"But the Israelis caution that a bigger threat to Middle East serenity -- not to mention their own country's security -- lies in Tehran, whose regime they say is sure to become a nuclear power in a few years unless stopped . . ."Dearest Mick--
--New York Times, November 1992
Chip, my beloved manservant, and I are flying over southern Portugal's Alagarve region in Donald Trump's personal jet as I pen this missive to you. I do believe the big game trophies interspersed between the airplane windows are a bit over the top, but nobody has ever accused him of being parsiminous. Speaking of old friends, I was devastated to learn that my old friend Jacques Barzun passed away last week. He was only 104 years old. I remember him as a fresh-faced pupil back when I was teaching English Lit at Columbia, and I could see his latent potential even then, which I feel was finally realized in his brilliant treatise, From Dawn to Decandence (9780060928834) 20.00.
As I mulled over my memories of Jacques, Chip pulled out some of the treasures that we had acquired at the Heartland Fall ForumTM and spread them across the table. I lifted my head from my revelry, and I was immediately struck by the crisp lines and the shrinkwrap on George R.R. Martin's The Lands of Ice and Fire (9780345538543) 40.00. First of all, I thought to myself, this is the type of book that won't be easily reprinted, and secondly, his fans will be starved for anything by Mr. Martin since it will probably be ten years before he completes his next book. The maps do appear suitable for framing so I'll have my friend Anke Doberauer take a look at them.
I thumbed through several spiritual books, including Proof of Heaven (9781451695199) 15.99 by neurosurgeon Eben Alexander. It seems that the life after death genre has become quite the cottage industry in the book business these days. And as my friend Kurt Vonnegut once said, "It's a mixed blessing to be brought back from the dead". Which reminds me, I really need to have Chip read me Kurt Vonnegut Letters (9780385343756) 35.00. I imagine I would get more practical advice reading one of his letters than a whole shelf of these spirituality books, Michael Singer's The Untethered Soul (9781572245372) 16.95 included.
Speaking of recently departed authors, one of Mr. Vonnegut's progeny, David Foster Wallace, has a new collection of essays called Both Flesh and Not (9780316182379) 26.99. The last few nights, Chip has been putting me to bed with an essay from his book and a hot toddy. It has been delightful.
Well, once again, Mick, I would like to thank you for being such a gracious host while I've been in the States.
Charles Edmund Wilson III
Odds & Sods
I can't think of a better time than Halloween to release Jonathan Rand's latest American Chiller. And apparently, neither can he. As of today, we have American Chiller #36: Carnivorous Crickets of Colorado (9781893699687) 5.99 in stock . . .
I fear Sylvia Day's second book in her Crossfire trilogy, Reflected in You (9780425263914) 15.00 would have been a bit too salty for Charles Edmund Wilson III, so I'm listing it on the sidebar. The first title in the series, Bared to You (9780425263907) 15.00 was a blockbuster, and the second one is shaping up to do the same. (We'd already sold out on the first shipment.)