Thursday, February 23, 2012

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*

"I can't keep up with what's been going down,
I think my heart must just be slowing down,
Among the human beings in their designer jeans,
Am I the only one who hears the screams,
And the strangled cries of lawyers in love . . ."
--Jackson Browne, Lawyers in Love

2) FREEWAY OF LOVE . . . February is Black History month and there are a few cool African-American titles that have recently caught my eye. Aretha Franklin, between her canceled engagement and the death of Whitney Houston, has been in the news a lot lately, so Mark Bego's updated biography, Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul (9781616085810) 16.95 is extremely timely. Speaking of timely, Baratunde Thurston's new book, How To Be Black (9780062003218) 24.99 is more than just a humorous memoir, he also offers practical advice in chapters entitled 'How to Celebrate Black History Month' and 'How to be the (Next) Black President.' This is sidesplitting stuff. Finally, Listen Whitey!: The Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975 (9781606995075) 39.99 by Pat Thomas has to be one of the funniest titles I've run across in some time. It chronicles the Motown subsidary label Black Power that featured spoken word recordings of Huey Newton, Stokely Carmichael, Bill Cosby, and Langston Hughes. Represent!

3) LOVE CHLOE . . . Kelly DiPucchio, author of the children's title Zombie in Love (9781442402706) 12.99 is back. Her new one is called Crafty Chloe (9781442421233) 16.99. I 'd say that Crafty Chloe is like Fancy Nancy on steroids, but a heck of a lot more fun. And yes, I wrote this myself . . .

Odds & Sods

It's become a bit of a cliché, but I still agree with the sentiment of Reed Tucker and Andy Bagwell's Duke Sucks: A Completely Evenhanded, Unbiased Investigation into the Most Evil Team on Planet Earth (9781250004635) 12.99. Yeah, I believe the subtitle pretty much covers it . . .

By the way, there has been a new addition to the Partners' family. My daughter Sasha Marie was born February 4 at 1:15 pm. She was 6 lbs. and 12 oz. She is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. *Sigh*

I'll have more books for you next week . . .
1) LAWYERS IN LOVE . . . There might be a doctoral thesis somewhere in here, but I've asked myself on more than one occasion, "Why are so many successful fiction writers formerly lawyers?" Just off the top of my head, I could list James Patterson, David Baldacci, John Grisham, and Scott Turow. Is it because they read a lot of legal briefs? Is it because they hear good stories from their clients? Whatever the reason, a couple of months ago I had dinner with a writer that we might be adding to the list of blockbuster authors who were once lawyers: William Landay. First of all, let me say that Mr. Landay's dinner event was outstanding. He had to be one of the nicest people I've ever met. His third novel is called Defending Jacob (9780385344227) 26.00, and it is his best so far. Loyalties and love are put to the test when assistant DA Andy Barber's 14-year-old son is accused of brutally murdering a fellow classmate. I don't normally read this genre (honestly, I couldn't even make it halfway through Grisham's The Firm many moons ago), but this one had me reading into the wee hours of the night. This should be his breakout book . . .

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*

"This strange and gentle sea, reed-fringed and resting in a granite cradle still rocking in the aftermath of ice, dotted with islands and bounded with stony coasts, fed by melted snow and rainwater, almost closed behind the jut of the peninsula, yet appears almost lacustrine, an outbreak of water arrested at the edge of the ocean, frozen in the moment of joining . . ."
--Lawrence Norfolk, The Pope's Rhinoceros
The Pride of the Pleistocene

It is into this antediluvian world, on the shores of what will one day be called the Baltic Sea, I have set down the time machine that I had borrowed from President Obama. I have befriended a Cro-Magnon tribe led by their chieftain Uggh! and we are talking about the relative merits of diet books:

Uggh!: Uggh! must lose winter fat. Me want many wives when snow go away! Me must fit in cavebear skins. (He looks at my selection of diet books.) Hmm, The 17 Day Diet (9781451648652) 25.00 by Mike Moreno take too long. (Tosses it in the fire.) Uh, Dukan Diet (9780307887962) 26.00 by Pierre Dukan for snow princess. Me no snow princess. (Tosses it too.) Uggh! Uggh! The Paleo Diet (9780470913024) 14.95 by Loren Cordain sound too good. (Uggh! starts ripping pages out and then holds up the page with the Paleo Diet FlowchartTM on it.) Read me!

Me: Well, it says here that if it has a face that you can eat it.

(Uggh! thinks this is a good time to share his own Paleo Diet recipe.)

Mastodon and Morel Soup
80 lbs of mastodon meat
20 gallons of sabre-tooth tiger blood
4 bushels of morel mushrooms
1 mastodon stomach

Boil sabre-tooth blood until it is bubbling regularly. Find a giant pointy stick and use it to tenderize the meat. Then tie the mastodon meat to the pointy stick with sinews. Cook for 1/2 an hour. Pour the blood, meat, and morels into the mastodon stomach. Cook over fire for 1/2 hour. Cut open stomach and serve.

Me: So you like morels. I have here in my pack a new book called Morel Mushrooms (9781933272313) 13.95 by Michael Phillips and it has all kinds of recipes for morels. (I hand him the book. The full colour photos look so enticing that he starts ripping out the pages and eating them.) That's a good book, eh?

Uggh!: Mmmmm, delicious . . .

Odds & Sods

You may not know this, but my wife is due with our first baby. We'd been having a hard time finding a name, but then I saw that there's a new title called The Snow Child (9780316175678) 24.99 by Eowyn Ivey. Hmm, Eowyn. (Her mother was a Lord of the Rings fan.) I kind of like that one. And my wife says it's better than R2D2 Dolinski. Oh, and the book is getting a lot of buzz, too . . .

Also, Jay from Troy is really high on Andy Andrews' How Do You Kill 11 Million People? (9780849948350) 14.99 and we have it back in stock. It's a polemic on how we can make America great again, no matter what your party affiliation is . . .