Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ye Olde Partners Page

*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*

"What is this that stands before me?
Figure in black that points at me
Turn around quick, and start to run
Find out I'm the Chosen One, Oh nooooooo . . ."
--Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath
The leaves are starting to turn, there's a cool crispness in the air, and the days are getting shorter. It can only mean one thing: My favourite holiday, Halloween, is right around the corner. I was curious how the name Halloween came about and why Sam spelled it (Hallowe'en) in this months' Book Buzz. Good ol' trusty Wikipedia had the answer:
"The word Halloween is first attested in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Even ("evening"), that is, the night before All Hallows Day. Up through the early 20th century, the spelling "Hallowe'en" was frequently used, eliding the "v" and shortening the word."
Click on:

Obviously bookstores are starting to erect their Halloween displays and I have a selected some spiffy titles from our October Book Buzz that you can feature:

Mark Marimen's Haunted Travels of Indiana (9781933272245) 14.95
The author of the 'Haunted Indiana' series is your tour guide.

Kat Tedsen and Bev Rydel's Haunted Travels of Michigan v1 (9781933272184) 14.95
Kat Tedsen and Bev Rydel's Haunted Travels of Michigan v2 (9781933272238) 14.95
Both of these books feature an interactive web site.

Ryan Jacobson's Minnesota Hauntings (9781591933014) 8.95
This is a collection of great ghost stories from the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Richard Dorson's Bloodstoppers & Bearwalkers (9780299227142) 24.95
This title features folklore and stories from the Upper Peninsula.

Wisconsin Road Guide to Haunted Locations (9780976209911) 14.95
A great book for the beginning paranormal investigator.

Ghost Hunter's Guide to Haunted Ohio (9780962847264) 16.95
The ghost hunter's ghost hunter, Chris Woodyard, shares her best stories.

Odds & Sods

Aubrey, my fiancee finally waded through Ken Follet's Fall of Giants (9780525951650) 36.00. She really enjoyed it, but she decided to read something a little more lighthearted this time around. She settled on Bruce Cameron's A Dog's Purpose (9780765326263) 22.99. Looking anything but purposeful, this is a picture of her on the couch with Lucy and Casey, our two mixed-beagles.

Happy Hallowe'en!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ye Olde Partners Page

*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*

"pity this busy monster, manunkind . . ."
--e.e. cummings, 1x1
Dearest Mick--

Chip, my beloved manservant, and I were anticipating the delivery of my RascalTM scooter when, to my great surprise, your box of books arrived via the parcel post. Chip had already picked up a 'Glenn Beck '12' bumper sticker to put on the back of my new scooter, so alas, we were a tad disappointed initially. However when Chip plucked out the first book and it was Bill O'Reilly's Pinheads and Patriots (9780061950711) 27.99, our sadness turned to gladness. Of course, Bill has become a little too liberal for our tastes, but we appreciated the thoughtfulness of your selection.

I understand from your accompanying letter that Emma Donoghue stopped by your establishment and signed copies of her Booker Prize nominated title, Room (9780316098335) 24.99. You also mentioned that they are in Partners' 'stash' and customers can buy them on a first come, first served basis. You may be aware that Emma originally hails from Dublin, Ireland. I am not sure if you know that after I graduated from Big Green that I did my graduate work at University College Dublin, and while there I became fast friends with James Joyce. I have been told that he based the character of Stephen Dedalus in Ulysses (9780679722762) 17.95 on myself. Not only could ol' Jimmy drink just about everyone under the table, he could sing like a bird, too. I sure do miss him . . .

I see you've also included Thunder Bay Press' new title, Haunted Travels of Michigan II (9781933272238) 14.95 by Kathleen Tedsen and Beverlee Rydel, as well as, the first Haunted Travels of Michigan (9781933272184) 14.95 by the same authors. I heard that you are a big fan of the TV show 'Ghost Hunters.' Unbeknownst to you, I was the one who trained Jason and Grant and put up the money for their ghost hunting business. The rest is history as they like to say.

Finally, I see that the new Oprah Book ClubTM title is Jonathan Franzen's Freedom (9780312600846 or 9780374158460) 28.00. I taught Jonathan at Swathmore College, and even then, I thought the young lad had a lot of potential. The last time I spoke with him was during that whole Oprah Book ClubTM The Corrections (9780312421274) 16.00 fiasco. I believe my words of wisdom to him were something to the effect of 'do not bite the hand that feeds you.' So obviously I'm glad to see that they have made up. There is nothing wrong with getting fine literature into the hands of the unwashed masses. Thank you again, Mick.

