Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ye Olde Partners Page

*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*

"Welcome in a son of Clovius Boofus
Just another sheep boy, duck call, swan song
Idiot son of Donkey Kong and I say,
'You don't have to be afraid, luv
'Cause I'm a safe surfer, darlin . . . "
--Julian Cope, Safe Surfer
careening down the steep slope of my stream of consciousness

As the American economy is sucked into a downward spiral and as Congress tries to remove all the safety nets for the elderly and the ill who are hurt the most by it, I am instead barraged by the inanity of pop culture: Trump trumpeting the release of Obama's long form birth certificate (Thanks, Donald, that one was keeping me awake at night), exactly who was voted off of Dancing with the Stars, and, of course, William & Kate'sTM impending nuptials. Aha, the Royal WeddingTM, there's a book tie-in. Did you know that Kate Middleton used The Dukan Diet (9780307887962) 26.00 to go from a grossly obese 125 lbs. to a very sleek 120 lbs.? Her mother introduced her to the diet and it's all the rage now. We should have some stock by tomorrow . . .

Apparently, I am not in the right demographic for Bethany Hamilton's Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board (9781439165799) 14.00 because not only is it a book but also a movie, and I had never heard of her. I checked out the cover and then realized that Bethany was the young surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack. Right now, this is probably the hottest title in the YA market except for Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games (9780439023528) 8.99, Catching Fire (9780439023498) 17.99, and Mockingjay (9780439023511) 17.99 trilogy. We should have more of Bethany's book in a day or two . . .

And then I see this:

Oh, for cryin' out loud. You're not helping Fox News . . .

Odds & Sods

In the land of cookbooks, Gwyneth Paltrow's My Father's Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family & Togetherness (9780446557313) 30.00 is the hottest title by far. I think I'll go home, prepare a dish from her new cookbook, and pop on the CD soundtrack for 'Country Strong.' We still have limited stock . . .

Thunder Bay Press is proud to announce the release of Michael 'Can You Keep It' Kleen's Haunting Illinois (9781933272290) 12.95. This has to be the most detailed travel guide to haunted locations that I've ever seen. You know the guys on Ghost Hunters do it, so now get off your butt and do it yourself . . .

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ye Olde Partners Page

*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*
"Let me bring you songs from the woods
to make you feel much better than you could know . . ."
--Jethro Tull, Songs from the Woods

I ran into Smokey the Bear in some dim sum dive in Lansing last week. From the quantity of dead soldiers on the counter, it looked like he was into his tenth rice baijiu. Tom Waits' Swordfishtrombones was playing quietly on a single tinny speaker. "There will be no stopping here. All ya can be is thirsty in a town with no cheer . . ." His drinking companion, Woodsy the Owl, was slumped over the counter and snoring loudly.

I say, "Smokey, what's up?"

"Hey, Mick, with the budget cuts, I just found out that my job has been reduced to part-time. I guess it could be worse tho'. If Milton Friedman were still alive, I'd be out on the street."

I say, "Smokey, since you have some extra time on your hands, I could use your expertise for the Partners Page."

Smokey raised his eleventh rice baijiu and crowed, "I'll drink to that!"

1) YOU CAN CAMP UPON HIS DOORSTEP . . . Hey, Kids, I'm going to take a break from forest fires and tell you about the wonderful new edition of Jim DuFresne's Michigan's Best Campgrounds (9781933272276) 17.95. I bet you didn't know that Michigan has more campsites than any other state in the United States. That's right. There are more than 14,000 sites for you and I to choose from for a beautiful summer day. Whether you are interested in fishing, hiking, canoeing, backpacking, or biking, Jim's new 4th edition of this classic title covers it all. If you're looking for an inexpensive getaway (and who isn't in this economy), this is the perfect guidebook . . .

2) BUT DON'T YOU HARM HIS TREES . . . I love Tom Powers. Tom Powers is welcome in my forest anytime. His title Michigan State and National Parks (9781933272085) 15.95 is the definitive book on Michigan's parks. The synopsis of each park includes: an easy-to-read overview, great maps, and featured activities exclusive to each recreational area. It's simple to find out if you're headed for a busy beach or an out-of-the-way oasis . . .

3) FOR HE'S A RANGER IN HIS HEART . . . Just two short years ago Jim DuFresne updated his Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, 3rd Edition (9781933272160) 10.95, and it was hit. This is the only guidebook that covers the entire Porcupine Mountains' trail system and there are more than 20 detailed maps that show all 90 miles of the trail network.

And remember . . . only you can prevent forest fires . . .

Odds & Sods

One genre that has had consistent sellers lately is diet books. Unfortunately, the shelf life has been getting shorter and shorter. A couple of weeks ago, it was Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Diet (9781599218014) 24.95 that was the hot one. Last week, it was eclipsed in sales by Mike Moreno's The 17 Day Diet (9781451648652) 25.00. Both of these titles are back in stock. This week The Dukan Diet (9780307887962) 26.00 has overtaken both of the previous titles. We are currently sold out, but we hope to have more stock next week . . .

And Greg Mortensen, author of Three Cups of Tea (9780143038252) 16.00 is having the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ye Olde Partners Page

*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it,
misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies . . ."
--Groucho Marx

I, Mick Dolinski, am throwing my hat in the ring as a candidate for President of the United StatesTM. I will represent a newly founded third party, which will be known as The Booklovers' Party, or BP for short. My platform will include the outlawing of all electronic reading devices, and the requirement that all Americans must purchase at least one book per year. Are you with me? Good. So here's the latest . . .

