Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ye Olde Partners Page

*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*

"Children by the million sing for Alex Chilton
When he comes 'round,
They sing 'I'm in love.
What's that song?
I'm in love with that song . . .'"
--The Replacements, Alex Chilton

B. Traven Jr. here. I'd tell you what the 'B' stands for, but I'd have to kill you. Ha, ha! But seriously, you may remember me from such television shows as MonsterQuest, Ghosthunters, The Lockerbie Incident, and of course, albeit briefly, Dancing with the Stars. Mick asked me to take a break from my Canadian Sasquatch hunting and write this week's Partners Page. Ha, ha!

The book that really caught my eye was Jesse Ventura's American Conspiracies (9781602398023) 24.95. I find it peculiar that an 'amateur' like Jesse can get a book deal, whereas someone like myself, who is an 'expert' can't even get his foot in the door at a major publisher. Hmmm, it sounds like a conspiracy. Ha, ha! I decided to flip his book open at random and see what Mr. Ventura had to say, let's see . . . 'Sirhan Sirhan had been programmed by the CIA to assassinate RFK.' Oh, c'mon. Woo, woo, woo! Everybody break out the tinfoil hats. Ha, ha! Nobody could possibly believe that. I think anybody with half a brain knows it was the Mossad that 'Manchurian candidated' Sirhan Sirhan. Sheesh! Partners should have stock tomorrow unless their delivery gets hijacked by Columbian drug lords. Don't laugh. It's happened before . . .

One of my favourite non-fiction writers is Harlan Coben. Non-fiction, you say? You really don't think Mr. Coben makes this stuff up? Over the years, he has taken real stories and merely changed the names. His latest offering is Caught (9780525951582) 27.95, and although the young girl is supposedly the victim of a sexual predator, it was originally an alien abduction account. True story.

My next book selection is on a topic that I've done a little research for the show In Search of. Danielle Trussoni's Angelology (9780670021475) 27.95 purports to tell the tale of the Nephilim, who are half-human and half-angel, and their evil machinations throughout human history. It's seen from the point-of-view of a Sister Evangeline who belongs to a secret group, the Society of Angelologists. Their goal is to keep the Nephilim in check. Ms. Trussoni has most of it right, but it's actually called the Angelologists' Society. But I'm not one to quibble. Ha, ha!

And finally, I have been waiting for the fifth and last book in Brandon Mull's bestselling series, Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison (9781606412381) 21.99. This series has been a great introduction to the wide, wide world of conspiracies. Suspiciously, the publisher is already out of stock, and Partners only has a small supply left in their secret stash. I'm not sure what's going on, but I wouldn't be surprised to find out that the Carlyle Group is behind it. Ha, ha!

And remember, as Bob Heinlein once said, "Secrecy is the beginning of tyranny."

Odds & Sods

Sherman Alexie's trophy case must be getting mighty full. He has now won the PEN/Faulkner Award for his latest title, War Dances (9780802119193) 23.00. Congrats, Mr. Alexie . . .

And on a sad note, Alex Chilton, the original purveyor of power pop music, passed away last Wednesday night of a heart attack. He was only 59 years old. I guess most people don't know who Alex was, which is a shame, but when I first discovered his group big Star I immediately became one of the converted. Big Star's #1 Record and Radio City should be required listening for any music fan. And his final Big Star album Third/Sisters will break your heart in two . . .

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ye Olde Partners Page

*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*

"If I be worthy, I live for my God to teach the heathen, even though they may despise me . . ."
--St. Patrick
1) GET SHORTY . . . America's favourite actress Sandra Bullock, who won the best actress Academy Award for the movie based on Michael Lewis' Blind Side (9780393338386) 13.95, may pick up the movie rights for Michael Lewis' new book, The Big Short (9780393072235) 27.95. She will play the CEO of a major bank who takes a young African-American investment banker under her wing. Of course this is complete conjecture on my part, but I can assure you that The Big Short has been selling like wildfire. The publisher is out of stock and apparently, we are the only wholesaler in the whole multi-verse who still has stock. This one will be big . . .

