The March 2007 Book Sense Picks & Notables Preview

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Here is the full listing of March Book Sense Picks, with booksellers' comments, as well as a preview of the month's Notables. Independent booksellers in the Book Sense program will be receiving their March Picks fliers in the February Red Box. (The flier includes jacket images, bibliographic information, and bookseller quotes.)

Book Sense also sends a reminder that the February Notables flier and shelf-talkers are now available in PDF format on ABA's trade website,

The March 2007 Book Sense Picks

1. HEART-SHAPED BOX: A Novel, by Joe Hill (Morrow, $24.95, 9780061147937 / 0061147931) "When musician Judas Coyne buys a haunted suit in an online auction, a malevolent spirit begins to threaten his sanity. Coyne's life spirals into a nightmarish terror as the ghost becomes more powerful, forcing him to flee his home and embark on a journey to confront demons both fantastic and psychological. Joe Hill has crafted a deliciously creepy, modern ghost story with a rock 'n' roll sensibility." --Lou A. Swartz, The Turning Page, Old Lyme, CT

IF YOU LIVED HERE: A Novel, by Dana Sachs (Morrow, $24.95, 9780061130489 / 0061130486) "This story of an American woman's adoption of a Vietnamese boy is a wonderful book -- a beautifully told story of families, loves lost and found, and the strength that is within each of us. I could not believe this is Dana Sachs' first novel! The characters really speak to the reader." --Pam White, Skyland Books, West Jefferson, NC

ASTRID & VERONIKA: A Novel, by Linda Olsson (Penguin, $14 paper, 9780143038078 / 0143038079) "Gravlax and lingonberries, dark winter nights, you can almost smell Sweden as you read through the pages of this compelling story about a friendship between two very different women, who, nonetheless, are able to strip away their differences as they share stories and secrets over the course of one year." --Daniel Goldin, Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop, Milwaukee, WI

MISSISSIPPI SISSY, by Kevin Sessums (St. Martin's, $24.95, 9780312341015 / 0312341016) "Sessums' autobiography offers the portrait of a gay man growing up in Mississippi, from the young child who will always be different, to his painful coming-of-age story, which will resonate with all too many, and, finally, as a young man, finding a haven in a circle of southern writers. Sad, witty, and compelling, this boy will engage your heart." --Jeanne Costello, Maria's Bookshop, Durango, CO

THE SECRET OF LOST THINGS: A Novel, by Sheridan Hay (Doubleday, $23.95, 9780385518482 / 038551848X) "Grumpy, odd booksellers, an immigrant who finds her place in the rarified / abysmal world of a New York bookstore, the whiff of an elusive Melville manuscript, and, best of all, an author who can write about the world of books in words you will savor. The Secret of Lost Things lovingly tells of things and emotions lost and found, of lives and worlds that surround and abound with depths we never notice." --Becky Milner, Vintage Books, Vancouver, WA

THE SPELLMAN FILES: A Novel, by Lisa Lutz (Simon & Schuster, $25, 9781416532392 / 1416532390) "In this funny debut, Lisa Lutz has given us a rollicking tale concerning a sweet but dysfunctional family of private detectives who use their considerable spy craft to keep tabs on each other. There's a lot of parental meddling, mayhem, and mirth in this spirited mystery." --Joe Drabyak, Chester County Book & Music Company, West Chester, PA

STORM RUNNERS: A Novel, by T. Jefferson Parker (Morrow, $25.95, 9780060854232 / 0060854235) "Matt Stromsoe is a good but injured, flawed, and complex man. He was a sheriff's deputy when a bomb meant for him killed his wife and son, sending him into a two-year lost weekend. Hired to protect a beautiful TV weather reporter from a stalker, he begins to find himself as he finds connections between the stalker and the bomber. A great read." --Tom Ahern, Latitude 33 Bookshop, Laguna Beach, CA

