Friday, December 20, 2013

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"Soon, if we are not prudent, millions of people will be watching each other starve to death through expensive television sets . . ."   --Aneurin Bevan
(Scene one:  A stereotypical Mafiaoso leans over a library desk, menacingly.)

Mafia guy:  Hey, li'l library lady, it has come to the attention of the Montague family that you are behind on your payments.  It really would be a shame if some unforeseen 'accident' happened to your card catalogue.

Library lady:  What?  Are you threatening me?

Mafia guy:  Threatening?  I'm just saying you got a nice lookin' Dewey Decimel System here.  I would hate to see them get all mixed up.  Comprende?

Library lady:  Sssssshhhh!

Mafia guy:  What!?  Are you shushin' me?  Really.  Are you #$%#@$ shushin' me?  I come in here tryin' to help you out and you're *&%$# shushin' me!  I'll burn this $#%&% place to the ground!  It'll be a %$#@& fireball!  [He notices a stack of books on the counter and begins knocking them off one by one.]   Oops, there goes Doris Kearns Goodwin's The Bully Pulpit (9781416547860) 40.00.  Looks like I just dinged a corner.  Oh no, there goes John Grisham's Sycamore Row (9780385537131) 28.95.  I am so clumsy.  Watch out below, here comes James Patterson's Cross My Heart (9780316210911) 29.00 . . .


Library lady:  Enough!  Get out of my library right now!

Mafia guy: (Laughing)  Head's up!  Here comes Charles Krauthammer's Things That Matter (9780385349178) 28.00 . . .

 Library lady:  That's it!  [She lays her glasses down on her desk, unties her hair bun, and in one fluid motion she leaps into the air, performs a 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' backflip in midair, and lands behind the interloper.  With one hand she begins to crush his windup and with her other one she begins to snap the fingers of his right hand in succession.  She whispers in his ear.]  Don't *snap* ever *snap* come *snap* in *snap* here again.  Comprende?

(Watch for Chicago Library on ABC-TV this Spring)

Odds & Sods

Former Detroit Red Wing Darren McCarty's My Last Fight (9781600788857) 26.95 will be delivered here on Monday.  Get your backorder in . . .

 Speaking of sports, we have a boatload of Donald Driver's Driven (9780385349147) 25.00 back in stock.  It looks like the winner of the  NFL's Norris division will come down to the final game between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers . . .

Errata:  Malcolm Gladwell's appearance at The Michigan Theatre for David & Goliath (9780316204361) 29.00 is actually on January 27 and not on December 11 as originally announced here . . .  

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"A culture's ability to understand the world and itself is critical to its survival.  But today we are led into the public debate by seers whose main gift is their ability to compel
people to continue to watch them . . ."  --George Saunders

Reading Jonathan Franzen while half asleep in frog pajamas, I fully awoke.  In the latest New York Times Book Review, there was a reference to an essay about Karl Kraus that Jonathan Franzen had written earlier this year, in which he addressed the dangers of technoconsumerism and the future of the human race in general. Because of this article, he has again become a lightning rod for derision by internet critics.  I get it.  Mr. Franzen is not a Luddite, which he discusses at some length in the essay, and in fact, he has no problem embracing technological advances.  Instead, he laments the ways in which twitter, texting, and the like are being used to distract us from the 'Big Problems' with our world.  I found myself generally in agreement with what he had to say.  You can read it for yourself here: .  And that's all I have to say about that . . .

Coincidentally, Jonathan Franzen, whose The Corrections (9780312421274) 16.00 was once an Oprah Book ClubTM pick, has probably just learned that Sue Monk Kidd's The Invention of Wings (9780670024780) 27.95 will be Oprah's choice for Oprah Book Club (2.0){.3}(x2+y3) = zx when it releases on January 7.  Ms. Kidd has handled her selection with a little more grace than Mr. Franzen did, and I quote, "(I am) thrilled and honored that Oprah Winfrey chose my novel as her new book club selection."  I have not read The Invention of Wings, but I am guessing it will fall somewhere on the literary scale between Brian Selznick's The Invention of Hugo Cabret (9780439813785) 24.99 and Ricky Gervais' The Invention of Lying.  (Not that The Invention of Lying was that bad.)  Bottomline:  we should sell a lot more of this one than Oprah's last title, Ayana Mathis' The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (9780307949707) 15.95.


