Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ye Olde Partners Page

*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*

Kissinger: The Chilean thing is getting consolidated and of course the newspapers are bleeding because a pro-Communist government was overthrown.
Nixon: Isn't that something. Isn't that something.
Kissinger: I mean instead of celebrating -- in the Eisenhower period we'd be heroes.
Nixon: Well we didn't -- as you know -- our hand doesn't show on this one though.
Kissinger: We didn't do it. I mean we helped them . . .

Henry Kissinger, author of On China (9781594202711) 36.00 and President Nixon trying to convince themselves that they aren't responsible for the overthrow of the elected Chilean government in 1973.


There are Stories I Only Tell My Friends (9780805093292) 26.00, and this isn't one of them. If You Ask Me (9780399157530) 25.95, I am more than willing to share the story of how I met the love of my life. Oddly, it began in the bookstore on 44 Charles Street (9780385343145) 28.00, I believe it was called The Last Stand (9780143119609) 18.00, and it was a couple of blocks over from the Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (9780345505347) 15.00. Also, if I remember correctly, the store was throwing its 10th Anniversary (9780316036269) 27.99 sale.

I was in the poetry aisle, checking out the Young Romantics (9780374123758) 27.50, when I saw A Singular Woman (9781594487972) 26.95. She was in the Chelsea Handler section and she was thumbing through a copy of Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me (9780446584715) 24.99. I could tell she had the kind of beauty that was surely Worth Dying For (9780440246299) 9.99.

From This Moment On (9781451620740) 26.99 I knew I had to meet her, but I'm not a Social Animal (9781400067602) 27.00 so I wasn't sure how I could break the ice. I imagined kissing her in Moonlight Cove (9780778329794) 7.99 with her soft lips pressed against mine. *Sigh* If only . . .

While I was daydreaming she walked over to me, and asked in a voice that could Sing You Home (9781439102725) 28.00, "Do you work here?"

At that moment I would have given Half the Sky (9780307387097) 15.95 to be an employee in that store. Instead, I stood transfixed in that One Magic Moment (9780515149517) 7.99 and then finally stuttered, "Nnnoo, I just have that look. Bbbut mmaybe I can help you."

"Where would Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin (9781451654400) 26.00 be?"

I think to myself, 'Heaven is for Real (9780849946158) 16.99.' I add, "I believe it would be in Politics. By the way, would you like to go out for A Drop of the Hard Stuff (9780316127332) 25.99 sometime?"

She replies, "Sure, why not? I am still looking for That Perfect Someone (9781439101087) 7.99."

I smile. I am the Lover Unleashed (9780451233165) 27.95.

Odds & Sods

I was perusing the book reviews in Publishers Weekly today and in the science fiction ghetto I saw a new book called The Dedalus Book of Flemish Fantasy (9781903517932) 15.99. I did a double take. Was this someone's idea of a joke? Could this be the perfect submission for the oddest book title, or The Diagram Prize? I read the review . . .  My God -- it's full of stars!

If you're in New York this week, please stop by Booth #4175 at the BEA and say 'Hi' to Sam & Vicky for me . . .

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ye Olde Partners Page

*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*

"My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard.
Mother would come out and say, 'You're tearing up the grass.'
'We're not raising grass', my dad would reply, 'We're raising boys.'"
--Harmon Killebrew
1) FATHER'S DAY FUN . . . I think I can safely say that Father's Day never garners the attention that Mother's Day gets, but nonetheless, it is still one of the bigger book buying holidays. I know it's a little early, but I'm sure you are considering putting up a Father's Day display in the next week or two. Of course, there are the obvious one's like Wasdin's Seal Team Six (9780312699451) 26.99, and similar titles like Marcus Luttrell's Lone Survivor (9780316067607) 15.99. I, instead, have decided to feature some quirkier books that will still fit the bill.

First of all, the #1 book on has not even been released yet, but I can't think of a better selection for Dad than Adam Mansbach and Ricardo 'Real Corithian Leather' Cortes' Go The F@ck to Sleep (9781617750250) 14.95. It is an adult book masquerading as a children's book and apparently, it has gone viral. Personally, as a father, I believe that when my daughters were still toddlers that I probably uttered this phrase more than a few times. It is the 'can't miss' book of the summer and its release date is June 15.

