Thursday, May 27, 2010

Ye Olde Partners Page

*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*

"Observe good faith and justice towards all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all . . ."
--George Washington
Dearest Mick--

Chip, my loyal manservant, and I were awaiting our shipment of the Topsy Turvy Upside-Down Tomato PlanterTM from UPS when, instead, your package of books arrived. Chip had been looking forward to dressing up in his bumblebee costume and buzzing the plants. Myself, I wanted to sink my dentures into those delicious vine ripened tomatoes. Mmmmm . . .

However, we do eagerly anticpate your selection of reading material, and your latest package seemed to feature a bevy of Father's Day titles. War books seem to be popular, and I do not believe you can have a more succinct title than Sebastian Junger's new book, War (9780446556248) 26.99. It reminded me of my service with the British Army in The Great War. You may not be aware that I had served in the trenches with J.R.R. Tolkien and we became fast friends. Many years later, the rumour was that the Aragorn character in The Lord Of the Rings was based upon yours truly. I see that you have also sent Robert Leckie's Helmet for my Pillow (9780553593310) 16.00 and With the Old Breed (9780891419068) 16.00, which I hope is not a snarky comment on your part. Of course in WW II, I served in the US Army as Douglas MacArthur's Chief of Staff. I was the one who came up with the now famous line, "I shall return." In fact I am told that Hugh Ambrose correctly credits me with coining that phrase in his HBO TV series inspired book, The Pacific (9780451230232) 26.95.

The title of your next choice, Sh*t My Dad Says (9780061992704) 15.99 by Justin Halpern, made me a wee bit apprehensive. But then, as Chip read it to me in bed last night, I realized I was reliving my own relationship with my father. Scary. According to the flap, more than a million people follow this character on Twitter. I am not sure what a Twitter is, but I am assuming it has something to do with those intrawebs.

I have heard some positive feedback on this book called Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things (9780151014231) 27.00 by Randy O. Frost and Gail Steketee. I find a lot of their claims to be spurious at best. Sure, I may have had Chip store every model of Jaguar from the past 25 years in our hangar, and I may have had Chip alphabetize every bottle of wine in our cellar, but that would seem to be Chip's problem and not my own. Once again, I do appreciate the kind gifts . . .

Warmest Regards,

Charles Edmund Wilson III

Odds & Sods

I was aghast at the teaser commerical for Oprah's show that ABC ran during the finale of 'Lost.' Oprah's girlfriend Julia Roberts was on, and Oprah asked her with a smirk, "You have kids now. So do you carpool with other parents?" And then she laughed heartily. Yeah, Oprah, it's really funny what us non-millionaires have to do to pay the bills these days. Julia was on there to promote her new movie based on the book, Eat, Pray, Love (9780143038412) 15.00. Between this movie adaptation and Sex in the City 2: Electric Boogaloo, there should be plenty of entertainment for the yuppie mom crowd . . .
As much as that disturbs me, this is worse:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ye Olde Partners Page

*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*

"Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism..."
--George Washington


"Hello America, I'm Dick Clark, your host for the $25,000 Pyramid. Our first team features two life-long friends from Livonia, Michigan -- Dr. Dennis Devito and Bill Watson. Dennis has a doctorate in pharmaceuticals and Bill is currently unemployed. The contestants have already been briefed on the rules. So, are you two gentleman ready to play?"
Dick Clark continues, "Dr. Devito will be giving the clues and Bill will be trying to guess the category. Set the timer for a minute. Okay, let's go..."
"Bill, popping bubble wrap... neighbors with pools... the last day of school... locking people out of the car and pretending to drive away..."
"Dude, I loooove doing that. That is so cool."
"That's not it. C'mon keep guessing."
"That is soooo awesome. Those are things that are awesome."
Dick Clark steps in and says, "Congrats! You nailed the first one. Those moments of awesomeness are presented in Neil Pasricha's The Book of Awesome (9780399156519) 22.95. It is available at all fine bookstores. Great job. You look like your ready for the next one. So here we go... "
Stoner Bill starts playing air guitar and singing (badly) a Whitesnake song, "Here I go again on my own. De-de-duuu-du. Going down the only..."
Doctor Delay interrupts, "Dude, stop! C'mon, you gotta con-cen-trate!"
"Alright Double D, chill man."
"Here we go... (cocks an eyebrow)... And don't even. Okay, matching outfits... jazz hands... cameras... family... graduation..."
"Ummm, Doctor Delay's family reunion. (Shakes his head). Oh, how about Awkward Family Photos (9780307592293) 15.00 by Mike Bender and Doug Chernack?"
"Great work, Bill. You are absolutely correct and you will advance to the final round."
In unison, they exclaim, "Duuuuude!"

1) CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM . . . Louis Sachar, a Larry David look-alike and all around nice guy, stopped in to sign copies of his latest young adult title, Cardturner (9780385736626) 17.99. Yesterday, Susannah Charleson dropped in and signed her copies of Scent of the Missing (9780547152448) 26.00. Unfortunately, her search-and-rescue dog Puzzle took ill and was not able to participate. And it really bummed me out. Also, JD was cool enough to procure signed copies of Lauren Myracle's Thirteen Plus One (9780525422228) 16.99 for us. As usual, first come, first served. L8R G8R.

Odds & Sods

Shelf-Awareness had a still from the TV show Castle that showed authors James Patterson, Michael Connelly, and Stephen J. Cannell playing poker together. So my first thought was: Is that really James Patterson or is it Andrew Gross or one of his myriad ghostwriters? And is there such a thing as a ghost actor? At any rate, 'James Patterson's' new title Private (9780316096157) 27.99 is due June 28...
If you're familiar with the Partners Page, you know I have a lot of David Foster Wallace love. Well, David Lipsky has chronicled his five days with DFW after the release of Infinite Jest in his book, Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself (9780307592439) 16.99. And it is out-freakin'-standing...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ye Olde Partners Page

*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*

"I respect all religious belief systems.
That's why they've all condemned me to Hell . . ."
(Please read this in a phony British accent.)

"Hello, my fellow fans of fame and fortune, I'm Robin Leech and I am your host for the 'Book Deals of the Rich & Famous.' We have an exceptionally exciting show in store for you today. I joined fabulous former First Lady Laura 'Don't call me Barbara' Bush at her Fortress of Solitude, the Bush Ranch in Crawford, TX. As I wended my way up their private drive in my Alfa Romeo GT, I was astounded to see how little brush there is on the Bush family estate. Mrs. Bush met me at the door in a Darius Cordell Couture designed evening gown. We sat on the veranda in Versace chairs, sampled Darjeeling tea, and discussed her blockbuster bestseller Spoken From the Heart (9781439155202) 30.00. She did mention that she is promoting her possible Pulitzer Prize publication on Fox & Friends tomorrow. I suggested she bring a tarp with all the salivating that is sure to ensue from co-hosts Steve, Gretchen, and Brian. Wouldn't want her to slip and fall, would we?

We have learned that super sensational supermodel Tyra Banks has signed a book deal with delicious Delacorte Press to write a three book series. Top Model Tyra has already finished the first one, Modelland, which is 'about a teen girl in a make-believe society at an academy for exceptional models called Intoxibellas. [It's] for all the boys and girls who want a lot more fantasy in their lives . . .' Well, the first rule of writing is to write what you know about and she certainly lives in a fantasy world. Head's up Delacorte, you might want to stock up on computer keyboards because Tyra will wear out the 'I' key. Look for this Children's Book Choice Award winner in 2011.

Harper Collins did so well the first time around that they will publish another big, healthy helping of America's Sweetheart Sarah Palin. Whether the former Alaskan governor is shooting wolves from a helicopter or tearing the hearts out of liberals with her barehands, Ms. Palin is always sporting the latest in top of the line flag fashion. Her latest literary tour de force is called America By Heart: Reflections of Family, Faith and Flag (9780062010964) 25.99, and it is scheduled for release on November 23. This flibbertigibbeted fashionista will be both flabbergasted and flummoxed, or flat out flattened, if this flowering Fannie Flagg flirts with florescent flora flouncing fluffy fluid flounders for flippant flip-floppers. *Whew*

Next week we'll join Dave Barry in mesmerizing Miami Beach at the exclusive Key Largo Grande Beach Resort to talk about I'll Mature When I'm Dead (9780399156502) 24.95.

