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!

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