Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ye Olde Partners Page

*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*

"The neighbors were all in a stir because of something they might have heard . . ."
--Drivin' & Cryin'

B. Traven Jr. here. I'd tell you what the 'B' stands for, but I'd have to kill you. Ha, ha! That never gets old. At any rate, you've probably seen me on the television show Ancient Aliens on the History Channel. And no, I'm not that guy with the thick glasses and the half white, half black beard. That guy is a fruitcake. Ha, ha! Mick asked me to take a break from researching the 'Mad Gasser of Mattoon' and write this week's Partners Page. Apparently he has been captured by Pleiadians and is trapped in the 5th dimension, which is the dimension of love and creativity. Not a bad place to be. Ha, ha!

Everything is 'EXTREME' these days. And Michigan weather is no exception. Detroit TV meteorologist Paul Gross' Extreme Michigan Weather: The Wild World of the Great Lakes State (9780472034130) 24.95 provides a detailed analysis of our weather based on 'science'. Science? Well, that's just a bunch of malarkey. Do you want to know the real reason that our weather has been so extreme lately? Two words: jet contrails. The government has been seeding clouds via jet contrails for years. This high level experiment has gone on for way too long and its high time the US government fessed up to it. However if you want to hear the'official' storyline then Paul's book is the way to go. Ha, ha!

Another new Michigan title that I've found can be a useful tool is Dan and Bob Lynch's Michigan Rocks & Minerals (97815932390) 14.95. When I find a 20th century automobile sparkplug in a thousand year old rock formation, the Lynch brother's book is the one I use to research the age of the stone. I understand Partners will have this title in shortly via time machine. Ha, ha!

Mick took a copy of Aimee Bender's The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake (9780385501125) 25.95 with him on his trip to Erra, which circles the star Taygeta in the Pleiades' cluster. Apparently, the protagonist is able to read people's emotions by tasting the dishes that are prepared by her family and friends. The publisher is calling this 'magical realism.' Sorry, but I'm just calling it the 'truth.' The CIA has been working on this for years and from what I understand they have perfected it, but they haven't found an applicable use for this technology, yet. Ha, ha!

I was saddened to learn that Nobel Prize winner Jose Saramago passed away last week. Mr. Saramago wrote Blindness (978015035 15.00 and his most recent work in tradepaper was Death With Interruptions (9780547247885) 15.95. Mr. Saramago was an 'unrepentant Communist' and it is no surprise that he died under mysterious circumstances. Jose, we wish you the best on your spiritual journey. And as Bob Heinlein said, "Secrecy is the beginning of tyranny."

Odds & Sods

When it comes to publicizing books, Glenn Beck has become the new Oprah Winfrey. Sure, Oprah doesn't cry as much as Glenn, but when he mentions a title, like F.A. Hayek's The Road to Serfdom (9780226320557) 17.00, it immediately hits the bestseller's list. We do have limited stock left on this one...

I've been told that 'Pretty Little Liars' is one of the hottest shows on TV right now. Based on Sara Shepherd's Pretty Little Liars (9780060887322) 8.99 book series, we have all of her titles in stock, including the latest hardcover, Wanted (9780061566172) 16.99. Hey, I guess it's what the kids are into these days.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ye Olde Partners Page

*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*
"[T]he government of the United States of America is not founded in any sense on the Christian religion . . ."
--Article 11, Treaty of Tripoli
1) THE JAMES PATTERSONTM BLUES . . . I was going to do a whole comedic bit on James Patterson's™ latest title Swimsuit (9780446561365) 14.99. I was going to say that with all the good titles already taken that Mr. Patterson™ is just plucking out random nouns as the title of his upcoming books. I thought Sofa sounded good, and maybe its sequel would have been called Coffee Table. And as for The 8th Confession (9780446561334) 14.99, I had cooked up a whole scenario where The Women's Murder Club investigated a suspicious death at a hotdog eating contest, and I had settled on naming this one, The 9th Hotdog. But then, I like Mike Heuer, our Hachette guy, and I wouldn't want to put him through this trauma. Also, I actually have some pretty hot books that I need to tell you about, so I'll save it for another day . . .

2) LOVE STORY . . . CBS News correspondent Barry Petersen has written a book that details his own and his wife's tragic fight against Alzheimer's disease in his book, Jan's Story (9781933016443) 15.95. They thought their marriage would last forever, but instead, within two years of her diagnosis, she could not even remember her husband's name. If this story doesn't break your heart, you don't have one. Of course with his ties to the media, Mr. Petersen has been getting some solid publicity. We have a limited quantity of this book available and after those copies are gone, the reprint is not due for another two weeks. . .

