This Week in Publishing 1/18/08

by | Jan 18, 2008 | Uncategorized | 33 comments

Ths wk n Pblshng

Via Pblshrs Lnch, Knpf annced tht bstsllng athr Chrstphr Palini’s nxt novl wll b namd BRISINGR, th Nrse wrd fr fire. No wrd on hw he wll spnd hs spre vowls.

Thanks to reader Gerri Baxter for pointing me to an article on destination bookstores (where people aren’t reading). I would absolutely endorse their selection of City Lights, Elliott Bay, Powell’s, and The Strand (I’m sure the others are swell too but I haven’t been), and I will raise them Borderlands of San Francisco, Cody’s in Berkeley, Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington, KY (which, randomly, I’ve visited), and Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books in the West Village of NYC, which…. I mean, doesn’t the name just say it all? (add your favorites in the comments!)

Maya Reynolds has the goods on how the Directors Guild deal affects the Writer’s Strike. Someone is going to have to cave. Couldn’t we all just agree on payment in the form of Dwight Schrute bobbleheads and call it a day?

It’s award season! Among the notables, the Newbery went to Laura Amy Schlitz for GOOD MASTERS! SWEET LADIES! VOICES FROM A MEDIEVAL VILLAGE, the Caldecott went to Brian Selznick for THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET, the Printz went to Geraldine McCaughrean for THE WHITE DARKNESS, the NBCC Shortlist was announced, and the Edgar Award nominees were announced.

And finally, Nathan Bransford’s 2007 Book-To-Film Adaptation Award goes to (who else) Cormac McCarthy and the Coen Brothers for “No Country For Old Men,” which scared the living crap out of me. I am still recovering. Slowly.

Have a great weekend!


  1. Adaora A.

    Powells did a 28 movie on it’s authors including Ian McEwan who talked about On Chesil Beach.

    I’m reading it now and wow some of the passages…embarassing and endearing at the same time. I felt like I was spying on them but I couldn’t move away from the words. Good thing it was worth the money.

    My Book-To-Film award goes to December Boys (orginally by the deceased australian award winner Michael Noonan!)

  2. Emily

    Ah, Christopher Paolini. I see my fantasy of having him crushed beneath the weight of his overdone manuscript has not yet been realized.

  3. Adaora A.


    This can’t go on for much longer I don’t think. It caused Joanquin Phoenix to mispell his own first name on a cardboard for his silent speech! Surely something must be done.

    A bobblehead would be good, but they should be stuffed with crisp, neatly folded 100 dollar bills to sweeten the deal I think.

  4. Melanie Avila

    Nathan, I’ve been to that bookstore in Lexington. Small world.

  5. Dwight's Writing Manifesto

    Thanks for the list of Bookstore Destinations, Mr. Bransford.

    You just made my summer planning a whole lot easier.

    I also aspire to get to Booked Up, Larry McMurtry’s used bookstore in Archer City, TX. Supposedly the largest used bookstore in the states.

    Larry began his career as a scout/buyer for a rare book finding service.

    You’d think he knows a bit about the bidnezz.

  6. Heidi the Hick


    My son read the first two…had a really hard time figuring out those consonant rich words…

    Favourite destination bookstore? Uppercase Books, New Hamburg, Ontario. Tiny store, great selection, helpful staff, an old cabinet stereo playing vinyl records and two big grey cats! I don’t get in there often enough but cannot walk out empty handed.

    Glad to hear about Brian Selznick’s award. THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET is an experience!!!

  7. Other Lisa

    Acres of Books in Long Beach. Right off the Blue Line Metro Rail. I haven’t been there in a while, but it’s one of those stores where there are books piled in every conceivable space and it goes on and on and on, and suddenly you realize, “Hey, where’s the fiction?” And if it’s in the afternoon, they hand you a flashlight and point you towards The Annex, which has no electricity.


  8. Adaora A.

    Hey Heidi lives in Ontario like I do!

    What about the worlds bigges book store which lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada(which is my neck of the woods)!

    Nathan is reading this either green with envy or drinking hard liquor and eating flavour rich Thai,or Mandarin food.

  9. Kylie

    Seriously, Poalini’s words go against all concievable pronounciation rules. And I’m not just talking about ENGLISH rules.
    That’s so funny, though. The first paragraph looks like a text message. x)

    Some of my favorite bookstores are the Harry W. Schwartz. I think they’re all in south-eastern Wisconsin, but they have so many great books and so many author events. Loved them.

  10. liquidambar

    H wll prbbl s th xtr vwls n “Whl f Frtn.”

