Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*

"Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside of them. And it's much cheaper to buy somebody a book than it is than it is to buy them the whole world . . ."
--Neil Gaiman
Dearest Mick--

It is so good to be home. Chip, my loyal manservant, and I had a horrible experience on your side of the pond before we left for Napoli. We were guests on a television show about books with two idiotic hosts named Droner Bill and Dummy D. I was so upset by their uncouth comments that I nearly had Chip unclip my microphone, throw it down in disgust, and wheel me off the stage without so much as a how-do-you-do. Truly wretched business.

In fact, their questions were so farcical that I never had a chance to expound on what I found to be some of the most disturbing trends in the book industry. First of all, I find titles with the F-word in them to have grown quite tiresome. Granted, it was clever the first time in Adam Mansbach's Go The F**k To Sleep (9781617750250) 14.95, but by the thirtieth title it is not that particularily amusing anymore. In my day, one would only hear sailors and football coaches use that kind of language on a regular basis.

The other trend I find abhorrent is the explosion of 'erotica' in the marketplace with the success of E.L James' Fifty Shades of Grey (9780345803481) 15.95. When I was your age, the only people advertising their own sexual proclivities were Masters & Johnson. And we liked it that way. But now you have books like Reflected In You (9780425263914) 15.00 by Sylvia Day pushing their own degenerate agendas for all the world to see. I am sure these books will sell once again for Valentines Day, but as Roman Consul Laenas once said to King Antiochus IV, "I am drawing a line in the sand." By gum, it is just common decency.

Chip and I were taking a break from trying on our matching dog and dog catcher costumes when your Christmas package arrived via the parcel post. I would like to thank you for your gift of wine; Chip assures me that our cats will enjoy it. Unfortunately, as a Liberal, you probably believe that Boones Farms' Country Kwencher is a good vintage. It is not. However, your choice of books for me was much better. I will enjoy Jared Diamond's The World Until Yesterday (9780670024810) 36.00. In the fifties, you may recall, I mentored Jared at Harvard. Also, I see my good friend W.E.B. Griffin has written a new book with his son called Empire and Honor (9780399160660) 27.95. I do love his spy books. You may not know that I worked with 'Wild Bill' Donovan at the OSS during WWII. Thank you again, Mick.

Warmest Regards,
Charles Edmund Wilson III

Odds & Sods

Personally, I did get a couple of great titles for Christmas. On Bill Cusumano's recommendation, I asked my wife for David Potter's Constantine The Emperor (9780199755868) 34.95. I know, I can see your eyes glazing over even as I mention it, but it makes me happy and it really is safe to have around the house as long as you store it in a humid room, so it won't spontaneously combust due to its inherent dryness. The other book Santa brought me was Dan Wakefield's Kurt Vonnegut Letters (9780385343756) 35.00, which I must admit is a bit more fun. But then aren't all of Kurt's books -- except for Galapagos (9780385333870) 15.00. For some reason that one was tough sledding.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*

"Twas a cool Yuletide evening, and I wandered the stacks, shelving multiple titles that the patrons brought back. We toiled overtime at our library here, 'cause the powers that be cut our staffing this year . . ."
--David Davis, Librarian's Night Before Xmas
And now the conclusion to . . .

Like three bumps on a log, Doctor Delay, Stoner Bill, and Henry, Stoner Bill's younger brother, sat on an embankment overlooking the twisted and tangled remains of a '74 Ford Pinto. It lay, upside down, in a tiny crevasse near a two lane highway. Double D's car looked like Godzilla had thrown it down in anger and then stepped on it for good measure.

Henry broke the ice, "Well, I have a few bumps and bruises, but we survived."

Bill piped in, "Maaaan, that thing is unsafe at any speed."

Double D sighed, "Bill as much as I enjoy your attempts at pop culture references, 'unsafe at any speed' refers to the Chevrolet Corvair and Ralph Nader's book documenting its dangers. In the case of the Ford Pinto, its design flaw was a gas tank that tended to explode upon impact."

Bill began, "Dude, I am so glad that didn't . . ."


" . . . happen."

Double D shook his head, "Whoa, that really sucks. There goes all my new books that I just bought at Boswells. I was really looking forward to reading David Nasaw's The Patriarch (9781594203763) 40.00, which was about Smokin' Joe Kennedy. And now I won't get to enjoy the comedic stylings of Stephen Colbert in his America Again (9780446583978) 28.99. Or my copy of Proof of Heaven (9781451695199) 15.99. That doctor dude had incontrovertible proof that Heaven actually exists. And now I'll never know for sure and it's all your fault!"

"Well, it's not like I didn't lose anything. Jason at Boswells had just given me the ARC for Dick Wolf's Intercept (9780062064837) 27.99, which releases next Wednesday. And you know what a Law & Order nerd I am . . ."

"Oh yeah!" said Doctor Delay.

