Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*

"Generals and Majors always seem so unhappy 'less they got a war . . ."
--XTC, Generals and Majors
1) SKYLARKING . . . Father's Day is slowly approaching with glacial speed, which makes this a good time to see what the likely bestsellers might be for this greatest of all holidays. (Okay, I might be a bit biased on that.) Buzz Bissinger's new one is called Father's Day (9780547816562) 26.00. I immediately surmised this book would be about Buzz's cantankerous old man, and of course, I was way off. Mr. Bissinger actually has twin sons who are in their twenties; one is a graduate student at Penn and the other will never go to college. Zach is a savant who has always attended special schools and will never be able to live on his own. To become closer to him, Buzz takes Zach on a road trip to all the places they have lived together. And damn it, there's a lot of book dust in here . . .

2) DRUMS AND WIRES . . . Sports books. Sports books are always big for Father's Day, and this year we have a bumper crop. John Smoltz, a future Hall of Famer and the Pride of Waverly High School has a new title, Starting and Closing (9780062120540) 26.99. Mr. Smoltz is stopping in Saturday to sign our stock, so I will have autographed copies available next week. Speaking of pitchers, University of Michigan's Jim Abbott has had a strong performer with his book, Imperfect (9780345523259) 26.00. I'm sure we'll see another pop in sales before Father's Day. Of the recently released sports books, former Detroit Lion Chris Spielman's That's Why I'm Here (9780310336143) 24.99 would be my favourite one. It has the obligatory 'on and off the field stories' from a brilliant football career, but it also highlights his wife's fight with cancer. If the Detroit Tigers had half the heart of Chris Spielman, they would be winning our division . . .

3) THE BIG EXPRESS . . . In Norma Bates voice, "As if men don't desire politics! As if, ohhh . . . I refuse to speak of disgusting politics, because they disgust me! You understand boy!" Yup, politics is a big one, too. We have the new Colin Powell book on leadership, It Worked For Me (9780062135124) 27.99. Also, Bill O'Reilly's Killing Lincoln (9780805093070) 28.00 is still doing well. Bill's next magnum opus Killing Kennedy (9780805096668) 28.00 will be released on October 16. Rumor has it that Bill is working on Killing McKinley and Killing Garfield. If you have a father who likes to go out on the front lawn, shake his fist at the sky, and scream obscenities, then Ed Klein's The Amateur (9781596987852) 27.95 would be the perfect selection . . .

On this day in Byzantine Empire History (May 29)
Constantinople, the capitol of the Byzantine Empire was taken by the
Ottoman Turks after a nearly two month long seige in 1453.

Odds & Sods

One last Father's Day tie-in, we are working on acquiring Rocks Across the Pond (9780985037505) 29.95 by the parents of Detroit Tiger's phenom Justin Verlander. I should have more information on it by next week . . .

We have received Beautiful Sleeping Bear Dunes (9780918293169) 19.95 from the fine folks who publish Traverse, Northern Michigan's Magazine. As you may have guessed, it is a magazine sized tradepaper book with beautiful photographs of Sleeping Bear Dunes. It would be a great keepsake for area vacationers . . .

Finally, Charlie Schroeder's Man of War (9781594630910) 25.95 has been sneaking out of here. It has a Confederates in the Attic kind of vibe going on . . .

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*

"Habits of literary composition are perfectly familiar to me. One of the rarest of all the intellectual accomplishments that a man can possess is the grand faculty of arranging his ideas. Immense privilege! I possess it. Do you?"
--Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White
1) HEART AND SCIENCE . . . I would have loved to have heard the initial pitch for the Battleship movie. "Yeah, it'll be just like the boardgame! Giant explosions! Tons of CGI! Aliens attacking! A kid from the wrong side of the tracks will become a man when he joins the Navy!" Hmmm, that's not exactly the Battleship game I remember playing as a kid . . . At any rate, there is a Battleship (9780345535375) 7.99 movie tie-in that was written by Peter David. The bad news is that the movie has performed so poorly that the Shia LeBeouf vehicle Chutes and Ladders and the movie adapation of Hungry Hungry Hippos with Jonah Hill have both been put on indefinite hold at their respective studios . . .

