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 . . .

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