the fields of a plantation . . . both slaughterhouse and plantation occupied ground upon which had strode, and likely lived, Native Americans.

North Carolina's settlers were mostly Protestant, mostly Englishmen. They brought their Bibles with them and located varied alleged Divine justifications for exterminating the Indians, enslaving Africans, and inflicting hideous cruelties upon mother pigs and their babies . . . The stories of how the Indian genocide, the black chattel slavery, and the war upon pigs were perpetrated, how the first two were overturned by the religious themselves, and how the justification for the last is being vigorously challenged today, again by the religious, is An American Trilogy.

--Selected by Marilyn Dahl


Berkley Books: Hell in the Heartland: Murder, Meth, and the Case of Two Missing Girls by Jax Miller

Children's Book Review: The Uninvited

The Uninvited by Tim Wynne-Jones (Candlewick, $16.99, 9780763639846/0763639842, 352 pp., ages 14-up, May 2009)

A charming cottage on McAdam's Snye in Canada becomes a crossroads where a young woman who's just completed her freshman year of college and two 20-something guys discover they share something in common in this suspenseful mystery. Wynne-Jones, who proved with his A Thief in the House of Memory that he has a knack for endowing a setting with all of the attributes of a living, breathing character, outdoes himself here. Mimi Shapiro, a lifelong New Yorker, is seeking reprieve and refuge from a relationship-run-amok (with a college professor) when she arrives at the cottage, which belongs to her "hardly the world's most reliable" father. Although the man hasn't been to the cottage in 20 years, it looks to Mimi as though someone else has been there recently. Very recently. In fact, the locks have been changed, and as she goes for Plan B, a male close to her age stops her-- Jackson "Jay" Page. It turns out that Mimi's father had another family here on the snye ("a side channel that bypasses a falls or rapids and rejoins the river downstream, creating an island"), before he met Mimi's mother. But someone else has been breaking in and leaving little "presents" for Jay (a dead bluebird on the table, a snakeskin on his pillow), and the interloper soon begins messing with Mimi's things, too. The mystery of why her father has kept from her the information about Jay's existence takes a backseat to Mimi's own journey as she begins to bond with her half-brother and to stand up for herself in the face of these strange occurrences at their father's cottage. Wynne-Jones plants some tantalizing red herrings, and the plot will keep teens turning pages, but the author's greatest feat is in the development of these three characters and their connection to each other. By shifting among the trio's points of view, the author explores how circumstances can shape the best and worst of us, and nothing is as simple as it first appears.--Jennifer M. Brown


The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Titles in Chicagoland Last Week

The bestselling titles at independent bookstores in and around Chicago during the week ended Sunday, April 12, were:

Hardcover fiction
1. Laura Rider's Masterpiece by Jane Hamilton
2. The Women by T.C. Boyle
3. 2666 by Roberto Bolano
4. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
5. The Help by Katherine Stockett
Hardcover nonficiton
1. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
2. Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey
3. Liberty and Tyranny by Mark Levin
4. The Other Side of Paradise by Staceyann Chin
5. My Bookie Wook by Russell Brand
Paperback fiction
1. Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
2. The Commoner by John B. Schwartz
3. American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
4. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
5. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Paperback nonfiction
1. Infidel by Ali Ayaan Hirsi
2. Bonk by Mary Roach
3. Climbing the Mango Tree by Madhur Jaffrey
4. Nudge by Richard Thaler
1. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
2. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
3. The Dot by Peter Reynolds
4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

Reporting stores: Anderson's, Naperville and Downers Grove; Read Between the Lynes, Woodstock; Book Table, Oak Park; the Book Cellar, Lincoln Square; Lake Forest Books, Lake Forest; the Bookstall at Chestnut Court, Winnetka; and 57th St. Books; Seminary Co-op; Women and Children First, Chicago

[Many thanks to the booksellers and Carl Lennertz!]


AuthorBuzz: Health Communications: The Pleasure Plan: One Woman's Search for Sexual Healing by Laura Zam
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