More book news, Dec. 22, 2012

Published:

Book signing today in Kent and Hudson

Local author Jenny Shanahan and illustrator Lauren Arsena will be at Logos Bookstore, 976 W. Main St., Kent, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. today to sign their holiday book, "Lost and Found: Jesus the Greatest Treasure," a children's book about the three Magi in search of baby Jesus. They will also appear at the Learned Owl Book Shop, 204 N. Main St., Hudson, at 1 p.m. today.

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Best-seller lists

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

Associated Press

HARDCOVER FICTION

1. "The Racketeer" by John Grisham (Doubleday)

2. "Threat Vector" by Tom Clancy (Putnam)

3. "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn (Crown)

4. "Notorious Nineteen" by Janet Evanovich (Bantam)

5. "Merry Christmas, Alex Cross" by James Patterson (Little, Brown)

6. "The Forgotten" by David Baldacci (Grand Central Publishing)

7. "The Casual Vacancy" by J.K. Rowling (Little, Brown)

8. "Two Graves" by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child (Grand Central)

9. "The Last Man" by Vince Flynn (Atria/Emily Bestler Books)

10. "The Black Box" by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown)

11. "Agenda 21" by Glenn Beck and Harriet Parke (Threshold Editions)

12. "The Time Keeper" by Mitch Albom (Hyperion)

13. "Flight Behavior" by Barbara Kingsolver (Harper)

14. "The Twelve Tribes of Hattie" by Ayana Mathis (Knopf)

15. "Cross Roads" by Wm. Paul Young (Faith/Words)

HARDCOVER NONFICTION

1. "Killing Kennedy" by Bill O'Reilly (Henry Holt and Co.)

2. "Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust" by Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter)

3. "Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power" by Jon Meacham (Random House)

4. "Guinness World Records 2013" by Guinness World Records (Guinness World Records)

5. "America Again" by Stephen Colbert (Grand Central Publishing)

6. "No Easy Day" by Mark Owen (Dutton)

7. "Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers" (Faith/Words)

8. "Fifty Shades of Chicken" by F.L. Fowler (Clarkson Potter)

9. "The Signal and the Noise" by Nate Silver (Penguin)

10. "I Declare: 31 Promises to Speak" by Joel Osteen (Faith/Words)

11. "The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook" by Deb Perelman (Knopf)

12. "Waging Heavy Peace" by Neil Young (Blue Rider Press)

13. "Ripley's Believe It of Not!" by Geoff Tibballs (Ripley Publishing)

14. "Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die" by Willie Nelson (William Morrow)

15. "Bruce" by Peter Ames Carlin (Touchstone Books)

MASS MARKET PAPERBACKS

1. "Kill Alex Cross" by James Patterson (Vision)

2. "Locked On" by Janet Evanovich (Bantam)

3. "Wicked Business" by Janet Evanovich (Bantam)

4. "Jack Reacher: One Shot" by Lee Child (Dell)

5. "Unnatural Acts" by Stuart Woods (Signet)

6. "Glad Tidings" by Debbie Macomber (Harlequin Mira)

7. "Unspoken" by Lisa Jackson (Zebra)

8. "The First Prophet" by Kay Hooper (Jove)

9. "V Is for Vengeance" by Sue Grafton (Berkley)

10. "The Sins of the Father" by Jeffrey Archer (St. Martin's)

11. "Hotel Vendome" by Danielle Steel (Dell)

12. "Fall of Giants" by Ken Follett (Signet)

13. "Fatal Friends, Deadly Neighbor" by Ann Rule (Pocket Books)

14. "1225 Christmas Tree Lane" by Debbie Macomber (Harlequin Mira)

15. "Running Wild: The Men from Battle Ridge" by Linda Howard (Ballantine)

TRADE PAPERBACKS

1. "Proof of Heaven" by Eben Alexander (Simon & Schuster)

2. "Fifty Shades of Grey" by E.L. James (Vintage)

3. "Private London" by James Patterson (Grand Central)

