Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*

"Nothing travels faster than the speed of light, with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws . . ."
--Douglas Adams
Channel 13 Community Access TV Presents: BOOK TALKERS
(Camera pans Double D's basement and settles on Stoner Bill, Double D, Chip, and Charles Edmund Wilson III sitting in comfortable chairs.)

Stoner Bill: Hey Dudes and Dudettes! Welcome to Book Talkers with your hosts, Me and Double D. Our guests are Charles Edmund Wilson III and his manservant Chip . . . (Stoner Bill looks bewildered and asks in a whisper, "Is that even legal in the U.S.?") . . . joining us as our guests. Mr. Wilson will receive the, um, Cyril M. Kornbluth Memorial Award for his contributions to the, um, genre at this year's Chicon 7, the 70th World Science Fiction Convention in Chicago. My question to you, Mr. Wilson: Will be there be fans dressed up as Elvish babes at this convention, and if so, can you get us in?

Charles Wilson: Humph. Well, my dear boy, I served with J.R.R. Tolkien in The Great War. We were shoulder to shoulder at the Battle of the Somme. Of course, if you had done your homework, you would know that he is long since dead. However, the list of authors who will be attending is impressive. My dear friend, George R.R. Martin, author of A Dance with Dragons (9780553801477) 35.00 will be there. China Mieville, author of Embassytown (9780345524508) 16.00, John Scalzi, author of Redshirts (9780765316998) 24.99, Paolo Bacigalupi, author of my personal favourite, The Windup Girl (9781597801584) 14.95 and The Drowned Cities (9780316056243) 17.99, and the lovely Mira Grant, who wrote Blackout (9780316081078) 9.99 will all be in attendence. I expect it to be a smashing success . . .

Stoner Bill: Blah blah blahbity-blah. You still haven't answered my question . . .

Double D: Mr. Wilson, just ignore him. I know, as well as being a writer, you have been on the publishing end of things, too. Do you have any thoughts on this year's Midwest Booksellers Choice Award winners?

Charles Wilson: The winners are all fine titles. I saw that Chad Harbach's The Art of Fielding (9780316126670) 14.99 won for fiction, Cheryl Strayed's Wild (9780307592736) 25.95 won for non-fiction, Brian Selznick's Wonderstruck (9780545027892) 29.99 won for children's literature, and Loren Long's Otis and the Tornado (9780399254772) 17.99 was the winner for children's picture book. However, it is hard for small publishers to get any kind of publicity these days, and I wish they had chosen more titles that were not from major publishers.

Odds & Sods

Speaking of smaller presses, we have received Aaron Stander's latest Michigan mystery The Cruelest Month (9781478358145) 15.95. Sheriff Ray Elkins is back, and he may have yet another murder to solve on Lake Michigan's shore . . .

Also, we have copies of Kathy-jo Wargin's The Legend of Sleeping Bear (9781886947351) 17.95 back in stock . . .

Finally, if you are interested in more book news and you would like to learn more about titles Partners is featuring, I suggest you take a peek on the web at .

Charles Edmund Wilson III and I hope to see you at the Heartland Fall Forum . . .

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*

"If man devotes himself to art, much evil is avoided that happens otherwise if one is idle . . ."
--Albrecht Durer
1) RHINOCEROS . . . Lawrence Norfolk's long awaited new novel (at least by me), John Saturnall's Feast (9780802120519) 26.00 was released this past Tuesday. I'm sure I've rhapsodized to you before in the Partners Page about Lempriere's Dictionary and The Pope's Rhinoceros, two of his previous novels. They are respectively #1 and #2 in my Top Ten novels of all-time. Unfortunately, between the baby and the BBC (The Boring Book Club), I haven't had a chance to sink my teeth into it yet. This is the type of book that you want to slowly savor like a bottle of 1865 Chateau Lafite. Not that I'm not enjoying the BBC, we are just finishing up The American Revolution (9780812970418) 13.95 by Gordon S. Wood, which has led me to Rory Raven's tasty treat Burning of the Gaspee: Revolution in Rhode Island (9781609494780) 19.99 from The History Press. I had no idea that American patriots burned the Gaspee and shot its British commander in 1772 near Newport, R.I. Interesting stuff . . .