And then there's Chaz Bono's Transitions: The Story of How I Became a Man (9780525952145) 25.95. I used to watch The Sonny & Cher Show back in the day, and usually their daughter Chastity would make an appearance during the show. "Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies, And everyone goes, 'cause every knows, 'Bout Brother Love's show . . ." Yes, I know that's Neil Diamond, but I remember Cher covering it on her show. Memory is a strange thing. At any rate, Chastity was as cute as a button. Now, I see on the cover of her book that she has grown into a strapping young man named Chaz. He will be plugging his book tomorrow on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Speaking of memory, I caught Jon Ronson on The Daily Show last night and he was plugging his latest book, The Psycopath Test (9781594488016) 25.95, which tangentially touches upon both thought and memory. I found him extremely engaging. He also wrote The Men Who Stare at Goats (9781439181775) 15.00. I picked up his new book on a whim at lunch and now I can't put the darn thing down. Jon has a very witty writing style that appears incongruent with his nightmarish subject matter, but somehow he makes it work. Sorry, Mr. Internet, but I will be spending my lunches with Jon for the forseeable future.

Finally, my last Father's Day suggestion is Ian O'Conner's The Captain: The Journey of Derek Jeter (9780547327938) 26.00. Normally I wouldn't promote a book about a New York Yankee, but Derek Jeter is the exception. The Pride of Kalamazoo, he's a fellow Michigander and he has always handled himself with class and aplomb. Mr. Jeter's career is starting to wind down, so it won't be long before I can hate the Yankees again without any reservations . . .

Odds & Sods

Pretty soon I won't have Oprah Winfrey to kick around anymore. And it makes me sad. From what I hear, Oprah tied up the United Centre in Chicago for the past two days and forced the NBA to push back one of their playoff games. Talk about clout. As a sort of final coda for her book group, James Frey stopped in and spoke with Oprah about A Million Little Pieces (9780307276902) 15.95.

It was announced that Philip Roth has won the Man Booker International Prize, which is generally awarded every two years. One of the judges, Carmen Calill, has chosen to retire rather than have her name associated with Mr. Roth's win. Tough crowd . . .

Thursday, May 12, 2011

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*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*
"I think you already know
How far I'd go not to say
You know the art is gone
And I'm taking my song to the grave . . . "
--QOTSA, The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret

B. Traven Jr. here. I was working on my latest title Osama Bin Dead, which explores the theory that Osama bin Laden has been literally on ice for the past nine years, when Mick called and asked if I would write the Partners Page. I said I've been dying to look into Jerome Corsi's new book, Where's the Birth Certificate? The Case That Obama is not Eligible to be President (9781936488292) 25.95. A lesser man or a non-partisan hack may have thrown in the towel on the 'Birther conspiracy' since President Obama released his long form birth certificate a couple of weeks ago, but not Mr. Corsi. Yesterday, he wrote an article for World Net Daily that questions whether the president was actually born at that hospital in Hawaii. And I quote, "Nothing that would commemorate Honolulu and Kapi'olani as the President's place of birth is currently on display at the Hawaii Department of Health . . ." Well, that's all the proof I need, and as I always say, "Never let the facts get in the way of a good conspiracy theory." Ha, ha!

I was recently in Borneo in search of Nepethes rajah, which is the only known plant that can trap and eat small mammals. I had heard that there were larger specimens in the jungle interior, perhaps big enough to consume a human being. I had originally read about this fabulous flora in Amy Stewart's Wicked Plants (9781565126831) 18.95. Unfortunately, I probably should have read her new title, Wicked Bugs (9781565129603) 18.95, first. I didn't realize how big the bugs in Borneo are. In fact, the Borneoans don't say, "Don't let the bedbugs bite." Instead they say, "Don't let the bedbugs carry you away." Ha, ha!