4. "Team of Rivals" by Doris Kearns Goodwin (Simon & Schuster)

5. "Fifty Shades Freed" by E.L. James (Vintage)

6. "Fifty Shades Darker" by E.L. James (Vintage)

7. "How to Tell if Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You" by The Oatmeal/Matthew Inman (Andrews McMeel)

8. "Life of Pi" by Yann Martel (Mariner Books)

9. "The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again" by J.R.R. Tolkien (Mariner Books)

10. "The Perfect Hope" by Nora Roberts (Berkley)

11. "The Paris Wife" by Paula McLain (Ballantine)

12. "World Almanac and Book of Facts 2013" by World Almanac (World Almanac)

13. "Reflected in You" by Sylvia Day (Berkley)

14. "To Heaven and Back" by Mary C. Neal (WaterBrook Press)

15. "The Chew" by Peter Kaminsky (Hyperion)

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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WALL STREET JOURNAL BEST-SELLERS

The Associated Press

FICTION

1. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel" by Jeff Kinney (Amulet Books)

2. "The Racketeer" by John Grisham (Doubleday)

3. "Threat Vector" by Tom Clancy with Mark Greaney (Putnam)

4. "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn (Crown Publishing Group)

5. "Notorious Nineteen" by Janet Evanovich (Bantam)

6. "Merry Christmas, Alex Cross" by James Patterson (Little, Brown)

7. "Heroes of Olympus: The Mark of Athena" by Rick Riordan (Disney-Hyperion)

8. "The Forgotten" by David Baldacci (Grand Central Publishing)

9. "The Casual Vacancy" by J.K. Rowling (Little, Brown)

10. "I Funny" by James Patterson, Chris Grabenstein (Little, Brown)

NONFICTION

1. "Killing Kennedy" by Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard (Henry Holt & Co.)

2. "The Elf on the Shelf" by Carol V. Aebersold, Chanda A. Bell (CCA&B)

3. "Killing Lincoln" by Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard (Henry Holt & Co.)

4. "Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust" by Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter)

5. "Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power" by Jon Meacham (Random House)

6. "Guinness World Records 2013" by Guinness Book Records (Guinness Book Records)

7. "America Again" by Stephen Colbert (Grand Central Publishing)

8. "Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence" by Sarah Young (Integrity Publishers)

9. "No Easy Day" by Mark Owen with Kevin Maurer (Dutton Books)

10. "LEGO Ninjago: Character Encyclopedia" by DK Publishing (DK Publishing)

FICTION E-BOOKS

1. "Two Graves" by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child (Grand Central Publishing)

2. "The Edge of Never" by J.A. Redmerski (J.A. Redmerski)

3. "The Forgotten" by David Baldacci (Grand Central Publishing)

4. "The Hobbit" by J.R.R Tolkien (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

5. "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn (Crown Publishing Group)

6. "Wallbanger" by Alice Clayton (Alice Clayton)

7. "The Black Box" by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown)

8. "Merry Christmas, Alex Cross" by James Patterson (Little, Brown)

9. "The Racketeer" by John Grisham (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

10. "Notorious Nineteen" by Janet Evanovich (Random House)

NONFICTION E-BOOKS

1. "Proof of Heaven" by Eben Alexander (Simon & Schuster)

2. "Killing Kennedy" by Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard (Henry Holt & Co.)

3. "Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever" by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard (Henry Holt and Co.)

4. "Team of Rivals" by Doris Kearns Goodwin (Simon & Schuster)

5. "Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power" by Jon Meacham (Random House)

6. "Damaged" by Cathy Glass (HarperCollins)

7. "No Easy Day" by Mark Owen with Kevin Maurer (Penguin Group)

8. "Eat to Live" by Joel Fuhrman (Little, Brown)

9. "Wheat Belly" by William Davis (Rodale)

10. "I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This!" by Bob Newhard (Hyperion)

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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USA TODAY BEST-SELLERS

The Associated Press

1. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel" by Jeff Kinney (Amulet Books)

2. "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

3. "Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot" by Bill O'Reilly, Martin Dugard (Henry Holt and Co.)