Warmest Regards,
Charles Edmund Wilson III

Odds & Sods

Last Friday, Terry McMillan dropped by to sign Getting to Happy (9780670022045) 27.95, which is the sequel to Waiting to Exhale (9780451215291) 9.99. I'm not sure what I expected, but I must admit she was one of the more enjoyable authors that we've had in here . . .

Becky has a couple of fun book picks for the kids. Poke-A-Dot: Old McDonald's Farm (9781601690241) 12.99 is a board book that has plastic dots on each page. You poke the dot and it sounds like you're popping bubble wrap. It's sure to be annoying for parents but guaranteed to keep a toddler busy for hours. Also, we've been passing Dick & Jane & Vampires (9780448455686) 9.99 around the office and everyone is getting a good laugh . . .

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ye Olde Partners Page

*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*

"The Bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery. [And] you can't masturbate without lust . . ."
--Christine O'Donnell, GOP candidate for Governor of Delaware
1) SELL YOUR SOUL . . . I look at the above quote and I fear for my country. Unfortunately, ignorance and misdirection seem to have exemplified the platforms of our so-called leaders for quite sometime now. In Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway's Merchants of Doubt (9781596916104) 27.00, we learn that when big business is threatened by scientific fact that they will find scientists for hire to contradict their facts for a fee. A good example: In the 1930s German scientists determined that cigarettes caused lung cancer, so the tobacco industry hired a couple of physicists to refute their findings, and they were obviously quite successful because it took decades for the truth to come out. Big industry would hire these same charlatans again and again on issues like DDT, the ozone hole, the Strategic Defense Initiative, and global warming to sow seeds of doubt in the general public. They were so good at it that Michael Chrichton had one of his characters in State of Fear (9780061782664) 9.99 say, "Banning DDT killed more people than Hitler, Ted. [DDT] was so safe you could eat it." Mmmmm, DDT. I'm going to have a big plate of lemon flavoured DDT for lunch . . .

2) TRAVERSE CITY MADHOUSE . . . Traverse City State Hospital was one of the Big Three mental hospitals in Michigan, the other two were located in Kalamazoo and Pontiac. The Arcadia title, Chris Miller's Traverse City State Hospital (9780738533896) 21.99 has been a good seller for us for years. And so it's no surprise that Dr. William Decker's Batman-sounding Northern Michigan Asylum (9781933926254) 50.00 is going great guns out of the gate. It was only a 2500 copy print run, so get them while you can.

Speaking of craziness, Edward Keye's The Michigan Murders (9780472034468) 22.95, which has been long out of print, is available once again in a tradepaper format. It features a new introduction by noted Michigan author Mardi Link. This is the chilling story of one of Michigan's first serial killers who abducted and killed young co-eds in the 60s.

3) GET TO DA CHOPPA! So what is it with daughters of politicians and book deals? Katherine Schwarzenegger is the author of Rock What You Got (9781401341435) 22.99 and John McCain's daughter Meghan recently released her book, Dirty Sexy Politics (9781401323776) 23.99. So what kind of life lessons can these girls possibly pass on? Should I call the butler by his first name or last? Ridiculous...

Odds & Sods

Big News! President Obama has a new children's book coming out on Noevember 16 called Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to my Daughters (9780375835278) 17.99. Before you jump to any conclusions, I read that he wrote this book before he was elected and any profits will go to a college fund for children of American soldiers. So it's all good. What's even cooler is that the illustrator is Loren Long, the Pride of Joplin, MO and the man behind both The Toy Boat (9780399243745) 16.99 and Otis (9780399252488) 17.99. I love his stuff . . .

Don't forget: Oprah Book Club #64 (9780312600846) 28.00 is announced this Friday.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ye Olde Partners Page

*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*
"He won't get far on hot air and fantasy . . ."
--Horatio Jackson, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988)
1) THE BROTHERS GRIMM (2005) . . . I would have bought Bruce Kaplan's Monsters Eat Whiny Children (9781416986898) 15.99 for my children if they were younger, but alas, they have outgrown this sort of book. It is for early readers. In a nutshell, it chronicles the story of monsters who have captured whiny children to eat, but the children end up escaping because the monsters are too busy arguing over what recipe that they should use to cook the kids. It is very reminiscent of the tale of the trolls who capture Bilbo in The Hobbit (9780345339683) 7.99. But it's still great fun. Also for the really, really young tykes, I was blown away by the artwork in The Boy and The Moon (9781585365210) 15.95 by James Christopher Carroll. The story's not too shabby either. I think I'll get this one for my nephew . . .