2) THE FROZEN DEEP . . . Apparently, there are so many people climbing Mt. Everest that there have been traffic jams on its slopes. Throw in one of the worst storms ever and I hear that people have been dropping like flies on their way back down. If you are looking for a nice display tie-in, Peter Zuckerman's Buried in the Sky (9780393079883) 26.95 is a survival story of two sherpas on the nearby K2. It will be available next month. Sam also suggested Jon Krakuer's Into Thin Air (9780385494786) 15.00 as a good one. There is a juvenile book called Storm at the Summit of Mount Everest: A Choose Your Own Path Book (9781591932758) 8.95. From what I gather, you are climbing Mt. Everest with your sister, and there is a storm bearing down upon both of you. I am imagining questions like this: You are running low on supplies and you've been separated from the main party in the storm. A) If you push your sister off a ledge to conserve supplies -- go to page 186. B) If you gut your sister and crawl inside her carcass like Luke Skywalker did with Han Solo's Tauntaun to stay warm -- go to page 97. Of course, I've never claimed to be a children's writer . . .

3) THE TWO DESTINIES . . . Speaking of children's writers, Ellen Airgood, author of South of Superior (9781594485763) 16.00 has written her first young adult novel, and it's getting rave reviews. Prairie Evers has been homeskooled and is having a hard time learning to socialize with other kids. She finally finds a friend in Ivy. Prairie also learns from Ivy that home is not always where the heart is. We've already sold out of the first batch, but we expect more copies shortly . . .

4) A TERRIBLY STRANGE BED . . . Mike Barton's new edition of The Mushroom Houses of Charlevoix (9780980102499) 21.95 is a couple of inches taller and wider. There are also 25 additional pages of pictures and text. Come see how the little people live! And oh, how they danced . . .

Odds & Sods

It would seem that a lot more people are reading newspapers than I suspected. The Kluck's Yooper Bars (9780615566214) 19.95 was highlighted in the Detroit News & Free Press this past week and we promptly sold out. We have more stock in now . . .

As Huggy Bear might say, the word on the street is that Partners has the only available stock on E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey (9780345803481) 15.95. Order yours before they are gone . . .

It looks like Chronicle should get Jeffrey Brown's Darth Vader & Son (9781452106557) 14.95 to us before Father's Day. You might want to backorder . . .

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*

"We are an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star.
But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special . . ."
--Stephen Hawking

B. Traven Jr. here. You may recall that the last time I spoke with you, I was trapped in one of Rupert Murdoch's closets. It gave me some time to reflect. Stephen Hawking once said that the absence of travelers from the future is a convincing argument against time travel, which is a variation on the Fermi Paradox. This is one of the few times Mr. Hawking has been wrong. First of all, not many of us travel backwards in time, and secondly, we are very, very careful not to expose ourselves. We do not want to contaminate the timeline. Like Giorgio, some ancient astronaut theorists have confused our appearances with alien visitations. I wish I could tell him the truth. Ha, ha!

As the Exarch of Media Permutations, I was investigating historical trends in mass media outlets during the early Modern Period. And before I was sidetracked by Fox News, I was trying to understand the phenomenon behind E.L. James' series of books, including: Fifty Shades of Grey (9780345803481) 15.95, Fifty Shades Darker (9780345803498) 15.95, and Fifty Shades Freed (9780345803504) 15.95. My fellow Exarchs and I believe that there must be some sort of 'outside' help for such poorly written books to become an overnight publishing sensation. Ha, ha!