4. "The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition" by Carol V. Aebersold, Chanda B. Bell (CCA and B)

5. "Proof of Heaven" by Eben Alexander (Simon & Schuster)

6. "The Racketeer" by John Grisham (Doubleday)

7. "Fifty Shades of Grey" by E.L. James (Vintage)

8. "Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever" by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard (Henry Holt and Co.)

9. "Threat Vector" by Tom Clancy, Mark Greaney (Putnam Adult)

10. "The Forgotten" by David Baldacci (Grand Central Publishing)

11. "Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust" by Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter)

12. "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn (Crown)

13. "Guinness World Records 2013" by Guinness World Records (Guinness World Records)

14. "Notorious Nineteen" by Janet Evanovich (Bantam)

15. "Merry Christmas, Alex Cross" by James Patterson (Little, Brown)

16. "Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power" by Jon Meacham (Random House)

17. "Two Graves" by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child (Grand Central Publishing)

18. "Fifty Shades Trilogy Bundle" by E.L. James (Vintage)

19. "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" by Doris Kearns Goodwin (Simon & Schuster)

20. "The Black Box" by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown)

21. "No Easy Day" by Mark Owen, Kevin Maurer (Dutton)

22. "Heroes of Olympus: The Mark of Athena" by Rick Riordan (Disney-Hyperion)

23. "Fifty Shades Freed" by E.L. James (Vintage)

24. "Fifty Shades Darker" by E.L. James (Vintage)

25. "The Last Man: A Novel" by Vince Flynn (Atria/Emily Bestler Books)

For the extended, interactive and searchable version of this list, visit http://books.usatoday.com/list/index

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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Justice reaches settlement with Penguin on e-books

By JESSE J. HOLLAND, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Justice Department announced Tuesday it has reached a settlement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc. in its lawsuit accusing the nation's largest book publishers of colluding with Apple Inc. to raise e-book prices on customers.

The settlement, if approved by a federal judge, leaves Apple and Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC, which does business as Macmillan, as the only defendants standing against the federal government's charges that Apple, the multimedia and computer giant, conspired with several publishers in the fall of 2009 to force e-book prices several dollars above the $9.99 charged by Amazon.com on its popular Kindle device.

The Justice Department, which sued in April, settled with Hachette Book Group, Inc., HarperCollins Publishers LLC and Simon & Schuster Inc. earlier this year. The trial is scheduled to begin in June.

"The proposed settlement with Penguin will be an important step toward undoing the harm caused by the publishers' anticompetitive conduct and restoring retail price competition so consumers can pay lower prices for Penguin's e-books," said Jamillia Ferris, chief of staff and counsel at the Justice Department's antitrust division.

Apple Inc. has said the government's accusation that it conspired with major book publishers to raise the price of e-books is untrue.

The proposed settlement was filed in federal court in New York.

The settlement had been expected by some industry observers as a means to simplify Penguin's impending merger with Random House, which is not a defendant in the case. That deal would create the world's largest publisher of consumer books.

Under the settlement, Penguin "will be prohibited for two years from entering into new agreements that constrain retailers' ability to offer discounts or other promotions to consumers to encourage the sale of the Penguin's e-books," and must submit to "a strong antitrust compliance program" that includes telling federal officials about any joint e-book ventures or any communications with other publishers, Justice Department officials said.

The Justice Department's lawsuit stems from agreements reached between major publishers and Apple in 2010 that allowed publishers to set their own prices for e-books, an effort to counter Amazon's deep discounts of best sellers. The department and 15 states said Apple and the publishers cost consumers more than $100 million in the past two years by adding $2 or $3, sometimes as much as $5, to the price of each e-book.

E-books are believed to comprise around 25-30 percent of total book sales.