2) GAME TIME . . . The legendary Lance Parrish, formerly the star catcher for the Detroit Tigers has put together his top five Tigers by position in his new book, Few And Chosen: Defining Tigers Greatness Across the Eras (9781600782862) 24.95. This is the kind of book that will spark good-natured arguments amongst sports fans. In a true show of humility, Mr. Parrish doesn't even list himself in the top five catchers of all-time. C'mon Lance, you really think Matt Nokes was a better catcher than you? As former Tiger great Al Kaline says in the forward, "In Detroit, he [Lance] will always be 'the Big Wheel.'"

3) THE FIRST BILLION IS THE HARDEST . . . I'm not sure if John Grisham's new 'middle reader' character Theodore Boone is any relation to T. Boone Pickens, but it seemed like a clever tie-in to me. This is Mr. Grisham's first foray into this market, so you know there will be a lot of media hub-bub about it. The first title in the series is called Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer (9780525423843) 16.99, and it releases on May 25. He's a thirteen-year-old kid whose parents are attorneys. He solves some difficult capers in a small town. I would recommend that you backorder this title . . .

4) PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES . . . The lovely and vivacious Carrie Ryan stopped in today to sign copies of her two post-apocalyptic zombie young adult titles, The Forest of Hands and Teeth (9780385736824) 9.99 and the second one The Dead Tossed Waves (9780385736848) 17.99. And, actually, her titles are doing so well that we don't have a lot in stock. As per usual, it's first come, first served on all autographed copies . . .

5) IS IT ABOUT BROOKLYN? Colm Toibin's Brooklyn (9781439148952) 15.00 is Chicago's One City, One Read title. And, yes, a customer actually asked that question . . .

Odds & Sods

Sharon Draper's new title is Out of My Mind (9781416971702) 16.99, which features a young protagonist who has a photographic memory but cannot speak. We have a limited quantity of signed copies on-hand if anyone is interested.

For all those old sea captains out there, I am happy to announce that Roger Lelievre's Know Your Ships 2010 (9781891849138) 18.95 is here. I can't think of a more inexpensive date than taking your significant other and a picnic basket down to your local Great Lake and watching the freighters go by . . .

We will not be restocked on The Lego Star Wars Visual Dictionary (9780756655297) 21.99 until April. Humph . . .

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ye Olde Partners Page

*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*

"I don't mind about the war, that's one of the things I like to watch, if it's a war going on, 'cause then I know if our side's winning, if our side's losing . . ."
--A young girl from Roger Waters' Amused to Death
1) TURD BLOSSOM . . . There's a saying that the 'winners write the history books,' and we'll probably be seeing a lot of that in the upcoming months as former members of the Bush administration rack up their big money book deals. Karl Rove's Courage & Consequence (9781439191057) 30.00 is one of those titles. I'm not sure if the title is meant to be ironic. Courage? From a man who never served a day in the military. Consequence? From a man who goaded us into a war under false pretenses. Unless there is an American equivalent of the Nuremburg Trials that I am unaware of, there are rarely any 'consequences' for the rich or the powerful in our country. You may rest assured that the rich folks who benefitted most from the Bush years will take good care of Mr. Rove in the future. In the meantime, his smirk will be appearing on Sean Hannity, Fox & Friends, and the Glenn Beck Show for the next few days. Let the spin begin . . .

2) THE GREATEST GENERATION . . . Every American generation seems to have to learn the hard way that 'War is Hell.' In The Civil War, entire families loaded up their horse-drawn carriages to take in the carnage at the First Battle of Bull Run. Four years later, a war-weary nation was finally ready for peace. A generation later, William Randolph Hearst and his ilk reinstalled the romanticism of war to plunge America into the Spanish-American War. My own grandfather learned the ugliness of war first hand in World War II at the Battle of Okinawa. He didn't like to talk about it. So needless to say, I am intrigued by HBO's new mini-series The Pacific which starts this Sunday. Publishers are issuing a plethora of titles hoping to capitalize on this series, and they are: Hugh Ambrose's The Pacific (9780451230232) 26.95, R.V. Burgin's Islands of the Damned (9780451229908) 24.95, Tears in the Darkness (9780312429706) 18.00 by Michael Norman, Jim Proser's I'm Staying with My Boys (9780312611446) 14.99, With the Old Breed (9780891419068) 16.00 by Eugene Sledge, Eric Hammel's Iwo Jima (9780760337332) 24.99, and finally, Hero of the Pacific (9780470379417) 25.95 by James Brady. A display may be in order . . .