"Yeah, dude!" retorted Bill. And then Bill lunged at Double D and tackled him to the ground. As they wrestled in the dirt like two-year-olds on a playground, Henry could hear the clarion call of klaxons in the distance.

Henry shouted, "Guys, we should get out of here! Hey, guys!"

They stopped wrestling and the Doctor said, "Dude, that's the first smart thing I've heard you say this whole trip," he turned to Bill and added, "You owe me a car."

Bill got up and brushed himself off, "Whatever. I do have one question for you tho'. What in the hell am I doing in a Bavarian beer girl's outfit?"

Odds & Sods

William 'The Smoking Man' Davis' Wheat Belly Diet (9781609611545) 25.99 has shown no signs of letting up any time soon (especially with diet season coming up), but now it's only going to get worse. His new cookbook, the aptly entitled Wheat Belly Cookbook (9781609619367) 27.99 is here. I'd order a few copies in . . .

I know there's no hockey season this year, but we are still selling Rob Simpson's Winged Wheel (9781118144282) 34.95 and H.W. Kondras' Detroit Red Wings (9781935628248) 9.95 very well. I miss hockey and I hope Gary Bettman gets a big lump of coal in his stocking.

Fans of The Wheel of Time series will enjoy seeing this video for the release of A Memory of Light, which features Tom Doherty, Harriet McDougal, and Brandon Sanderson discussing the final chapter in Robert Jordan’s epic fantasy.     

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*

"In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against false slogans, such as 'right to work.' It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights . . ."
--Martin Luther King

Here's the thing:

Frank Marciuliano's I COULD PEE ON THIS (9781452110585) 12.95

We are getting some copies later this week. Of course it's from Chronicle Books, so our order has been cut in half. After this batch, it's questionable whether we will see any more before Christmas. I seem to recall during the summer that they hired a new person to streamline their shipping. I'm happy to see that it has worked out well . . .

THE CHEW (9781401311063) 19.99 by The Chew et al

The publisher is expecting stock on 12/18, so the forecast on this one is not very optimistic either. We should have stock on Friday or Christmas eve . . .

Anne Lamott's HELP THANKS WOW (9781594631290) 17.95

We should have more stock on this surprise bestseller by 12/18. Hopefully this is true, I need one for my grandma's present . . .

Back in stock today:

Peter Carlin's BRUCE (9781439191828) 28.00

'The Boss' never goes out of style. About 30 years ago, I vaguely recall seeing him live at Joe Louis arena on the Born in the USA tour. I think the show lasted like three days or something . . .

Willie Nelson's ROLL ME UP & SMOKE ME . . . (9780062193643) 22.99

The book by Stoner Bill's favorite author has also been a surprise bestseller. We've already sold out twice, so get on the bus before we're out again . . .

Eben Alexander's PROOF OF HEAVEN (9781451695199) 15.99

This title has been a bit of a conundrum for me. If a belief in God and Heaven is based on faith, why would I need proof?

Jim Holt's WHY DOES THE WORLD EXIST? (9780871404091) 27.95

To torture me. Duh!

You'll thank me later . . . (Nine shopping days left until the world ends.)

Odds & Sods

The other Beck guy, the singer / songwriter, has a new book called Song Reader (9781938073380) 34.00 and it is out of stock at the publisher until after Christmas. We have a few copies left . . .

Jake Tapper's Outpost (9780316185394) 29.99 is back in stock. It is a true story of wartime American valor . . .

I was saddened to learn that Ravi Shankar had passed away. You may recall that his band plays at the beginning of a Concert for Bangladesh and a Concert for George. Yeah, I know, I fast forward through his sets too. But if he meant that much to George Harrison, he must have been a good man . . .

Happy Aaron Rodgers Day!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*

"Weirdness is not my game. I'm just a square boy from Wisconsin . . ."
--Willem Dafoe

Hours after the fire had been put out by the Racine Fire Department, little pinwheels of dirty black smoke and the stink of burnt plastic still surrounded the melted carcass of the '74 Ford Pinto that lay dead in the ditch. From the skid marks, it looked like the car had careened off the road and had fallen nearly twenty feet before it exploded in a giant fireball.

A Wisconsin state trooper at the scene held a rag to his mouth to keep out the stench and said to his partner, "Lou, there's no way anyone could have survived that. How many bodies do we got?"

Lou replied, "It's still too hot to poke around in there, but I found this near the road. I guess it's a diary. It says Wreck This Journal (9780399161940) 15.00."

He flipped it open and started reading:

Day Six--

My big brother Bill is a big, fat jerk. He's been threatening to lock me in the trunk again. I don't know what's wrong with him. Both the Big Jerk and his dog Lucy are wearing matching Bavarian beer girl outfits that they bought at the National Brewery Museum in Potosi. It's very disturbing. At first, bar patrons would be abusive when they walked in with their matching costumes. But the Jerk soon learned to shout 'Go Pack!' and carry the book Lombardi's Left Side (9780983695264) 26.95 with him as a prop, and then everyone would leave them alone. But seriously, it's still embarrassing for me.

