Rose FoxAndrew AlbaneseWith Thanksgiving – and Black Friday – approaching fast, PW’s Andrew Albanese attended the Association for Corporate Growth’s second annual retail conference this week. As he reports in Monday’s Retail Nation Column, “Flat is the new up.” Albanese also tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally exactly what a surprisingly candid Mike Edwards – the former CEO of the shuttered Borders bookstore chain – considers the company’s fatal mistakes. “The most crucial strategic blunder was not taking the Internet seriously enough in its early days and initially outsourcing its online business to Amazon.”

In her weekly wrap-up of the coming reviews section, Rose Fox takes note of an interview with journalist Blaine Harden, whose book Escape From Camp 14 tells the dramatic story of a man who was born and raised in a North Korean labor camp, and eventually escaped to the West. This week’s children’s fiction section singles out Peter Catalanotto’s Question Boy Meets Little Miss-Know-It-All, set in a surreal suburbia where everyone is a superhero.

Next week, this regular Friday feature takes a break for the holiday, but returns December 2.

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

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