3) REMOTE CONTROL . . . Jan McAdams Huttenstine's Remotely Yours: A Historic Journey into the Whitefish Point Area (9780984417704) 24.95 should be a prerequsite for any bookstore or giftshop in Michigan's upper peninsula. Similar in format to Arcadia's Images of America series, this title packs as much Michigan history as you can fit between two covers. Also, it is proudly printed in Michigan...

4) BLAZING SADDLES . . . Can you believe that it has been ten years since Kathy-jo Wargin's Legend of Mackinac Island (9781585365173) 17.95 first came out? Me either. "Oh, it's twue. It's twue. It's twue, it's twue." And the really nice thing about this new 10th Anniversary Edition is that the book comes complete with a DVD featuring Jeff Daniels reading this Michigan classic for the same price as the original.

Odds & Sods

This is one thing that you're e-reader can't do: autographed books.

Linda Greenlaw, author of Seaworthy (9780670021925) 25.95 popped in here last Friday and signed copies of her book. Outgoing and down to earth, she had all of us in stitches.

We still have signed copies of Twesigye Jackson Kaguri's The Price of Stones (9780670021840) 25.95.

And can you help a brother out? J.D. is one of our favourite book reps and we still have autographed editions of The Cardturner (9780385736626) 17.99.

Be the first on your block to collect 'em all!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ye Olde Partners Page

*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*

"It's extraordinarily important, that we, the most undertaxed nation on earth, be willing to pay higher taxes, so that we don't allow the lower strata of our society to starve to death and freeze to death . . . Not for them, but for us . . ."
--David Foster Wallace, Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself (9780307592439) 16.99
1) I FEEL LIKE I'M FLYING . . . As much as I am a fan of the 'Mystery Spot,' Mackinac Island still remains the #1 vacation destination in Michigan. And there is no better keepsake than the recently re-released Above Mackinac (9781891143984) 30.00 by Robert Cameron from our own Thunder Bay Press. Chockfull of magnificent aerial photographs, this is as close as you can get to Mackinac Island without actually being there.

2) YOU SAY YOU WANT A REVOLUTION . . . Kevin Revolinski may not be a wild-eyed anarchist, but his new book, Wisconsin's Best Beer Guide (9781933272252) 16.95 may open a few eyes as well as spark a brewing revolution. I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I can guarantee you that a book that has a tag on the cover that says, 'Buy this book for FREE BEER,' is going to be a great seller. Surprisingly, Wisconsin is only 8th in beer consumption per capitain the US, but that's still a lot of potential customers.

3) DON'T LET ME DOWN . . . I don't know if there's been an upgrade in regional book technology lately, but all three of these books have eye-catching jackets. In fact, Richard L. Baldwin's new mystery Murder in Tip-Up Town (9780982335123) 12.95 might be the best in the bunch. Mr. Baldwin's titles are all set in Michigan, and his titles, including: Final Crossing: Murder on the S.S. Badger (9780974292021) 12.95, The Marina Murders (9780966068573) 12.95, and our local favourite Murder at the Ingham County Fair (9780982335109) 12.95 are still bestsellers for us year after year.
4) WE ALL LIVE IN A YELLOW SUBMARINE . . . We also have on-hand a limited quantity of signed copies of Craig Heimbuch's Chasing Oliver Hazard Perry (9781578603459) 17.95, which is also a Great Lakes, Great Reads winner. As usual, it is first come, first served . . .

Odds & Sods

I had the honor of meeting Twesigye Jackson Kaguri yesterday. Mr. Kaguri was originally from Uganda and was fortunate enough to come to the US to attend Cornell University. Having lost two of his siblings to AIDS, he went back to Uganda and vowed to open a tuition-free school for orphans. In The Price of Stones (9780670021840) 25.95, Mr Kaguri recounts the obstacles it took for him to build his school. He autographed our copies of his book, and he had to be one of the nicest people that I have ever met in my life. I donated some old clothes to Volunteers of America the other day and now I feel pretty lame . . .

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ye Olde Partners Page

*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*

"Now I can't climb the stairs
Pieces missing everywhere
Prozac painkillers . . ."
--Radiohead, Bones
1) I'VE JUST SEEN A FACE . . . Okay, there's an advertisement for the new Penguin hardcover The Gendarme (9780399156342) 25.95 by Mark Mustian, which doesn't come out until the Fall season. It says, "Each season, the Penguin Hardcover sales reps (all two of them) select one work of fiction as their 'pick' of the list. Blah, blah, blah . . ." That's not what interests me. What is driving me crazy is that this cover is a crop of another bookcover and for the life of me, I can't remember which title it was. Please Help!