Finally, the latest updates on hard-to-find titles:

We are only getting one shipment of a small quantity of Joss Whedon's, whoops, I mean J.J. Abram's S (9780316201643) 35.00 before the end of the holidays.  Backorders are recommended . . .

 Also, it looks like we are only receiving one more shipment of 400 copies of Suzanne Collin's Mockingjay (9780439023511) 18.99 before Christmas, which is inexplictably available as a tradepaper in the Hunger Games Box Set (9780545626385) 40.00.  Again, backorders are starting to pile up . . .            


Odds & Sods

Congrats to our friends at Nicola's Books, who were one of the winners in the Malcolm Gladwell sweepstakes.  He will be signing copies of David & Goliath (9780316204361) 29.00 at the Michigan Theatre in Ann Arbor on December 11.  Ticket packages range from $150 to $15 (in the balcony) and are available at all TicketmasterTM outlets.

I am surprised that of all the Duck CommanderTM books Miss Kay's Duck Commander Kitchen (9781476745121) 22.99 has sold the best by far.  We are expecting one more slurp before the end.  You might want to backorder . . .

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"Let the bees make honey, Let the poor find money Take away their sorrow, Give them sunshine tomorrow . . ."--Brian Wilson / Mike Love
 1)  STUDENT DEMONSTRATION TIME . . .  Our favourite Rand, Johnathan Rand, is back with not one, but two new titles for the holidays.  The kiddies love this guy.  First of all, we have the latest in his American Chillers series, #38: The Wicked Waterpark of Wyoming (9781893699526) 5.99.  Initially, I was afraid he was stealing the plot from the greatest David Hasselhoff movie of all-time, Piranha 3DD.  Fortunately, it appears the baddies aren't bloodthirsty fish, but instead, rejects from the Cthulhu mythos.  Good clean fun.  The other one is the oft-delayed entry in his series for younger readers, Freddie Fernortner #12: Frankenfreddie! (9781893699649) 4.99.  In Mr. Rand's homage to Mary Shelley's much beloved monster, Freddie tries on a Halloween costume and literally becomes the reincarantion of Frankenstein.  Hilarity ensues . . .


2)  CABINESSENCE . . .  I have a guilty pleasure.  Much to the chagrin of my coworkers, I am hooked on the song What Does the Fox Say by Norwegian pop sensations Ylvis.  Ylvis, the pride of Bergen, have taken YouTubeTM by storm with their video, which now has over 250 million hits and has since spawned a skulk of parodies.  Simon & Schuster has decided to get in on the action with a new children's picture book based on their lyrics called What Does the Fox Say (9781481422239) 17.99.  Illustrated by Svein Nyhus, a Partners' employee likened this book's illustrations to art on acid.  And hey, why not, most of the video looks like it takes place at a rave in the middle of the forest.  Against my better judgement, here is the video. Please forgive me . . .


 3)  SAIL ON, SAILOR . . .  Our favourite Calhounian, Kelley, has been remarkably prescient this holiday season.  Granted, she wasn't really going out on a limb to predict that Karen Melvin's Great Houses of Summit Avenue and the Hill District (9780989262705) 54.95 would be big in the Minneapolis area.  And it is.  However,  I was more than a bit skeptical when she said that Humans of New York (9781250038821) 29.99 by Brandon Stanton would be huge a couple of months ago.  I was wrong.  We are expecting more stock by next Monday . . .


 4)  OUR PRAYER . . .  Instead of buying a toy that will invariably be broken before it leaves the box, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's new autobiography  Unintimidated (9781595231079) 28.95 would be the perfect gift for your children this Christmas.  This is satire.  Here's the real deal: .  You can't even make this stuff up .  . . 

Odds & Sods

And it continues . . .

Darren McCarty's My Last Fight (9781600788857) 26.95 is out of stock at the publisher until 12/20...  Also, the reprint for Aleksandra Mizielinska's Maps (9780763668969) 35.00 isn't due until 12/20 . . .


Finally, The Oatmeal's How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You (9781449410247) 14.99 is out of stock until January . . .

