"They called him a hero in the Land of the FreeDearest Mick--
But he wouldn't shake my hand boy, he disappointed me
So I got my handgun and I blew him away
That critter was a bad guy and I had to make him pay . . ."
--Queen, Put Out the Fire
Chip, my loyal manservant, and I were trying on our new monkey suits when your package arrived via the parcel post. I was a tad disappointed; I was expecting the delivery of a bottle of Chateau Latour 1961, which, in my estimation, is the greatest wine ever created. But alas, it was merely your latest montage of bestselling books, and so somewhat sadly, I removed my monkey ears, perched myself upon my RascalTM scooter, and had Chip sift through the detritus in your box.
I was impressed by the timeliness of your inclusion of Chris Kyle's American Sniper (9780062238863) 9.99. I had been saddened to hear of his death at the hands of a fellow former soldier. There has been a long tradition of sharpshooters in the American military, and Mr. Kyle may have been the greatest one ever. I may not have mentioned that the original Charles Edmund Wilson had served with Daniel Morgan's Rifleman in the Revolutionary War. It was said that he could hit the center of a half-penny from 250 yards away. Charles Peale, his good friend, painted the portrait of my grandfather that now hangs in The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
I see you have sent me a copy of The Dinner (9780770437855) 24.00 by Herman Koch. Unfortunately, I have already read this in the original Dutch. I have heard that it is being touted in the states as the European Gone Girl (9780307588364) 25.00 by Gillian Flynn. This is a tried and true tactic by publishers to help publicize new authors. But I do believe this one will be big.
Speaking of big, short story master George Saunders is the toast of the literary world these days. And I was pleased as punch to see that you have included his latest book, Tenth of December (9780812993806) 26.00. Like many, I was astounded by Mr. Saunders' virtuoso performance in his first collection, Civilwarland in Bad Decline (9781573225793) 14.00. I've always been a fan of Civil War literature since I have family ties to the War Between the States. My maternal grandfather attended the Citadel, and he was thrust into action near the end of hostilities. He lost a leg and an arm in battle, but still fathered 15 children and lived to the ripe old age of 103.
And finally, I noticed you have included Charlie LeDuff's Detroit: An American Autopsy (9781594205347) 27.95. It reminded me of my halcyon days with Henry Ford and Thomas Alva Edison. Good times, indeed.
Charles Edmund Wilson III
Odds & Sods
I had the privilege of joining Peggy Riley for dinner last week. Her debut novel Amity & Sorrow (9780316220880) 25.99 releases on April 16. The story involves a woman and her two daughters after a Waco-like event uproots them from their cult compound and sends them into the harsh reality of the real world. Peggy is a former bookseller and her mother owns a bookstore in Los Angeles. This is a book we can all get behind . . .
Stephen King's Under the Dome (9781439149034) 19.99 debuts as a TV mini-series in May. Fans will be buying his book now in anticipation. Check your stock . . .