However, while investigating this anomaly, I discovered that the media mogul Rupert Murdoch owned several guard raptors. Now the obvious explanation was that they were merely clones, ala Crichton's Jurassic Park (9780345370778) 7.99. Whereby, I find it much more plausible that these 'pets' could have been brought through one of our time portals. Also, American Chillers #34: Savage Dinosaurs of South Dakota (9781893699595) 5.99 by Jonathan Rand had been released in the same week. In this book, the kids believe the dinosaurs in a new theme park to be animatronic, but they aren't. This all seemed to be more than just pure coincidence to me. Ha, ha!

I know Rupert Murdoch had not been a fan of ex-President Al Gore and he would do anything to disrupt the main timeline to remove him. Also, in my timeline David Foster Wallace's The Pale King (9780316074223) 16.99 had won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, but inexplicably, now no Pulitzer Prize had been awarded in that category. Something didn't smell right.

I heard the lock tumblers on the door click. Rupert Murdoch stood outside the doorway with two raptors on steel leashes. He laughed manically and says, "So, B. Traven Jr., we meet again. And unfortunately for you . . . This will be the last time. Feast my pretties!"

You know what the weird thing was? I had never met him before . . .

Odds & Sods

We bid another children's author good- bye. Jean Craighead George passed away yesterday. She was 92 years old. I had only read one of her books. I was assigned to read My Side of the Mountain (9780141312422) 6.99 in about 3rd grade or so. I remember that I wanted to live out in the woods after I read it. She will be missed . . .

Maurice Sendak is no longer with us, but his books live on. We just received our re-order on his most popular title, Where the Wild Things Are (9780060254926) 17.95 in hardcover and (9780064431781) 8.95 in paperback. We also have In the Night Kitchen (9780064434362) 7.95 back in . . .

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*

"In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed,
in the 'Maritine Sailor's Cathedral.'"
--G. Lightfoot, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

There was a an empty casket before the church altar. Next to the coffin, there was a easel with a blurry, blown up photo of B. Traven Jr. with his safari hat on. A man with wild hair and a bad application of fake spray tan steps to the podium.

"Hello, I am Giorgio Tsoukalos; you may remember me from such shows as UFO Hunters, In Search of . . . (the newer version), and I am also the producer of Ancient Aliens. It is with a heavy heart that I come to you today. I had the honor of working with B. Traven Jr. on all of these shows. Like me, he was ready to believe every wild-eyed, outlandish conspiracy theory that sailed down the pike. And the world is a sadder place without him in it.

Like many of you, I didn't know much about the private life of B. Traven Jr. Ancient alien theorists have hypothesized that he was actually an alien himself. Personally, I'm not going to say that he was an alien, but yes, he was an alien. There is one thing I do know for sure. He liked to read. He didn't use one of those KindlesTM. I know he liked the tactile feel of the page between his fingers. Like a moth to a flame, he was attracted to any book with a clever title -- whatever the topic. Recently, I had seen him thumbing through the cartoon book, Darth Vader and Son (9781452106557) 14.95 by Jeffrey Brown. He was a Star Wars fan, but then, of course, most aliens are. I know he followed Jenny Lawson's blog and he was excited about the release of her new book, Let's Pretend This Never Happened (9780399159015) 25.95. He said that Jenny was one of the funniest writers he had ever stumbled upon.

B. Traven Jr. was also a huge Robert B. Parker fan, and he was relieved that Ace Atkins was hand-picked to continue his legacy with his new title, Lullaby (9780399158032) 26.95. He loved the name Ace Atkins. He said to me, 'Ace Atkins. Isn't that a great name? Doesn't it sound like the name of a fighter pilot, or a riverboat gambler, or maybe a professional golfer?'

And then he did that silly laugh of his, 'Ha, ha!'

This, of course, prompted me to ask, 'Speaking of names, what does the 'B' in B. Traven Jr. stand for?'

He said, 'G-man, I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. Ha, ha!'

And the scary thing was that I don't think he was kidding. Being a benevolent alien, he probably would have just performed a mindwipe on me, if he had, but . . .

B. Traven Jr. loved parodies. He said he couldn't put the Harvard Lampoon's The Hunger Pains (9781451668209) 13.99 down . . ."