FINN: A Novel, by Jon Clinch (Random House, $23.95, 9781400065912 / 1400065917) "A decidedly dark and especially compelling read, Jon Clinch easily ensnares the reader with this tale of Huckleberry Finn's father. With a keen eye for character detail and a uncanny gift for storytelling, the author has invented an outstanding tale that stands up and walks around on its own -- out of the shadow of Mark Twain's masterpiece." --Erik C. Barnum, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT

REMAINDER: A Novel, by Tom McCarthy (Vintage, $13.95 paper, 9780307278357 / 0307278352) "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, NH

DEEP ECONOMY: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future, by Bill McKibben (Times Books, $25, 9780805076264 / 0805076263) "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

THE ECHELON VENDETTA: A Novel, by David Stone (Putnam, $25.95, 9780399154089 / 0399154086) "This extraordinarily suspenseful debut novel is the best CIA / intelligence story I have read. With characters who are rendered very (almost frighteningly) real, this is a whodunit for the 21st century." --Edmund M. Kaufman, 'M' is for Mystery, San Mateo, CA

YOU DON'T LOVE ME YET: A Novel, by Jonathan Lethem (Doubleday, $24.95, 9780385512183 / 038551218X) "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, MS

VINNIE'S HEAD: A Novel, by Marc Lecard (St. Martin's Minotaur, $23.95, 9780312360214 / 0312360215) "From the moment Johnnie LoDuco unexpectedly snags his friend Vinnie's noggin while fishing for flounder, this story lurches and careens from one delightfully outlandish episode to another, as hapless Johnnie tries to evade the thugs who seem desperate to get a hold of the head. Wickedly funny and delightfully gruesome." --Karen Spengler, I Love A Mystery, Mission, KS

ON THE WRONG TRACK: A Holmes on the Range Mystery, by Steve Hockensmith (St. Martin's Minotaur, $23.95, 9780312347819 / 0312347812) "The marvelous characters in this novel of the Old West include train robbers, traveling salesmen, undercover RR detectives, and murderers. Cowboy detectives Big Red and Old Red Amlingmeyer are quite a pair, and this second novel from Hockensmith is as satisfying as his first, Holmes on the Range." --Susan Wasson, Bookworks, Albuquerque, NM

STEALING BUDDHA'S DINNER: A Memoir, by Bich Minh Nguyen (Viking, $24.95, 9780670038329 / 0670038326) "Bich Minh Nguyen's memoir captures the many nuances of being Vietnamese in 1980s right-wing Grand Rapids, Michigan. To cope with life she develops three different worlds -- the one inside her home, outdoors in Grand Rapids, and in her books and television. A great book that I will recommend to my book club." --Andra Tracy, Out Word Bound, Indianapolis, IN

PAST PERFECT: A Novel, by Susan Isaacs (Scribner, $25, 9780743242165 / 0743242165) "Now a screenwriter for a cable TV series adapted from her novel about the spy game, former CIA analyst Katie Schottland should be on top of the world. But her termination from her dream job still rankles. So, when she receives a strange call from a former colleague, Katie decides to find the answer in this funny, fast-moving, and terrific thriller." --Kathy Ashton, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT

IGNORANCE, CONFIDENCE, AND FILTHY-RICH FRIENDS: The Business Adventures of Mark Twain, Chronic Speculator and Entrepreneur, by Peter Krass (Wiley, $22.95, 9780471933373 / 0471933376) "Peter Krass has written a fascinating book detailing a side of Twain few know about -- his aptitude for business. This one is reader-friendly and lots of fun." --Mary McHale, Fox Tale Books, New Durham, NH

THE FRIENDS OF MEAGER FORTUNE: A Novel, by David Adams Richards (MacAdam Cage, $25, 9781596921894 / 1596921897) "This extraordinary novel follows the rise and fall of New Brunswick lumber barons and is a modern take on classical tragedy. It possesses a rare combination: page-turning intensity and meditative depth, and it finds surprising beauty in the proposition that, try as one might, no one lives innocently." --Adam Schnitzer, Green Apple Books, San Francisco, CA