 Speaking of guilty pleasures, I enjoy Downton Abbey and I love a good parody.  And the new title Downton Tabby (9781476765938) 10.00 by Chris Kelly has a bit of both . . .

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sports . . .  The thrill of victory . . . and the agony of defeat . . . The human drama of athletic sports . . . This is ABC's Wide World of Sports . . ."
--John McKay

Hey Dudes and Dudettes, I'm Stoner Bill and I'm joined by the infamous Doctor Delay here in Graybeardville for Day Two of the Bookstore OlympicsTM.  The competition has been stiff.  At the top of the leader board, we have Team Michigan with six gold medals, followed by Team Ohio with four, and rounding out the top three are the East Germans with two golds.  I don't trust the East Germans.  And yes, they still exist . . .

Double D:  (whispering)  I better jump in here.  (Louder)  Thanks, Bill.  The first event featured today is the Black Friday Freestyle (formerly The Intuitive Leap), which is sponsored by our good friends at TargetTM.  As a bookseller, I'm sure you've experienced the customer who has a garbled title or a Jeopardy style question with nothing more than a bookcover color and a sketchy plot.  There will be five questions in an ascending order of complexity, and, as long as you are correct, you will continue.  Each team captain will ask the questions.  Here's Team Michigan captain Matt Norcross quizzing Schuler's superstar Aubrey Dolinski.

Matt Norcross:  'It has a beer on the cover and it has Michigan in the title.'

Aubrey Dolinski: That would be Kevin Revolinski's newly released Michigan's Best Beer Guide (9781933272382) 16.95 from Thunder Bay Press.

Double D:  (whispering)  Well done.  Michigan's Best Beer Guide highlights every major brewery in the state.  Featuring a splash-proof cover, he includes listings and directions, special offers from participating breweries, and other businesses within stumbling distance.  It is the perfect companion to his previous labor of love Wisconsin's Best Beer Guide (9781933272344) 16.95.

Matt Norcross: 'This book won some kind of award and has John Brown in it.'

Aubrey Dolinski:  (Scratches her head)  Oh, that would be James McBride's The Good Lord Bird (9781594486340) 27.95.

Double D:  (whispering)  James McBride had won the National Book Award for Fiction for The Good Lord Bird and I've heard that Partners Book has just received a reprint and has stock available.

East German Captain Ivanka Muckenfuss: (tosses red challenge flag)  Nein! 

Odds & Sods

And so it begins . . .

Jon Scieszka's Battle Bunny (9781442446731) 14.99 is out of stock until the end of January . . .

The reprint for Herve Tullet's Press Here (9780811879545) 15.99 will not be available until January 14 . . .

Lingg Brewer's Dreams Gone Wrong: Peace, War, and Murder at Michigan State University (9780991042401) 14.95 will arrive here today.  An exposé on former MSU President John Hannah, who had heavily involved MSU in Vietnam and used the university as cover for CIA programs.  Muuuurder?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*

"Luckily, I always travel with a book, just in case I have to wait in line for Santa, or some such inconvenience . . ."
--David Levithan

  Howdy folks, I'm Doctor Delay and I'm joined by my colleague Stoner Bill here in beautiful downtown Palm Springs for the debut of the Bookstore OlympicsTM.  You may recall Stoner Bill and I from the cable access show Book Talkers or the short-lived TV reality series The Real Booksellers of Ingham County, but probably not.  However, Bill and I will be launching The New Book Talkers next week, so watch your local cable listings for our first episode.  Before we go to our first event, the Book Cradle 100 yard dash, I want to remind you that this has all been made possible by our sponsor Litter-RobotTM.  Remember: Litter-Robot is the automatic litter box that saves time and really works!  Now over to Stoner Bill . . .

Stoner Bill:  Thanks Double D, we're ready for the first round of the Book Cradle 100 yard dash.  Representing Team Michigan, we have Steve Butts from Schulers Books holding 30 mass market copies of George R.R. Martin's Dance with Dragons (9780553582017) 9.99 in a single stack. This event consists of three rounds, each becoming progressively more difficult with a mass market, tradepaper and then finally, a hardcover heat.  The tradepaper round will feature 20 copies of Jodi Picoult's The Storyteller (9781439102770) 16.00.  The athletes will then be tested in the final round when they haul 15 copies of Janet Evanovich's Takedown Twenty (9780345542885) 28.00.  And now, back to you . . .