Suddenly the big doors at the back of the church groaned open, light streamed in, and the people in the pews craned their necks to see who stood in the doorway.

A man in shredded clothes yelled, "Hold on there! I'm not dead! Ha, ha!"

Odds & Sods

Randy and Kevin Kluck, the authors of Yooper Bars (9780615566214) 19.95 have been pounding the pavement and promoting their book. Also, their title will be featured in both this Sunday's Detroit Free Press & News and The Kalamazoo Gazette. There may be a mass exodus to the UP very shortly . . .

Stephen Colbert's childrens book, I Am A Pole (And So Can You!) (9781455523429) 15.99, which was endorsed by the late Maurice Sendak, is now available. I'm kind of a Colbert NationTM fan myself and he is already plugging the heck out of this book. He will make this title a bestseller . . .

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*

"A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities . . ."
--J.R.R. Tolkien

His office stank of old cigar smoke. He had ripped out the walls and replaced them with mahogany. Every fixture in his office, from doorknobs to the ceiling fan, had been supplanted with diamond-encrusted gold ornaments. He had ordered his legion of maids to wash every single square inch of his penthouse office over and over again, but it hadn't come clean. Yes, it was a subtle odor, but to his nostrils it smelled worse than a festering pot of kimchi. He could have moved to hundreds of other offices in the skyscraper, but he was Rupert Murdoch and he needed to be at the pinnacle. Symbolically, he stood at the top of his empire's pyramid.

The intercom buzzed.

"Your lordship, Mr. John Sellers, your ten o'clock appointment is here," said his long time assistant Wilhelm.

He hated Sellers. He contemplated letting him cool his heels in the outer office for an hour or two, but he figured it was best to just get it over with.

"Go ahead, Wilhelm . . ."

The door burst open and Seller's great bulk came careening through the doorway like a runaway train. His smile was the same as all salesmen, toothy and insincere, a dim headlight. His voice boomed, "Rupee baby, have I got a book for you! Actually it's three books! A trilogy! Remember how big The Hunger Games (9780545425117) 12.99 was? This is gonna be bigger! Huge! It's set in a dystopian future and this young girl has to choose a faction to join when she turns sixteen. All the factions are at odds with one another, so they might have to go to war. The first one is called Divergent (9780062024039) 9.99. And instead of a flaming circle with a fiery bird on the cover, we're going to put a flaming circle with a flaming flame in the center. The next book Insurgent (9780062024046) 17.99 will have a tree in the middle of the circle on the jacket . . ."

There's a twinkle in Rupert's eye, "Will the tree be flaming?"

Sellers shrugs, "I guess it could be."

Rupert makes a steeple out of his fingers, "Hmmm, it's a rip-off. But they do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I like it. What else do you have?"

Sellers makes a frame with his hands, "Picture this! A book called Bookshelf (9780500516140) 24.95 which is about bookshelves and when you've finished reading it, guess what! You can put it on your bookshelf!"

Rupert shakes his head, "Naw, Seinfeld already did that bit when Kramer designed a coffee table book that could be made into a coffee table. It was clever, but it didn't sell worth squat . . ."

Suddenly, his office erupts with a squall of sirens, flashing red lights, and a computer-generated voice that cuts through it all, "Security breach. Basement level."

Murdoch jumps out of his chair, "Sellers, stay here. I'll be right back!"

Odds & Sods

Vacation season will soon begin in the Great White North and I have a couple of new coloring books that should sell well in upper Michigan. First of all, we have the Amazing Michigan Coloring Book (9780615371030) 14.95. It is pricey, but it has over 100 pages of fun that will entertain your kids for hours. And you con't put a price on that. The other one from Diane Napierkowski is ABC's and 1-2-3's of the Great Lakes (9780615598741) 6.95. Order yours today . . .

We also have ace photographer Craig Blacklock's new books, Pictured Rocks (9781892472274) 34.95. If that price is prohibitive, it is also available in a souvenir edition Pictured Rocks (9781892472250) 8.95.