2) TWELVE MONKEYS (1995) . . . The shortlist for the Booker Prize were announced a couple of days ago. This year's titles are:
  • Parrot & Olivier in America (9780307592620) 26.95 by Peter Carey
  • Room (9780316098335) 24.99 by Emma Donoghue
  • In a Strange Room (n/a) by Damon Galgut
  • The Finkler Question (n/a) by Howard Jacobson
  • The Long Song (9780374192174) 26.00 by Andrea Levy
  • C (9780307593337) 25.95 by Tom McCarthy

 The winner will be announced on October 12. Good luck!

 3) JABBERWOCKY (1977) . . . These are a mishmash of titles that have been recommended to me over the last week and may have slipped through the cracks. First of all, the top movie at the box office is George Clooney's The American, which was based on Martin Booth's book, A Very Private Gentleman. The title has been reissued as The American (9780312430016) 14.00. Fans of well-written mysteries need look no further than the latest hardcover Vermilion Drift (9781439153840) 25.00 from William Kent Krueger. Mr. Krueger is a huge seller in the Upper Midwest and I keep expecting him to breakout nationally. This might be the book that finally does it. Who knew Jose Saramago had one more book in the tank? Set during the Reformation, his latest book The Elephant's Journey (9780547352589) 24.00 could be his funniest book yet. Deep down inside, I hope, much like Robert Bolano, they will unearth further titles that have never been released. Finally, we have signed copies of Eric Jerome Dickey's Tempted by Trouble (9780525950585) 26.95. First come, first served . . .

Sci-Fi Corner
The winners of the Hugo Awards were announced yesterday and there was a tie for Best Novel. China Mieville's The City & The City (9780345497529) 15.00 and Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl (9781597801584) 14.95 were the two winners. I really need to read both of these books . . .

Speaking of science fiction, the original cyberpunk, William Gibson, is back in fine form in Zero History (9780399156823) 26.95. He covers the usual, including hacker culture, paranoia, and viral marketing. He also features the Festo Airpenguin: Man, I love penguins . . .

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ye Olde Partners Page

*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*
"The Franzen cannot be stopped, only contained . . ."

B. Traven Jr. here. You may remember me from the television show Ancient Aliens on the History Channel. And no, I'm not the guy with the horrible German accent. That's Erich Von Daniken (and there should be two little dots above the 'a' in Daniken). That nut should have been locked up years ago. Ha,ha!

Mick asked if I could set aside my latest project, the book The Franzen Factor, and write this week's Partners Page. I said, "Mick, no problem. You're a great guy and I'm always willing to help you out." Also, my latest book The Franzen Factor is tangentially related to a huge new release in the book business called Freedom (9780374158460) 28.00 by Jonathan Franzen. My hypothesis is that Jonathan Franzen and Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen were separated at birth. Jonathan set out to control the world of literature and Johan has dominated the NHL. Their appearances are uncannily similar:

As a colleague mentioned, one of them is the brains and the other is the brawn. And with Oprah Winfrey retiring soon, she will no longer be the dominatrix of publishing and Jonathan Franzen will be able to move into that power vacuum. Look out James Patterson. Ha, ha!

Speaking of Oprah Winfrey, she will have at least one last hurrah with her book club. Oprah Book Club #64 (9780312600846) 28.00 will be announced on September 17. I understand Partners is getting alot of backorders, so I would put my order in as soon as possible. The real question is: What will Oprah do next? If you're interested, I am exploring her myriad possibilities in my upcoming title, The Last Empress. Available soon at all fine bookstores. Ha, ha!

David Limbaugh, Rush's brother, has caught the tiger by the tail in his new book, Crimes Against Liberty (9781596986244) 29.95. We're talking conspiracy theorist heaven here. I'm sure he touches on the FEMA Death Camps for Conservatives, the Death Panels in the Healthcare Bill, and the attempt by Muslims to create a new Mecca at Ground Zero. Also, there are Average Joes like former Congressman Dick Armey, author of Give Us Liberty (9780062015877) 19.99, and creator of the grassroots organization, the Tea Baggers, to call out President Obama on his diabolical schemes to turn us into Cuba. Ha, ha!

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

Sci-Fi Corner

The guy standing in for Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson has begun a new fantasy series with the first book, The Way of Kings (9780765326355) 27.99. If you like fantasy, he's the best thing since George R.R. Martin.

The Millennium Falcon, the ship that set the record on the 18-parsec Kessel Run is now in glorious 3-D. Millenium Falcon: YT-1300 (9780545210386) 21.99 has been broken down by section in this new title. And yes, Han shot first.

I've been doing some informal research, and it appears to me that more adults are reading Suzanne Collin's Mockinjay (9780439023511) 17.99 than children. We have copies in the stash . . .