 Double D: (whispering) Thanks Bill.  I was watching Steve in his warm-ups and I can see why Team Michigan captain Matt Norcross from McLean & Eakin Booksellers has tapped him for this event.  Steve is an interesting blend of power and dexterity.  For those of you at home, the course is lined by precariously balanced bookshelves, they will fall if touched, and the competitor will be disqualified.

Double D:  (louder) I hear the starting gun and there goes Steve.  Man, he's got a great jump.  Wow!  Look at him go.  I can tell you right now that he'll be the one to beat in this round.  He's under ten seconds and that is really unheard of . . .

Stoner Bill:  Uh-oh, it appears that Jay Vernau of Team Ohio and owner of Jay & Mary's Books has thrown his challenge flag.  Puzzling . . .  I'm not sure why.

Double D:  Well, Mr. Vernau has been called the Urban Meyer of bookstore competition.  He can recruit.  His team is stacked with athletes from The Learned Owl, Mac's Paperbacks, and of course, PW's Player of the Year Randy Millot.  I'm sure he has his reasons.  Jay and the ref are heading over to the scorer's table.
(More to come)

Steve training for the Bookstore Olympics

Odds & Sods

It appears that the death of Mike Barton's Harbor Springs, Petoskey, and Bay View (9780980102451) 24.95 has been greatly exaggerated.  It has been reprinted and we have plenty of copies in stock . . .

 As my friend Kevin used to say, "I can't tell a book by its cover, but I can tell if a book is going to sell by its cover."  And no truer words were spoken about Diane Muldrow's Everything I Needed to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book (9780307977618) 9.99. I could see that this was the perfect cashwrap buy, so how the publisher can be out of stock on this title until December 11 is inexplicable to me.  You may want to backorder . . .

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators . . ."
--Stephen Fry
TV voiceover guy:  We will return to B. Traven Jr. Presents X-treme Ancient Astronaut Conspiracy Mysteries after these commercial messages . . .

[Scene one:  The camera pans a teenager's room replete with piles of dirty clothes, an unstrung guitar, and an unmade bed.  A poorly coiffed middle-aged man is holding up a copy of James Patterson's Middle School: How I Survived Bullies, Broccoli, and Snake Hill (9780316231756) 14.00 while confronting his son.]

Father: Who taught you to read this James Patterson stuff?  [Holding up the book]  Where did you get this?  Answer me!

Son: You, alright!  I learned about Alex Cross from watching you!

Narrator: Parents who read James Patterson have children who read Patterson.  This message is sponsored by a Partnership for a James Patterson-free America.

[Pith helmet and all, B. Traven Jr is seated in a director's chair across from astronaut Chris Hadfield.  He is smoking a pipe.  Tiny wisps of smoke float upwards.] 

B. Traven Jr: B. Traven here.  Welcome back to my show and I'd like to introduce you to my good friend and former commander of the International Space Station Chris Hadfield.  'Can you hear me Major Tom?'  Ha, ha!  But seriously folks,  Chris has a new book out called An Astonaut's Guide to Life on Earth (9780316253017) 28.00.  Can you tell us what it's all about?

Chris: First of all, thanks for having me on B.  [B. Traven nods.]  It's really not about space.  I haven't seen any aliens or UFOs or anything like that.  [B. Traven grimaces.]  It's about my philosophy of life -- a philosophy that I wanted to share with everyone.  As an astronaut, things will go wrong.  And I learned this when I started at NASA:  Prepare for the worst and enjoy every minute of it.  B, you look like a reader, what's on your docket right now?

B. Traven Jr: Well, I'm reading Mitch Albom's The First Phone Call from Heaven (9780062294371) 24.99.  [Chris scratches his head.]  Got ya!  Ha, ha!  On my nightstand, I've been thumbing through Marcus Hearn's Doctor Who: The Vault (9780062280633) 45.00.  I've also been reading Helperin and Heilman's Double Down (9781594204401) 29.95 on the 2012 Presidential election.  For time travel fun, I've been enjoying The Cusanus Game (9780765319081) 25.99 by Wolfgang Jeschke . . .  Hey, who's interviewing who here?  Ha, ha!