2) FEAST OF THE ROSARY . . . Man, it's almost lunchtime, and I'm starving. Another History Press title, Bill Loomis' Detroit's Delectable Past (9781609496364) 19.99 is an excellent book on the local eateries and eats of the Detroit area, and just flipping through its pages is making me hungry, too. Also, we have done well with William Decker's first two titles, Asylum for the Insane (9781933926049) 50.00 and Northern Michigan Asylum (9781933926254) 50.00. He now completes his trilogy of Michigan's state run mental hospitals with Upper Peninsula Hospital (9781933926445) 60.00. This hospital for the mentally ill was located in Newberry in the UP, and it closed in 1992. This book shouldn't be swept beneath the rug of history . . .

3) YOUNG HARE . . . Dog books are huge right now, and we are stocking one, Ghost! Field Journal of a Bird Dog (9781933926438) 18.95 by Captain Tony Petrella that purports to be the true story of Manistee River Ghost, one of the greatest bird dogs of northern Michigan. Hunters from the every part of the world came to marvel at this English Setters' phenomenal hunting skills. And no woodcock or grouse was safe for the last 14 seasons. Ba-ba-ba-bird-bird-bird, and the bird is the word . . .

4) KNIGHT, DEATH, AND THE DEVIL . . . First there was Gauntlgrym (9780786958023) 7.99 and then Neverwinter (9780786960279) 7.99, which was recently released in paperback, and now R.A. Salvatore's Charon's Claw (9780786962235) 27.95 is the the third volume in his Neverwinter saga. My friends, Drizzt Do'Urden is back and the body count has never been higher . . .

Odds & Sods

I wanted to let you know that William Kent Krueger's latest Cork O'Conner title, Trickster's Point (9781451645675) 24.99 comes out next Tuesday, and we're already getting quite a few backorders. You know the drill . . .

Jussi Adler-Olsen's first title in the Department Q series, The Keeper of Lost Causes was a surprise bestseller, and now the second book, The Absent One (9780525952893) 26.95 also releases next Tuesday. Not a lot of backorders on this title, but this one might be under the radar . . .

We do have Adam Gamble's Good Night Michigan (9781602190542) 9.95 back in stock . . .

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*

"We'll see. The [Second] Amendment does not apply to weapons that cannot be hand-carried -- it's to keep and 'bear', so it doesn't apply to cannons -- but I suppose there are hand-held rocket launchers that can bring down airplanes, that will have to be decided . . ."
--Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
1) MASK OF COMMAND . . . Star Wars never goes out of style. I saw a commerical for a new show called 'Collection Intervention' and there was a brief snippet on a person whose entire house was filled with Star Wars memorabilia. At first, I thought it was about my brother's home, but then they showed the guy (surprise!) and it wasn't him. Whew! Fortunately, publishers caught on to this a long time ago, and from Alan Dean Foster to Timothy Zahn, there has never been a dearth of new titles. However, I have a couple of newish quirky ones that have captured my interest. First of all, we have received Star Wars Origami (9780761169437) 16.95 by Chris Alexander. It has 36 paper projects for the aspiring paper engineer, but it also includes a little quiz after each project, which I found to be really enjoyable. Also, we have 'Darth Vader in a box.' Cronicle Books' Darth Vader: Together We Can Rule the Galaxy (9781452108506) 19.95 consists of a Darth Vader figurine in the classic 'choking pose', a display stand, and a 48-page illustrated book. Yeah, I've already bought one. Finally, we have Tom Angleberger's latest in his kid's series Origami Yoda, and it's entitled The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee (9781419703928) 12.95. The first two books, The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (9780810984257) 12.95 and Darth Paper Strikes Back (9781419700279) 12.95, are still good sellers, too. If you don't stock these titles, Darth Vader may just show up and say, "I find your lack of faith . . . disturbing."

2) THE PRICE OF ADMIRALTY . . . You may never have heard of M.L. Stedman, but his debut book, The Light Between Oceans (9781451681734) 25.00 is already turning a few heads. It is the latest B&N Recommends title, the reviews are glowing, and we have already sold out. Backorder accordingly . . .