And Double D isn't even talking anymore. While he's driving (which is most of the time), he's wearing one of those hats that holds two cans of beer and you can drink it through a tube. I really don't think this is legal -- even in Wisconsin. Bill and Double D are still on their quixotic quest to visit every brewery in Wisconsin's Best Beer Guide (9781933272344) 16.95. They also want to do Bottoms Up: A Toast to Wisconsin's Historic Bars & Breweries (9780870204982) 29.95, but realistically, I pray and I hope, they won't have enough time to do both of them. And don't even get me started on the copy of Pabst: An Excavation (9780985672508) 60.00 that the Bavarian barfly has been using as a foot rest. He read about it in the Milwaukee Journal, so he just had to have one. I guess the one cool thing is that some of these bars have book clubs. The Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery has one, and they're doing the new Oprah Book Club book, The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (9780385350280) 24.95 by Ayana Mathis.

Whoa, I just looked out the window and Double D is driving on the wrong side of the road. Holy crap, there's a car coming right at

Rumor Mill

To no one's great surprise, Chris Ware's Building Stories (9780375424335) 50.00 is out of stock until after the holidays. We have a limited quantity of this New York Times Notable Book in the stash . . .

Every year there are a handful of titles in the regional holiday catalog that, well, never show up. This year one of them is Linn Schmidt's Grandma's German Cookbook (9780756694326) 22.00. The publisher is out of stock until April. "Das ist not gute Schmidt."

Mike Link & Kate Crowley's Going Full Circle (9780942235234) 18.95 is out of stock at the publisher until after Christmas. We still have copies available. After they're gone, you're on your own if you plan on hiking around Lake Superior . . .

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*

"Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood . . ."
--Jane Yolen

Today I'm not talking about great literature like Ian McEwan's Sweet Tooth (9780385536820) 26.95, or outstanding non-fiction writing like David Foster Wallace's Both Flesh and Not (9780316182379) 26.99. Instead, I'm featuring titles that I feel (viewed from my unique vantage point) are necessary to keep in stock for a successful holiday season. First of all, I am going to start with a few semi-surprising bestsellers. Secondly, we'll move on to some cashwrap goodies, and finally, I'll top it off with the latest hot movie tie-in titles.


AGENDA 21 (9781476716695) 26.00 by Glenn Beck

Ignore the ridiculous premise and the fact that El Becko's last few titles have been total duds, this one is selling if you can get it into the 'right' hands.

HELP THANKS WOW (9781594631290) 17.95 by Anne Lamott

Anne's usually a solid seller, but I believe this is the right book at the right time with the right price. And doggone it, she's a darn good writer to boot.

BRUCE (9781439191828) 28.00 by Peter Carlin

Still beloved by Baby Boomers everywhere (who have money to spend). With Mr. Springsteen on tour right now, the timing on this one couldn't be better.

ROLL ME UP & SMOKE ME WHEN I DIE (9780062193643) 22.99

Willie Nelson with co-author Kinky Friedman (?) celebrates the things he loves and shares his innumerable stories from the road. Sign me up.


UNDERWATER DOGS (9780316227704) 19.99 by Seth Casteel

If the photos in this book do not bring a smile to your face, you have no soul.

HOW TO TELL IF YOUR CAT . . . (9781449410247) 14.99 by The Oatmeal

This one sold well out of the gate, and it's showing no signs of slowing down.

I COULD PEE ON THIS (9781452110585) 12.95 by Frank Marciuliano

The quintessential cashwrap item. I laughed out loud reading these poems.


LIFE OF PI (9780547848419) 15.95 by Yann 'The Hammer' Martel

I've seen the trailer for this one twice now and it looks visually stunning.

TEAM OF RIVALS (9781451688092) 21.00 by Doris Kearns Goodwin

The movie Lincoln is based on the book. I saw it & I give it two thumbs up.

THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER (9781451696196) 14.00

I think this movie has run it's course, but the book keeps on plugging along.

THE HOBBIT (9780547844978) 13.95 by J.R.R. Tolkien

What can I say? I've kept myself alive to see this movie.

Odds & Sods

If you are a store in Michigan, Steve Smallman's brand new Santa is Coming to Michigan (9781402275395) 9.99 and Susan Collins Thoms' The Twelve Days of Christmas (9781402763519) 12.95 are two Christmas titles that you should be stocking. I would order them before the pubisher is out for the season . . .

For Minnesota stores in the Twin Cities area, I would recommend Frederick Johnson's The Big Water: Lake Minnetonka and its Place in Minnesota History (9780578110134)29.95. As Prince might say, "Why don't you purify yourself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka?"

Stoner Bill will be back next week in 'Wisconsin Death Trip.'