1) SEVERAL SPECIES OF SMALL FURRY AUTHORS GATHERED TOGETHER IN A CONFERENCE ROOM AND GROOVING WITH A MICK . . . We have been blessed with a bevy big authors over the past couple of days, who have been kind enough to sign their latest book releases, so we can pass them on to you. First of all, we had Chris VanAllsburg of Polar Express (9780395389492) 18.95 fame come in to sign copies of Queen of the Falls (9780547315812) 18.99. A perfect gentleman, Chris mentioned to me that the original print for Polar Express sold on the secondary market for $50,000. I knew I should have held on to it. Later that same day, we had Nic Sheff, author of We All Fall Down (9780316080828) 17.99, pop in and sign his stock. Nic's new book is about the dangers of addiction and it's geared for the young adult market. You may recall he appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show to publicize his first title, Tweak (9781416972198) 9.99. Yesterday, we had Ruta Sepetys, author of Between Shades of Gray (9780399254123) 17.99 sign our stock. I erroneously said on the last Partners Page that Ruta was a 'foreigner,' but it was actually her parents who fled Lithuania and settled in Michigan. This book tells the story of one family who was caught in the vise of Stalin's purges in the Baltic states. Finally, Kelley Armstrong will be in later today to sign her most recent title, The Gathering (9780061797026) 17.99. I'll just leave this here, "It doesn't help that the new bad boy in town, Rafe, has a dangerous secret, and he's interested in one special part of Maya's anatomy -- her paw print birthmark." Uh-huh. First come, first served on all autographed books . . .

2) CAREFUL WITH THAT AXE, MICHAEL PIETSCH . . . Apparently, even in death, David Foster Wallace is still stirring up some controversy. Some people are now questioning whether his posthumous novel The Pale King (9780316074230) 27.99 should have been released. Personally, I would pay to read his grocery list, but I might be the exception. You can read more here:

Odds & Sods

A couple of titles that you might want to keep an eye on. Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan (9780805093469) 27.00 by Del Quentin Wilber has been trickling out of here but seems to be gathering steam over the past few days. The reviewers have been raving about it, and I've heard mention that Gerald Blaine's The Kennedy Detail (9781439192962) 28.00 should have been this good . . .
Also, Ben Macintyre's Operation Mincemeat (9780307453280) 15.00 has been selling well. It's a little-known program by the British to plant false information on dead soldiers during WWII. Truth is stranger than fiction . . .

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ye Olde Partners Page

*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*
"We are the comfort, we are the shame
We are forgiveness, we are blame
We are kind, we are kill
Are we the future?"
--Badfinger, Timeless

Hello, Hep Cats, this reporter is here with the latest and greatest in the wide, wide world of books. First off, I don't want you to go and flip your wig, but I am ready to crown David Foster Wallace's The Pale King (9780316074230) 27.99 as the Book of the Year. It is killer-diller. And like a fine scotch, I take a small sip at a time and find myself savoring every sentence, every word, and every single semi-colon. I know that this is his last novel and I just don't want it to end . . .

With the growing popularity of television, I see more and more people are leaving the gin mills and staying home. And not to sound like some kind of wise guy but if you want to stay home, you need a healthy home and David and Myron Wentz's Healthy Home (9781593156558) 21.99 should be the bee's knees . . .

For the first time ever, The B&N Recommends is a teen book called Okay For Now (9780547152608) 16.99 by Timothy B. Schmidt, er, Gary D. Schmidt, which is kind of a sequel to The Wednesday War (9780547237602) 6.99 and, as is the fashion these days, it transends all ages . . .


Next week, I am meeting with Ruta Sepetys, author of Between Shades of Gray (9780399254123) 17.99 at a ritzy restaurant. And it's not the Brown Derby. As you can tell by the name, this dame is a foreigner and apparently, a citizen of the European nation of Freedonia, which you may remember from the Marx Brothers' flick. A first novel, this book is the cat's meow according to several reviews, which includes today's Shelf Awareness . . .

Juke joint piano player Billy Joel has cancelled his memoir The Book of Joel (9780061797491) 27.99. His press release read in part, "It took working on a book to make me realize that I'm not all that interested in talking about the past, and that the best expression of my life and its ups and downs has been and remains my music." I think he's all wet . . .

I don't know boo about these fancy rock 'n roll bands, but this Freddie Mercury guy from Queen sounds like quite the opera singer. Unless you're a bluenose, Mark Blake's new book, Is This the Real Life?: The Untold Story of Queen (9780306819599) 25.00 is quite the page turner. Mr. Blake also had the lowdown on Pink Floyd with his book, Comfortably Numb (9780306817526) 15.00. He ain't whistlin' Dixie. Next week I'll have more news you can use when you're singin' the blues.

Odds & Sods

Columbia University professor Manning Marable spent the last twenty years of his life working on the definitive Malcolm X biography. Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention (9780670022205) 30.00 was released yesterday. Unfortunately, he passed away this past Friday from pneumonia. Several assertions in this new biography were already stirring up some controversy. I expect this title to hit the bestseller lists. Hard!

By the way, April is National Poetry Month. It's time to get in that dusty crawlspace and pull out those boxes of poetry books that you stored away last April and put them back on display again . . .