"The book salesman should be honored because he brings to our attention,Dearest Mick--
as a rule, the very books we need most and neglect most . . ."
Chip, my beloved manservant, and I were on our RascalTM scooters when your belated Christmas package arrived via the parcel post. Much like Medieval times, we had been using our RascalsTM as steeds on my Napoli estate and we were attempting to unhorse each other with lances. It is great fun. Personally, my lance and armor had been used by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa in a ceremonial capacity. Chip's spear was from English King Henry V and his suit of mail was from Henry IV. Chip, unfortunately, had already suffered a black eye from our shenanigans and he was ready for a rest. We set down in the solarium, Chip poured us each a goblet of Piper Heidsieck 1907 champagne, and we examined the books you had sent in your care package.
I am a fan of Downton Abbey. In fact, Downton Abbey is where I first met Chip during the War. I was a guest of the Earl and the Countess of Carnarvon and Chip had been assigned as my footman. So I was a pleased as punch to see The World of Downton Abbey (9781250006349) 29.99 by Jessica Fellowes, and Margaret Powell's Below Stairs: The Classic Kitchen Maid's Memoir that Inspired 'Upstairs, Downstairs' and 'Downton Abbey' (9781250005441) 22.99 in your Partners' box. It was the last idyllic moments I was to spend with their family before the dreaded 'Day of Days.'
I was nearly bowled over by Arrived On This Ship (9781933272306) 19.95 by Hudson Keenan. What a gorgeous book! I remember steaming about the Great Lakes in many of the fine ships pictured in these pages. As I flipped through this book, I could almost smell the smoke and feel the soot alighting on my suit. I could also hear the whistle of the City of Alpena at the dock in Detroit and feel its gentle roll as the ship finally got underway for St. Ignace. Mick, I'll tell you that it was a good time to be alive.
I know the Green Bay Packers were upended by the New York Giants in the NFL playoffs, but I really appreciated your copy of of Dr. James Hurley's Green Bay: A City & Its Team (9780615444642) 39.95. I recall that Vince Lombardi was one of the 'Seven Blocks of Granite,' the nickname for Fordham's offensive line when I was an underclassman at Big Green. We struck up a friendship soon after. Later on, we were both assistant coaches at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. I never met a more competitive man in my life. Thank you again, Mick.
Charles Edmund Wilson III
Odds & Sods
I'm always on the lookout for a good fantasy series and I think I might have found one. First, the Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan was published by a small press, then he self-published it, and now, Orbit Books has released all six books in a three volume set. The first volume is Theft Of Swords (9780316187749) 14.99, the second one is Rise Of Empire (9780316187701) 14.99, and we received the third title Heir Of Novron (9780316187718) 14.99 yesterday. This series is more in the tradition of David Eddings than the gritty realism of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice & Fire cycle. It's pretty good so far . . .