"Generals and Majors always seem so unhappy 'less they got a war . . ."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 . . .
--XTC, Generals and Majors
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 . . .