Archive for March 2007

Book of the Year Awards

March 30, 2007

bsboy3.gifI always try to note the books that have won awards, just because so often there’s a good reason for the honor. I also think someone out there (I do this myself) just might have browsed River City’s tables, spotted a title and thought “I wonder if that’s any good …” and then later found out that, well, it was good enough to earn recognition at a rubber chicken banquet so maybe I should go back and read it.

So, then, here are the winners of the 2007 Book Sense Book of the Year Awards — “recognizing those titles independent booksellers most enjoyed selling during the past year” — as voted by the owners and staff of American Booksellers Association bookstores (like the one in your neighborhood):

Adult Fiction: Water for Elephants: A Novel by Sara Gruen

Adult Nonfiction: I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on
Being a Woman
by Nora Ephron

Children’s Literature: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Children’s Illustrated: Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable
by Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff, and Dr. Paul Kahumbu;
photos by Peter Greste


Her Power Knows No Bounds

March 29, 2007

the-road.jpgAll I can say is that this bit of news was no small stunner. They say he’s only slightly more public than J.D. Salinger … FYI: The link is for the hardcover. It’s my understanding that the paperback edition will be available soon, based on the timing of his appearance (his first “ever” TV interview), and I’ll let you know when I spot copies down at the neighborhood bookstore.

Harry Is Here (Actually, It’s Just the Cover)

March 28, 2007

mlk-fcvr-sized.jpgIt’s another day, and I have another update about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Scholastic, the book’s publisher, has released cover art for the seventh and final Harry Potter book (this just in: it’s due at River City Books on July 21 at 12:01 a.m.) Once again, Mary GrandPré, illustrator of all six previous U.S. editions of the Harry Potter books, designed the cover. As you can see (click on to enlarge), the cover features a dramatic sky of oranges and golds and it depicts 17-year-old Harry with arm outstretched.

“For the first time the cover is a wrap-around,” said David Saylor of Scholastic. “On the back cover spidery hands are outstretched towards Harry. Only when the book is opened does one see a powerful image of He-Who-Must-Not-Be- Named, his glowing red eyes peering out from his hood.”

Check back tomorrow when I’ll have an exclusive one-on-one Barbara Walters-style interview with J.K. Rowling. OK, maybe not.

Listen to Harry Potter’s Last Words

March 27, 2007

hp7.JPGAs faithful readers know, I continue to dig around for scoops about the next (and last) edition of paper gold, er, um the Harry Potter series. This just in: Not only will there be regular hardcover and deluxe editions of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, when the curtain is unveiled in approximately 117 days, 9 hours and 43 and a half minutes — who’s counting with me? — there also will be an audiobook version. This unabridged audiobook will clock in at more than 21 hours and take up 17 CDs and 12 cassettes. That’s a long car trip.

In case you’re wondering, Grammy-award winner Jim Dale, who narrated the audios of the first six Harry Potter titles, is recording this one, too.

Of course, River City Books continues to offer deep discounts on all formats. Pre-ordering is fast, easy and free. Stop by 306 Division Street or call 507-646-7754. And don’t forget these three words: Harry Potter Party.

Three Newbies To Check Out

March 26, 2007

It’s been awhile since I perused the list of Book Sense picks, but when I finally got around to it last night I found three titles that look especially tasty. Perhaps you might like to give them a gander next time you stop by a bookstore approved of by nine of ten dentists.

love-me.jpgYou Don’t Love Me Yet: A Novel by Jonathan Lethem.
” An entertaining story of twenty-somethings-dangerously- close-to-thirty in L.A. who are hip, but clueless. Lucinda quits her barrista job to answer a telephone complaint line as part of an art installation and connects with The Complainer, whose creative laments are transformed into brilliant, original songs for her band. When The Complainer wants in on the action everyone is sent scrambling.” -Lyn Roberts, Square Books, Oxford, Mississippi

economy.jpgDeep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future by Bill McKibben. “Deep Economy challenges the reader to imagine a future of thriving local economies where people act in community, instead of according to their own isolated best interests. McKibben shows how people have envisioned and are living in contrast to the relentlessly pursued ideal that more is better. He gives readers inspiration, tools, hopes, and a good, strong call to action.” Linda Ramsdell, The Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, Vt.

remainder.jpgRemainder: A Novel by Tom McCarthy. “The narrator, becoming extremely rich after an accident that causes memory loss, uses his wealth to reenact things he might remember or events he witnessed. Buying and renovating buildings, hiring role players, always looking for perfection through endless repetitions, he narrator and even his hired ‘facilitator’ are losing touch with reality, which leads to a surprising and blockbuster ending.” -Jean Paul Adriennsen, Water Street Books, Exeter, N.H.

Click here for a full slate of current Book Sense picks.

Listen To Your ‘Eldest’

March 23, 2007

eldest.JPGI didn’t have to look far to find some plaudits for The Eldest:

“Unusual, powerful … fresh and fluid. An impressive start to a writing career that’s sure to flourish.” –Booklist

“Christopher Paolini make[s] literary magic with his precocious debut.” –People

“The new ‘It’ book of children’s lit.” –U.S. News & World Report

“An auspicious beginning to both career and series.” –Publishers Weekly

The book’s been a …

Book Sense Book of the Year
No. 1 Book Sense Selection
No. 1 New York Times Bestseller
No. 1 Publishers Weekly Bestseller
USA Today Bestseller
Wall Street Journal Bestseller

Best news of the bundle? “The Eldest” has just been released in paperback and, as you can see, last night I spotted a few copies at the old neighborhood bookstore.

A Book Report (But Not the Kind You Write)

March 22, 2007

report.gifJust a short note to thank Adam Gurno for the new feature he’s added to his blog at What a great idea. Happy to be a part of the report. If you haven’t yet, check it out.