Area 51 is the Holy Grail of conspiracy theories. Supposedly, this is where the lunar landings were faked on a sound stage as in the movie Capricorn One. There have always been rumors that aliens are or were held here. There may or may not be a huge interconnected tunnel system beneath the facility, and it may or may not have secret weapons stored in it. So what exactly is the government hiding there? Well, Annie Jacobsen purports to expose the truth in her latest tome, Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base (9780316132947) 27.99. To say I'm a bit sceptical about this book would be an understatement, but if Annie has pictures of the alien autopsy then we're on the same page. Ha, ha!

And as Robert Heinlein once said, "Secrecy is the keystone to all tyranny."

Odds & Sods

According to Shelf Awareness, the movie rights to the Burpo family's Heaven is for Real (9780849946158) 16.99 has been sold to Sony Pictures. At this point Joe Roth (Alice in Wonderland) with T.D. Jakes will be producing the movie. Don't even ask me what I thought about Alice in Wonderland. I'm looking at you, Tim Burton . . .

Speaking of Shelf Awareness, Monday's edition featured one of our favourite book people, Nicola Rooney, who is the owner of Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor. She has words of wisdom for other independent bookstore owners. See it here:

Thursday, May 5, 2011

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*News From the Glamorous World of Bookselling*

"This is probably the first time in history that a bunch of old white men want to take credit for someone (Osama bin Laden) that a black man killed . . . "
1) DEAD ON TIME . . . This past Sunday I was ecstatic to learn that Navy Seals had slipped into Pakistan and slain terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. Whether Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or even Teabagger, for a moment, I felt as Americans that we could all agree that his death has made the world a much, much safer place. Of course there are the naysayers. Islamic scholars are whining about his burial at sea. Well, there are three thousand Americans who had no choice as to how they were buried on 9/11, so deal with it. Naysay all you want. I, for one, am glad that Mr. Bin Laden is in his own personal Hell and will burn there for eternity. I am also proud to be an American. And that's all I have to say about that. Speaking of heroes, coincidentally a new book Seal Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy Seal Sniper (9780312699451) 26.99 by Howard Wasdin was to be released in three weeks. St. Martins has decided to put it on-sale for next Tuesday, and I think I can safely say this will be a best seller as soon as it arrives. God bless the Navy Seals and our troops overseas . . .

2) GOOD COMPANY . . . Steve Hamilton was born and raised in Detroit, MI. He's one of our own and his books have been especially popular in the northern part of our state. He is also the author of The Lock Artist (9780312696955) 14.99, which was recently announced as the winner of the 2011 Edgar Award for Best Novel. Steve stopped in here on his hardcover tour for The Lock Artist, and he was kind and gracious man who obviously appreciates his readers. Congrats, Steve, and try to show him a little support if you can . . .

3) GOOD OLD FASHIONED LOVER BOY . . . Remember Rob Lowe. No? You know, he was the actor with the first celebrity sex videotape. No? Okay, he played the bad guy in Wayne's World? No? Aha, he also played the role of Sam Seaborn on The West Wing. There we go. Well, Mr. Lowe was on The Oprah Winfrey Show last week to promote his new title Stories I Only Tell My Friends (9780805093292) 26.00. Surprisingly, it hit Barnes & Noble's bestseller list this week, which means it should hit all the rest of them next week. Order accordingly . . .

4) DRAGON ATTACK . . . I'm just starting to collect pop-up books, and my pick of the week is Dragons & Monsters (9780763631734) 29.99, the latest in Reinhart and Sabuda's Encyclopedia Mythologica series. It might be a good one to feature with your George R.R. Martin displays for the HBO mini-series The Game of Thrones (9780553386790) 17.00 . . .

Odds & Sods

As if unleashing Robert Pattison on an unsupecting American public wasn't bad enough, now we have a movie version of Stephenie Meyer's The Host (9780316068055) 16.99 to contend with in the near future. The screenplay is by Andrew Niccol, who wrote Gattaca, so I'll admit there is some hope . . .

Katie Couric will be on The Tonight Show tomorrow to promote The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons from Extraordinary Lives (9780812992779) 26.00. Katie's sales have been strong, and with Graduation Day coming up, I believe that it's only going to do better in the upcoming weeks . . .