THE CASE OF THE MISSING BOOKS: A Mobile Library Mystery, by Ian Sansom (Harper Paperbacks, $12.95 paper, 9780060822507 / 0060822503) "A charming, often hilarious novel of book-loving librarian who goes to a small Northern Ireland town to run its library, only to find the real library's been closed and he's forced to run a mobile library. For fans of everything along the lines of Alexander McCall Smith and Maisie Dobbs." --David Thompson, Murder By The Book, Houston, TX

THE ROYAL NONESUCH: What Will I Do When I Grow Up, by Glasgow Phillips (Grove Press, Black Cat, $14 paper, 9780802170286 / 0802170285) "A memoir whose subtitle says it all. Glasgow Phillips has early success with a book, and opportunities abound. Then, a second book never gets started. The Internet buzz buzzes by. An absolutely terrible idea for a movie actually gets made. It's not 'when' he grows up, it's 'will' he. Funny, knuckleheaded, outrageous, and, finally sensitive. A crazy read." --Dick Garvey, Watermark Book Co., Anacortes, WA

The March 2007 Book Sense Notables Preview


ALPHABET WEEKENDS: Love on the Road From A to Z, by Elizabeth Noble (HarperCollins, $14.95 paper, 9780061122187 / 0061122181)

THE FABRIC OF NIGHT, by Christoph Peters (Nan A. Talese / Doubleday, $23.95, 9780385514477 / 0385514476)

A FAR COUNTRY, by Daniel Mason (Knopf, $24, 9780375414664 / 0375414665)

THE FRIDAY NIGHT KNITTING CLUB, by Kate Jacobs (Putnam, $22.95, 9780399154096 / 0399154094)

GREY, by Jon Armstrong (Night Shade, $14.95 paper, 9781597800655 / 1597800651)

THE LIAR'S DIARY, by Patry Francis (Dutton, $24.95, 9780525949909 / 0525949909)

MOTHERS AND SONS, by Colm Toibin (Scribner, $24, 9781416534655 / 1416534652)

OFF ARMAGEDDON REEF, by David Weber (Tor, $25.95, 9780765315007 / 0765315009)

THE SWEET LIFE, by Lynn York (Plume, $14 paper, 9780452288225 / 0452288223)


THE HUMAN TOUCH: Our Part in the Creation of a Universe, by Michael Frayn (Metropolitan, $32.50, 9780805081480 / 0805081488)

MADE TO STICK: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath (Random House, $24.95, 9781400064281 / 1400064287)

A PERFECT MESS: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder -- How Crammed Closets, Cluttered Offices, and On-the-Fly Planning Make the World a Better Place, by Eric Abrahamson and David H. Freedman (Little, Brown, $25.95, 9780316114752 / 0316114758)

PISTOL: The Life of Pete Maravich, by Mark Kriegel (Free Press, $27, 9780743284974 / 0743284976)

THREE CUPS OF TEA: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (Penguin, $15 paper, 9780143038252 / 0143038257)

THE WHITE CASCADE: The Great Northern Railway Disaster and America's Deadliest Avalanche, by Gary Krist (Holt, $26, 9780805077056 / 0805077057)

WORKING STIFF: The Misadventures of an Accidental Sexpert, by Grant Stoddard (Harper Perennial, $13.95 paper, 9780060876128 / 0060876123)

Mystery / Suspense

EFFIGIES, by Mary Anna Evans (Poisoned Pen, $24.95, 9781590583425 / 1590583426)

A FALSE MIRROR: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery, by Charles Todd (Morrow, $23.95, 9780060786731 / 0060786736)

NERVE DAMAGE, by Peter Abrahams (Morrow, $24.95, 9780061137976 / 0061137979)

THE STAR: A Tarot Card Mystery, by David Skibbins (St. Martin's Minotaur, $23.95, 9780312361938 / 0312361939)