    Gosh, it’s hard to type without vowels!

  11. Jordan Lapp

    What? No mention of the Nebulas! Colour me disheartened.

  12. Nadine

    Oh how I wish we had some great bookstores here on Maui. Unfortunately we only have Borders and a B&N just opened up in December. Neither of them something to write home about.

  13. Ernest

    The Tattered Cover in Denver has been a destination bookstore for two generations. Its new location, next to the state’s best record store and a cinema cafe, makes you never want to leave.

  14. Erik

    Ah, they listed an old fave of mine, Books & Books in Coral Gables. I used to spend weekends there as a kid. Didn’t buy much, because if I did I’d have to read it, and nobody does that anymore (so passe!).

  15. Loquacious Me

    I will second the vote for the Tattered Cover in Denver. Is it sad that I’m tempted to change states for a bookstore?

  16. Adaora A.

    @liquiddanbar- It’s not so hard if you type out what you wanted to say and eliminate them after.


    Adaora shops so much she’s soon to be broke as a joke.


    dr shps s mch sh’s sn t b brk s jk

    LOL it looks ridiculous.

    I think Nathan opened a can of worms.

    My name is full of it!

  17. Tom Burchfield

    I’d remove my vowels, too, but it would hurt my poor widdle head.

    In the East Bay: Dark Carnival books, in Berkeley; Moe’s Books in Berkeley; Shakespeare & Co. in Berkeley; Half-price Books, Berkeley; Cody’s in Berkeley; Black Swan Books, Oakland, Spectator Books, Oakland.

    One more for SF if nobody caught it: Green Apple Books in the inner Richmond.

  18. Heidi the Hick

    Adaora a- I have walked past the World’s biggest bookstore…does that count? (I was too scared to go in! There were just…too many…people in there among all those books!

    If you’re ever heading west on the 401, take the expressway through Kitchener, then take the 7&8 toward Stratford. New Hamburg is halfway there, the bookstore is at the end of the main street. It’s a groovy little place.

  19. Anonymous

    I lived in Kentucky for several years, and Joseph-Beth was the only thing to make living there bearable. We’d make a pilgrimage there once a month.

  20. CarBeyond

    Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi is one of those magical places. It is really so special that I would drive hours, again, to browse there.

    They have an extraordinary collection of signed books and photographs of every published author who has ever graced their stacks by coming there to sign or read or speak.

    It is a very inspiring place. The atmosphere seems to permeate your cells as you spend time there.

    In addition, somewhere, on the Sqaure,there is also a restaurant that served the BEST grilled salmon I have ever had.

    Dinner and a Literate Bookstore,


  21. Josephine Damian

    Prairie Lights in Iowa City – my idea of heaven.

    Emily, you are my newest hero!

    Nathan: “There Will Be Blood” from a Sinclair Lewis book, looks like a contender to me.

  22. Luc2

    I’m so thankful for the American Book Centre in Amsterdam. It has a sizable SF/F section, and has recently moved to a new location in the heart of one of the nicest cities in Europe.

  23. superwench83

    I went to a Joseph-Beth in Cincinnati last month to meet an author I like who was doing a signing there. Such a cool place! If only it wasn’t an hour away, I’d be there all the time.

    And I’m totally on board for the Dwight Shrute bobbleheads!

  24. Anonymous

    How about Quail Ridge Books and Music in Raleigh, North Carolina? They have amazing author events almost every day and the staff is incredible!

  25. Jude

    I love the Book Barn in Niantic, CT. Pure heaven.

  26. Roxan

    Never read any Christopher Paolini, but I did see Eragon which had some of the worst movie lines I’ve ever heard.
    I thought Jeremy Irons had better sense.

  27. CarBeyond

    St.John’s College, in Santa Fe is an amazing place where you can get your degree by reading 100 (great) books. Retired intellectuals move to Santa Fe just to attend classes there as well.

    In Santa Fe, there is a fabulous Spanish bookstore called “Collected Works Bookstore” on the square.

    And, in Santa Fe, there is also a wonderful new age bookstore called the Ark, where, in the realm of magical places, books DO fall into your hands serendipitously.

  28. Stephanie


    When our city recently had an ice storm, the Barnes and Noble was one of the only places in town with power. Many people went there to get warm, recharge cell phones, have a hot drink. Most were also reading, but some were playing games, working on computers, etc. It was wonderful to be able to go there, since a lot of us didn’t have heat or electricity for anywhere from 3 to 10 days, and it can get pretty boring sitting in the cold and the dark.