3) THE FACE OF BATTLE . . . In the last Partners Page, I'm sure you thought I was heavy on the hyperbole when I said that all my favourite authors were dying off at an alarming rate. You would be wrong. One of the greatest military historians, John Keegan has gone up to that 'big battlefield in the sky.' I thoroughly enjoyed his seminal work The Face of Battle (9780140048971) 16.00 and I still believe that The First World War (9780375700453) 16.00 is the best overview of The Great War in print. And then Robert Hughes, author of the best history book on Australia, The Fatal Shore (9780394753669) 17.00 has passed away, too. I've always wanted to visit Australia, and his book was a large part of the reason why. His latest title was Rome (9780307268440) 35.00. Who, I ask, will replace them? Sylvia Day?

Odds & Sods

Oprah is doing some sort of spirituality thing again, and she's using the book Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself (9781572245372) 16.95 by Michael Singer as a template. We have some copies in the stash . . .

Up in these parts, Joseph Heywood is one of our most popular authors, and we have copies of Red Jacket: A Lute Bapcat Mystery (9780762782536) 24.95 in stock. Suspiciously, the plot sounds like it is loosely based on Michigan's own 1913 Italian Hall tragedy. Or as Woody Guthrie called it: The 1913 Massacre. Steve Lehto's Death's Door (9781879094772) 19.95 is a non-fiction account of this disaster.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*

"It is by no means an irrational fancy, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream . . ."
--Edgar Allan Poe
1) THE RAVEN . . . James Patterson, the bestselling author of the 21st century, has partnered with one of the greatest writers of the 19th century to produce the last book in the Maximum Ride series, Nevermore (9780316101844) 17.99. In this final installment, we join the human-avian hybrids Max, Fang, Dylan, and their lost love Lenore after their wild ride to prevent Armageddon by the diabolically named Doomsday Group. Angel, one member of the flock, is missing, but she is later found perched upon a bust of Pallas by Dr. Martinez, cryptically repeating over and over again, "Nevermore." I don't want to give away any more spoilers, so I'll leave it at that. You can expect the first movie of the Maximum Ride series, Angel Experiment, in movie theatres in May 2013. And as James Patterson would say, "Never poor!"

2) THE TELL-TALE HEART . . . I used to sing John Lennon's Imagine aloud whenever someone ordered Jonah Lehrer's Imagine (9780547386072) 26.00, but alas, nevermore. Mr. Lehrer has been caught fabricating quotes from Bob Dylan in his latest book, and the publisher is withdrawing this title from the market. I'm sure I've misheard some of Dylan's lyrics over the years, but his response to these allegations was very succinct, "Mmmunbe derpa son summi braxon de teway." Also, it was mentioned that Mr. Lehrer had been overly creative with quotes in his earlier works, so he appears to be a serial fabricator and has resigned as staff writer at the New Yorker. To my untrained eye, his problem appears to be a natural compulsion, which should make Daniel Smith's Monkey Mind (9781439177303) 25.00 a required read for him. Mr. Smith has an anxiety disorder, but I believe that it falls under the same purview as an obsessive-compulsive. His title has picked up in the past few days, and it is blurbed by professional blurber A.J. Jacobs, so bestsellerdom can't be far behind. "Villains" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed! -- tear up the planks! -- here, here! -- it is the beating of his hideous heart!"

3) THE PREMATURE BURIAL . . . I was saddened to learn that Gore Vidal passed away. I'm sure the adjective 'cantakerous' will be featured in most of his obituaries. But he was a darn good writer. At least thirty years ago, I read his novel Burr, and I still have a soft spot in my heart for our second Vice-President. I then read Julian, which was about Julian the Apostate, and I have been fascinated with the Roman Empire ever since. And who can forget him in the movie Bob Roberts as the incumbent Democrat senator from Pennsylvania? Boy, that movie was spot on. Alas, it looks like all of the great writers from my youth are moving on. Who, I ask, 'Will replace them?' E.L. James?

Odds & Sods

We have a whole new passel of regional oriented books in stock this week. The new Postcard History title from Arcadia is called Straits of Mackinac (9780738591896) 21.99. by Madeline Okerman Adie. Arcadia has also published a book entitled Hessel, Cedarville, and Les Cheneaux Islands (9780738582863) 21.99 by Deborah Gouin, which covers the history of the area along the southern coast of the Upper Peninnsula. Finally, History Press has released Stephen Wilber's Canoeing the Boundary Waters (9781609497323) 19.99. This title is not so much a guide book as the reminiscences of a man who grew up there . . .