Odds & Sods

After Darren McCarty pummeled cowardly Colorado Avalanche forward Claude Lemieux in retaliation for a vicious hit on his friend Kris Draper, I knew St. McCarty would never pay for another beer in Detroit for the rest of his life.  Unfortunately, Wings fans didn't realize he was battling an alcohol addiction.  These topics and others are addressed in his book, My Last Fight: The True Story of a Hockey Rock Star (9781600788857) 26.95.  Love ya, Mac!

James Dashner, Detroit Lions' coach impersonator and young adult author stopped in and signed copies of his new one, The Eye of Minds (9780385741392) 18.99.  Supplies, of course, are limited . . . 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"Rainy day, dream away
Ah let the sun take a holiday
Flowers bathe an' ah see the children play
Lay back and groove on a rainy day . . ."
                                                          --Jimi Hendrix, Rainy Day, Dream Away

1)  WAIT UNTIL TOMORROW . . .  Poetry.  Sweet, sweet poetry.  It's not even National Poetry Month and there are a couple of poets on the bestseller lists.  There are three poets that actually sell well: Mary Oliver, Billy Collins, and Seamus Heaney.  And Seamus Haney is dead.  [Julie mentioned that our own Joyce Benvenuto, author of A Grand River (9781933272320) 15.95 could replace Mr. Heaney on my list, but we'll check back when she has a more extensive body of work.]  Fortunately for poetry lovers, Mary Oliver has released Dog Songs (9781594204784) 26.95 and Billy Collins is featuring his collection of greatest hits in Aimless Love (9780679644057).  [Not only is Aimless Love a brilliant title, but I believe it would make a great name for a rock band.  Protip: Women really dig his poem The Lanyard.]  I expect both of these titles to continue popping through the holidays.  Poetry is the gift that keeps giving . . .


2)  CASTLES MADE OF SAND . . .  Well, I'm sure you've heard the kerfuffle novelist MacKenzie Bezos has created with her book review of Brad Stone's The Everything Store (9780316219266) 28.00 on her husband's website.  Most other reviews I've read were impressed with Mr. Stone's even-handed portrayal of the behind the scenes machinations at the online behemoth.  Not so for Ms. Bezos.  She is not happy.  You can read her scathing response on his bookpage on under the header: I wanted to like this book.  Oh snap!  Unfortunately, Ms. Bezos is unaware of a thing we call the 'Streisand effect' or what I like to call the 'Satanic Verses effect'.  Even negative publicity is better than no publicity, and consequently, Ms. Bezos has drawn even more attention to a book that probably would have already left our consciousness if she had left well enough alone.  Instead, it has shot up to #82 on Amazon's own bestseller list.  [As an aside, both articles I read emphasized the fact that she is a novelist.  I had to do a little research and I found her first title is a bargain book and her second book Traps (9780307950291) 14.95 just came out yesterday as a Vintage tradepaper.  Hmmm, maybe she's a bit more clever than I realized.]


3)  IF 6 WERE 9 . . .  It seems fitting to cap off this Partners Page with another wonderful poetry book from the fine folks at Western Michigan University.  Poetry in Michigan / Michigan in Poetry (9781936970162) 40.00 edited by William Olsen and Jack Bell is so well done that the amalgamation of authors in here might qualify as the third author in my triumvirate of bestselling poets (see above).  By the way, Literarti Books in Ann Arbor will be hosting an event with many of these poets on December 4 at 7:00.  Don't forget your beret . . .        

Odds & Sods

Flyfisher extraordinaire Bob Linsenman has written his first novel, Snowblood's Journal (9781933926018) 19.95  It is the story of American soldier scout dog handlers during the Vietnam War.  The bonds between man and dog can last a lifetime.  It reminded me of the same kind of  connection as George C. Scott and his charges in The Day of the Dolphin . . .

My main man Michael Baisden is back!  Granted, the title of his new self-help book, Raise Your Hand If You Have Issues: If You Didn't Raise Your Hand You're Lying and That's an Issue (9780984776580) 22.95 is a bit unwieldy, but it's TV show host Michael Baisden so we're good.