Peasant #1: If she weighed the same as a duck... she's made of wood.1) THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK . . . Well, if you thought the whole vampire thing had been played out, you'd be wrong. Deborah Harkness has added a new twist to the tale with her latest bestseller, Discovery of Witches (9780670022410) 28.95. Diana Bishop, the main character in Discovery of Witches has come from a long line of witches, and throughout her life she has done everything possible to avoid magic of any kind. She has lived an ordinary life filled with logic. Unfortunately, while researching in the local library, she stumbles upon a magically-protected manuscript and accidentally releases a plethora of paranormal creatures. She turns to the 1,500-year-old vampire Edward, er, Clairmont for protection from all manner of demons, witches, and vampires. Believe it or don't, we have already sold out on two shipments of this title. We are expecting more stock around this Friday. Backorder accordingly.
Sir Bedevere: And therefore...
Peasant #2: ... A Witch!
--Monty Python & The Holy Grail
2) TERRORIST . . . 'Wild Bill' Donovan was a man larger than life. He earned the nickname and the Medal of Honor fighting the Germans in WWI. During WWII, even though he was a staunch Republican, FDR tapped 'Wild Bill' to head all intelligence efforts on behalf of the United States. Douglas Waller's Wild Bill Donovan (9781416567448) 30.00 may read like a John LeCarre novel, but 'Wild Bill' was the real deal. He was the commander of OSS, which performed espionage and sabotage missions against the Nazis and Japanese during the war. He is also considered the 'Father of the CIA,' which sprang from the ashes of the OSS after WWII. We're almost sold out on this one, and the author has yet to visit with Diane Rehm on NPR on February 21, so sales should remain strong. Speaking of NPR, your friendly Republican representatives are trying to cut funding for both NPR and PBS in the upcoming budget. Send your congressman an e-mail and let them know how you feel about it.
3) VILLAGES . . . As you may have surmised, I am a bit of a history buff. As George Santayana once said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Timothy Snyder has written a book called Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (9780465002399) 29.95 that will scare the dickens out of you. The Nazi and Soviet regimes during WWII killed upwards of 14 million people in a zone between Moscow and Berlin. A lot of the numbers in the book are rough estimates, as one German commander confided to his diary, "The bandits and Jews burned in houses and bunkers were not counted." At war's end, most of this story was quietly swept behind the Iron Curtain, all but forgotten . . . until now.
Odds & Sods
With the pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training, baseball is once again in the air. Richard Michelson's Lipman Pike: America's First Home Run King (9781585364657) 16.95 and Brad Herzog's I Spy with My Little Eye Baseball (9781585364961) 13.95 are a couple of cool kid's titles celebrating our national pastime. With Gerald Laird gone, I like the Detroit Tigers' chances this season . . .
And one more commemorative Green Packers Super Bowl book has been released from Rylin Media. It's called 4-Pack (9781450751742) 14.95, and it's chock full of glossy full-colour photos. Hopefully, they'll be doing one for the Detroit Lions next year . . .