    If it makes you feel any better, we did read and we did buy books while we were there.

    And it was probably a good thing. Some people who hadn’t thought about buying a book or reading one in a long time probably had the idea planted in their head due to this lovely customer service.

    Happy reading, Stephanie, who likes your blog, even if you sent me a reject on my query. 🙂

  29. Adaora A.

    @Heidi- Hey I will! Thanks for that!

    And alright, alright, walking by the biggest bookstore in the world in OUR AREA can count!

    Sounds good I’ll go asap!

  30. Sisyphus

    This is a note of nostalgia. Having moved from the Bay Area years ago, I still miss Cody’s in Berkeley. Then again, I also miss Chez Panisse and the vendor across the campus that sold fantastic Kielbasa.

    My entire being is in disrepair from having to forego such soul food. Yet, it still makes a valiant attempt to defend the melody of vwls.

  31. Nona

    I’d give almost anything to hear David Sedaris sing the “Oscar Meyer song.”

  32. Ulysses

    In my corner of the world, it’s Greenley’s, in a dying area of town. A little store owned and operated by a couple who have always been old. The books overflow the shelves. My wife once saw a little girl ask the lady proprietor a question about a book. The owner smiled, pulled up a chair in the middle of a cramped aisle, sat down and read the book to that child and about three others who showed up. Yeah, it blocked off an aisle, but who cared?

    I don’t know if the owner sold the book or not. Don’t much care either. Some things are better than the exchange of money.

  33. madampresident

    Every downward look of an eye or brief stolen touch, she rolled into a gold bead and wore around her neck as a memento. Every hushed word whispered between friends in the shadows of an early evening sunset, she pilfered with her itchy ears, turning them into rhymes and chants and singsongs. And every rat’s tail flicked behind a rusted out garbage can in some derelict’s alley made home, she felt through the stir of the air and remembered. Women in red lipstick and silk nightgowns pulled their shades and drew their curtains trying to keep their business quiet from her in their loud rented rooms. And children with mean words and nasty mouths silenced themselves as they strolled guilt-faced past her house heading towards some new mischief.

    Nothing big, small, or in between ever got by Ms. Hattie Mae Armbruster. In fact, she was known in the town of Becoming as a woman of exceptional senses, recognized for her remarkable talent of seeing all, hearing all and smelling all. Rumor had it that if she ever died, the real history of Becoming would die with her. All that would be left would be some random dates in a manila folder in the green, four-drawer file cabinet in the town’s Record Department at City Hall.

    It was quite by accident that Hattie Mae found that she was endowed with such talent. Of the two houses that were nestled in the cul-de-sac at the bottom of Alpine Lane, hers was painted a sumptuous split-pea green. Often imagination would send the house spilling out into the open nothingness behind it like a sad kitchen mishap leaving the one doing the imagining either feeling very warm and satisfied or pale and nauseated. It was an old 1919, two-story house with bubble-paned windows that touched the floors and skimmed the ceilings. They marched around the house two by two, surrendering their uniqueness to the ordinariness of being portals through which Hattie Mae’s gift came. Fly-swatted and finger-smeared they surrendered. Every day being a little less of the piece of proud work their craftsman had created them to be and each day becoming a little more what Hattie Mae needed them to be. The two windows in the gee-gaw filled living room where the two that had the most to do with Hattie Mae’s development. The only two whose frames were hand-waxed twice a year and whose bubble-paned glass was wiped down twice per week with an extra soft cloth—three times if it was a particularly insect-ridden summer. Lace curtains hung at the windows, keeping the integrity of the house and making viewing simple. It was here in front of these windows that Hattie Mae skimmed her newspaper headlines, gummed overcooked lima beans, and drooled through the early morning hours. It was here, looking out through lace covered windows up the incline of Alpine Lane that her watching over turned into curiosity of, and her curiosity of became intrusion upon. In the beginning it was because of the good view that she felt called upon to keep an eye on things for everyone while they were off to work, or school, or shopping—whether they had asked her to or not. But somewhere, somehow, things got all twisted up like things sometimes do.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Hi, I’m Nathan. I’m the author of How to Write a Novel and the Jacob Wonderbar series, which was published by Penguin. I used to be a literary agent at Curtis Brown Ltd. and I’m dedicated to helping authors chase their dreams. Let me help you with your book!

My blog has everything you need to know to write, edit, and publish a book. Can’t find what you need or want personalized help? Reach out.


I’m available for consultations, edits, query critiques, brainstorming, and more.



Need help with your query? Want to talk books? Check out the Nathan Bransford Forums!