Penguin Books is scheduled to merge with Random House, which is owned by German media company Bertelsmann. The resulting combination will have around a quarter of the market for consumer books. "Should the proposed joint venture proceed to consummation, the terms of Penguin's settlement will apply to it," the department said.

Last week, the European Union's competition watchdog accepted proposals by four publishers and Apple to end agreements that set retail prices for e-books -- a practice the EU feared violated competition rules. The agreement was legally binding on Hachette Livre; Harper Collins; Simon & Schuster; and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck, which owns Macmillan. That deal was also binding on Penguin.

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Editor's note: OK, so the following isn't technically about books. But it's about entertainment, and I certainly found it interesting. Besides, there aren't any AP reviews this week. Merry ChrismaHannuKwanzaakah! -- MLR

Drama surrounds daytime soaps' struggle to survive

By SCOTT D. PIERCE, Salt Lake Tribune

Forget backstabbing, adultery and evil twins -- the biggest drama for daytime soap operas is just trying to survive.

Once there were 19. Now there are four. And as Anthony Geary (Luke on "General Hospital") admitted, "We'd been living on death row" before a recent reprieve for his show.

Which doesn't mean that American viewers are done with soaps. Prime-time TV is starting to look a bit like the mid-1980s, when "Dallas," ''Dynasty," ''Knots Landing" and "Falcon Crest" ruled the ratings.

"I feel like 'Revenge' has really made soaps cool again," said ABC Entertainment president Paul Lee.

That show marks a return to glitz and glamour -- along with backstabbing, adultery and maybe even evil twins.

The list of daytime soaps has shrunk to two on CBS ("Young and the Restless," ''Bold and the Beautiful") and one each on ABC ("General Hospital") and NBC ("Days of Our Lives").

"From the world of Luke and Laura's wedding back in 1981, which was watched by 30 million people, the last 30 years have been the decline of the soap operas," said Mark Rubinfeld, chairman of the sociology department at Westminster College.

That's mostly thanks to changing demographics, as the housewives who once watched the shows while they did their ironing are mostly a thing of the past.

"Women went to work," Rubinfeld said. "The stay-at-home moms demographic, which used to be two-thirds of all women, is today somewhere between 25 and 30 percent."

That's why even the four remaining soaps aren't exactly safe. Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis on "GH") compared soaps to "the walking dead" -- and she wasn't referring to the TV show by that title.

"We feel more secure," says "Y&R" star Peter Bergman, because the shows that have replaced soaps haven't drawn big audiences, but that doesn't change the math. Daytime soaps are much more expensive to produce than talk/lifestyle shows.

"GH" producer Frank Valenti believes daytime soaps are "an original American art form" that has to adapt. His show has gone to shorter scenes and a faster storytelling pace.

But there's a certain head-in-the-sand attitude that hasn't disappeared. Jane Elliott (Tracy on "GH") termed their unchanging nature "one of the blessings" of soaps.

"For 50 years, we have been telling stories five days a week, 52 weeks a year," she said. "We are part of people's milestones -- when they are in a hospital with a sick parent, when the women are pregnant and they have their new babies and they come home. It's not just people ironing."

That's ignoring numbers, however. "General Hospital" peaked at 11.4 million viewers in 1980-81. That number dropped to 2 million by 2011-12.

That's quite a drop from the days of "Dallas," a worldwide hit that drew 83 million viewers in this country when it was revealed who shot J.R. (Larry Hagman) in 1980. That's 4 million more than the combined vote totals of Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter in that year's election.

In the two decades since "Dallas" and "Dynasty" faded off the air, the vast majority of prime-time dramas and sitcoms have been serialized to one degree or another. Even crime dramas like the "CSIs" and the "NCISes" include ongoing personal storylines. And most TV comedies end their seasons with cliffhangers.

With fewer daytime soaps, TV screens are filled instead with "Real Housewives." Viewers don't need to invest five hours a week for months and years at a time to follow a reality show's plot.

"It's all about instant gratification, which you can get from reality TV," Rubinfeld said. "And there are so many more choices. When Luke and Laura got married, there were only three, four, five TV channels you could watch. Now you have 500.