3) MATTERHORN . . . As a young child, I watched a neighborhood mother breakdown in tears on her front porch when the military car pulled up in front of her house. Her son was serving in Vietnam. I was five or six, and as my mom ushered me into the house, she probably thought I was too young to know what was going on. But you knew. Karl Marlantes' Matterhorn (9780802119285) 24.95 is about a platoon ordered to take a hill during the Vietnam War. His book was 35 years in the writing and the reviews have been exceptionally laudatory. This could be the next big title . . .

Odds & Sods

The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Austin has acquired the archive of the late David Foster Wallace. In my opinion, he was the greatest writer of our generation. You can access the press release here:

Easter is early this year. And I'd like to mention a couple of books that should do well:

Ideals Easter 2010 (9780824913243) 8.99 always sells and once they're gone, well, they're gone. Also, Jan Brett is known for her beautifully illustrated Christmas books, but this year she has tackled Easter with her new one, The Easter Egg (9780399252389) 17.99.

"And they are spectacular . . ."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ye Olde Partners Page

*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*

"One original thought is worth a thousand mindless quotings . . ."
Dearest Mick--

Chip, my loyal manservant, and I were betwixt Seasons 2 and 3 of JAG on DVD when your box of new book releases arrived. We put Mac and the rest of the crew on hold, poured a snifter of Henry IV Cognac Grande Champagne, and Chip dutifully burrowed through the box holding up each book for my evaluation. Who says you can't tell a good book by its cover?

Miranda Carter's George, Wilhelm, and Nicholas (9781400043637) 30.00 was the first title that Chip held up and I nearly dropped my silver-plated snifter in surprise. I wasn't sure if you knew I was quite close to Georgie, who later ascended to the English throne as King George V. We both became men while serving on the HMS Bacchante in the Royal Navy. Unfortunately, I could never understand his fascination with stamp collecting.

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter (9780446563086) 21.99? Now, my late grandfather, bless his soul, was a confidant of Abe, and he's never once intimated anything about vampire hunting. Hmmm, Chip says this is historical fiction. Now what kind of poppycock is this? Is this a fad like hula hoops or frisbees but unique to literary circles? Next thing you know, these idiots will be sullying Jane Austen's sterling reputation.

Mick, this was a brilliant choice: The Silent Sea (9780399156250) 27.95 by Clive Cussler. I am sure you were not aware that the Clivester and I were roommates at Dartmouth, and many of Dirk Pitt's exploits were based on my adventures after I graduated from Big Green. He is a class act. In fact, I had Chip make a note to invite him out to the villa.

I see by the tiny stickers on their front covers that you've deigned to send the Barnes & Noble Discover Award winners, also. David Cullen's Columbine (9780446546928) 15.99 was the non-fiction choice. And Victor Lodato's Mathilda Savitch (9780312430030) 14.00 was the fiction winner. I am certain that they are not related, but I did date a Jessica Savitch during the 1970s. Boy, Jessica could really party. On more than one occasion I had to track down my chauffeur to find out how I arrived back at the mansion in one piece. It was a simpler time. Alas, like so many of my friends, she has gone on to a better place.

Well, it appears Chip is ready to dig into the next episode of JAG, and he needs to freshen my drink. I would like to thank you for your generosity, and I hope to see you soon when I am over on your side of the pond.

Warmest Regards,
Charles Edmund Wilson III

Odds & Sods

It's not exactly the Smithsonian Museum, but I spent yesterday walking the hallowed halls of the Michigan Musuem. It's free and it will make you feel proud to be a Michigander. In the meantime, if you can't get to Washington D.C., we have the latest Sleeping Bear title, S is for Smithsonian: America's Museum Alphabet (9781585363148) 17.95 by Marie and Roland Smith. Their book is illustrated by Nick, so of course, the illustrations are outstanding . . .

Julie has alerted me to Tom Angleberger's new kid's book, The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (9780810984257) 12.95 and, well, I'm not sure what to make of it. I'm thinking it will appeal to the 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' crowd . . .