And to all, champagne wishes and cavier dreams . . .

Odds & Sods

We have two-for-the- price-of-one shrink wrapped Mad Libs available at $3.99 a piece. They are:

Mad Libs From Space (9780843130881)
Mad Libs Slam Dunk (9780843131475)
Son of Mad Libs (9780843131307)
Upside Down Mad Libs (9780843131284)
Camp Daze (9780843131314)
Pirates Mad Libs (9780843131291)
Sooper Dooper (9780843131499)
Mad Libs in Love (9780843131444)
Grab Bag Mad Libs (9780843131468)
Diva Girl (Tyra Banks) (9780843131451)
Original Mad Libs (9780843131482)

Good Luck, Jim Heuer!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ye Olde Partners Page

*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*

"God blessed me by putting me here for thirty-one years at Michigan and Trumbull. I had the greatest job in the world -- a job I loved to do. But most of all, I appreciate you fans. I appreciate your loyalty, your support, and your love that you've shown me, especially the love."
--Ernie Harwell

From the press release: "Ernie Harwell, the acclaimed Tigers broadcaster whose eloquence and kindness made him a beloved Michigan institution, died Tuesday night after a nearly yearlong bout with cancer. He was 92."

You wouldn't think that a baseball announcer could have that much impact on your life, but then there was only one Ernie Harwell. As a Detroit Tigers fan, I grew up with Ernie. Whether I was mowing my parents' lawn or a neighbors' on a Saturday afternoon, I would have my radio headphones on, and I would listen to Ernie call the Tigers' game. He would let me know that a kid from Inkster had just caught a foul ball. For the longest time I had wondered how Ernie knew that the young lad was from Inkster; I hypothesized that he must be holding a sign that said, "Johnny from Inkster sez Go Tigers! We love you Bird!" Much like his patented 'That ball is looooooong gone,' I eventually figured out that this bit was a part of his announcing schtick. Yeah, I'm gullible.

I only had the privilege of meeting Mr. Harwell once. Merle, the book distributor I worked at before coming to Partners, would have an annual pre-holiday party for all of the local bookstores. That's when I learned that Ernie was one of us. In 1984, after the Tigers won the World Series, Ernie came into the warehouse for the party, and of course, everyone wanted to talk baseball and the World Series. Ernie said in his distinctive drawl, "I talk about baseball all day and I never get to talk about books. I love books. So let's talk about books," he looked at one of the manager's name tags and asked, "So Mary, what are you reading right now?"

Right then Ernie had won me over for life. Not only did he read, but he wrote books too. Some of our favourites are Breaking 90 (9780937247778) 14.95, Life After Baseball (9780937247457) 14.95, Ernie Harwell: My 60 Years in Baseball (9781572437173) 15.95, Ernie Harwell (9780937247358) 14.95, and The Ernie Harwell Audio Scrapbook on CD (9780979212000) 19.84. Also, Triumph Publishing is partnering with The Detroit Free Press to release a retrospective, Ernie: Our Voice of Summer (9781600784026) 14.95.

Thank you, Ernie. This man from Lansing may never have caught a foul ball at Tigers Stadium, but listening to you made me feel like I had caught a whole bucketful . . .

Odds & Sods

Jonathan Rand is back with a vengeance. We have the first American Chillers: Double Thrillers (9781893699267) 6.99 which contains two spine-tingling tales: Vampire Nation and Attack of the Monster Venus Melon! Another first from Jonathan Rand is a wordsearch. American Chillers: Word Search (9781893699274) 2.99 will provide the little kiddies with hours of enjoyment. Ooooo dat's scary!

Finally, Nancy Pickard's latest novel The Scent of Rain and Lightning (9780345471017) is the new 'B&N Recommends' title. Yippee!