"On top of that, you have the Internet and all the social networking sites, so young women can get as much drama as they need from Facebook."

This season, ABC added "Nashville" to "Revenge." And you can certainly argue that "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal" are just soaps of a different kind. The network will add "Mistresses" in 2013.

In January, NBC is debuting "Deception," a soap/murder mystery. That's when the revived "Dallas" launches Season 2 -- or is that Season 16?

"There was a space open for this kind of show that was sort of missing," said Gabriel Mann (Nolan on "Revenge"). "It had a retro feel to it."

These days, "Downton Abbey," the biggest pop-culture sensation to hit PBS in decades, is much like a prime-time soap set on an English manor.

Creator and writer Julian Fellowes said he patterned the show after American series, filling it with "big plots, little plots, funny plots, sad plots" because that "seems to be right for the energy of now."

Oscar- and Emmy-winner Fellowes takes no offense when "Downton" is described as a soap. In contrast, Oscar-winner Callie Khouri ("Thelma and Louise") makes it clear she doesn't want her series, "Nashville," placed in that category. "I'd rather call it a drama," she said.

Which may explain why "Nashville" hasn't caught the pop-culture comet the way "Revenge" has. It takes itself extremely seriously, whereas "Revenge" has fun.

Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service.

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Drive begins to honor victims by reading and donating books

By BILL SCHACKNER, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Of all the heartbreaking images from Friday's massacre at a Connecticut elementary school, one in particular gripped Alice Del Vecchio, an assistant professor at Slippery Rock University in Pittsburgh.

It was that of a grieving father, telling an interviewer how his deceased 6-year-old daughter had only recently learned to read but already was sharing stories with her younger siblings. That's when the idea hit her.

In the coming weeks, Del Vecchio -- with help from what she hopes will be a legion of volunteers -- is encouraging people across the nation to buy a children's book, read it to their child and then donate it to a school, a library or other child-serving organization where they live.

"What better way to celebrate young readers who were killed than to give the gift of reading to others," said Del Vecchio, 59, who directs a program at Slippery Rock for students planning on careers in nonprofit management and community service.

"That's what first-graders do," she said. "They learn to read."

Del Vecchio said that like many others, she wanted to do something following the deaths of 20 first-graders and six employees inside Sandy Hook Elementary School.

She decided that a book drive would be one small way to pay tribute.

Although the idea is only a couple days old, the "We Can Read" project has begun to attract interest as word spreads online among campuses and organizations involved in training community service professionals. A number of Slippery Rock students have pledged to participate, Del Vecchio said, and she has heard from faculty at Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Mo., the University of San Diego and the University of Central Florida.

Some planning to attend this year's gathering of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance on Jan. 2-5 in Atlanta are expected to bring books that will be donated in that community, said Michael Cruz, president of the national alliance that is headquartered in Kansas City, Mo. and prepares students to work in the nonprofit sector.

At Slippery Rock, where students are on winter break, a handful of books have trickled in since emails went out on campus. That's fine, said Del Vecchio, but rather than create a campus warehouse of books she hopes individuals will sign on to coordinate similar "We Can Read" drives in their own communities and deliver the books to places there.

Those interested in participating are asked to send an email to srustudentnonprofitalliance@gmail.com and then follow up with how many books were collected and their destination, so a Valentine's Day letter can be sent to Sandy Hook with the drive's results, Del Vecchio said.

"Even if you've never been a parent or a teacher, you learned how to read," she said. "You remember sitting on somebody's lap and feeling safe. And then the first time you could read the story all by yourself, remember how excited you were."

Since Slippery Rock's winter break runs until Jan. 28, books are being accepted through Dec. 24 and then again from Jan. 28 through Feb. 3, the university said. Del Vecchio said sending the letter for Valentine's Day is important.

"Everybody is thinking about Newtown now," she said. "But in two months the people there might need to know people still remember."

Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service.

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