2) FATHER MCKENZIE WIPING THE DIRT FROM HIS HANDS . . . With Father's Day fast approaching, I figured I'd do a quick roundup of potential Dad-oriented bestsellers. So here goes:

  • Sh*t My Dad Says (9780061992704) 15.99 by Justin Halpern -- This is a no brainer. By far the funniest book that I have read in a long, long time.
  • The Passage (9780345504968) 27.00 by Justin Cronin -- Cronin's new one has created quite the buzz. Ballantine has been giving this title a huge media push. I've heard nothing but good things about it from other readers, too.
  • Picturing Hemingway's Michigan (9780814334478) 39.95 by Michael Federspiel -- Generously illustrated with period photographs. Hemingway was the man's man. 'Nuff said.
  • The Pacific (9780451230232) 26.95 by Hugh Ambrose. The tie-in to the HBO miniseries of the same name. This one has shown some legs and we should see another spurt of sales for Father's Day.
3) HER MAJESTY'S A PRETTY NICE GIRL . . . El Becko has been hawking George Washington's Sacred Fire (9780978605261) 24.95 by Peter Lillback on his show for the past week or two. Unfortunately, the reprint won't be here before Father's Day, but it should be here by the end of the month. We are getting backorders. Personally, Mary Ann from Penguin sent me an ARC for Ron Chernow's Washington: A Life (9781594202667) 40.00, which isn't due out until October 5, but I can't wait to sink my teeth into it. If it's even half as good as Alexander Hamilton (9780143034759) 18.00, I will be a happy man.

Odds & Sods

We were saddened to learn that legendary UCLA college basketball coach John Wooden passed away last Friday. McGraw-Hill will release his last book, The Wisdom of Wooden (9780071751162) 24.95 in July.
Good night, funny man . . .

Kathy-jo Wargin's new picture book is Scare a Bear (9781585364305) 15.95. She's teamed up again with illustrator John Bendall-Brunello, who Kathy-jo collaborated with on her title, Moose on the Loose (9781585364275) 15.95.

Robert Cameron's  Above Mackinac (9781891143984) 30.00 is available once again from our good friends at Thunder Bay Press.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Ye Olde Partners Page

*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*

"For we who grew up tall and proud
In the shadow of the mushroom cloud
Convinced our voices can't be heard
We just want to scream it louder and louder and louder . . ."
--Queen, Hammer to Fall
1) A MESSAGE TO PRETTY . . . You may already have some bad copies of Kathy-jo Wargin's The Legend of the Petoskey Stone (9781585362172) 17.95 and just don't know it. There are a couple of words in the text that have been inadvertently ommitted on several pages. For example, on the page where the little boy is fishing, the word fishing is missing. If you would like to return your copies, please let us know and we will authorize the return back to us and credit you for the shipping. Unfortunately, Sleeping Bear Press is not expecting a replacement print run to be available until the end of July . . .

2) NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO . . . Audrey, our book buyer, is excited about Robert Kuttner's new book on Obama, A Presidency in Peril: The Inside Story of Obama's Promise, Wall Street's Power, And the Struggle to Control Our Economic Future (9781603582704) 25.00. He also wrote the title Obama's Challenge (9781603580793) 14.95, which sold quite well. Mr. Kuttner feels that President Obama, like previous presidents, is beholden to the same moneybrokers that have thrust us into this financial debacle. Recently, I've heard that after the Republicans sweep the House and the Senate in the next election that they will impeach Mr. Obama. According to Republicans, just being a Democrat president is an impeachable offense. Who knew?

3) COLORED BALLS FALLING . . . Last week, as I watched the movie based upon Cormac McCarthy's post-apocalyptic masterwork The Road (9780307476302) 14.95, I was reminded of one of my co-worker's comments about the last Partners Page. He claimed I was being too political by adding a link to the New York Times article on our ridiculously large stockpile of nuclear weapons. There was nothing political about it. The Cold War is over. I have lived my entire life peripherally aware that I could be killed instantly by a nuclear exchange. The point of the article was that America has 5,113 nuclear warheads and that number is enough to wipe out every single living thing on Earth more than 15 times over. It's obviously overkill. So the author felt we could safely reduce our nuclear reserve to a) save money and b) to make it less likely for a warhead to fall into the wrong hands. And that's all I got to say about that . . .

4) AND MORE . . . Don't forget that the new Eclipse novella by Stephenie Meyer, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (9780316125581) 13.99 goes on sale this Saturday. Oh my God, it's full of sparkles . . .

Odds & Sods

Mike Benders and Doug Chernack's Awkward Family Photos (9780307592293) 15.00 brought back some horrible family memories from my misspent youth. You can see more at
Curse you Olan Mills!

Rick Riordan, who wrote the Percy Jackson series, has begun a new series which starts with The Red Pyramid (9781423113386) 17.99. Unlike the first series which featured the Greek mythos, this one encompasses the Egyptian mytholgy. Hopefully, they will not make it into a movie, so I can save another two hours of my life...