"With the stars all glinting in the shiny Chrome,Dearest Mick--
Then I suddenly remembered what I left at home,
Now I shan't be peddling any higher,
'Cos a sharp Sputnik has given me a cosmic flat tyre . . ."
--Dukes of Stratosphear, Bike Ride to the Moon
Chip, my loyal manservant, and I had just returned from the Bilderberg conference in Watford, Hertfordshire (where I completed my presentation on the domination of the world economic markets), when your package arrived via the parcel post. Chip popped the cork on a bottle of 1961 Chateau Palmer Margaux and then we perused your boxful of books.
I must admit that I have become an old sentimental fool at times, and the Saki title, The Unrest-cure and Other Stories (9781590176245) 14.95 brought a tear to my eye. Alas, I served with George in The Great War, and he was one of the many young lads who fell fighting the Boche on the muddy fields of France. His book has never been released on your side of the pond before, and it features the original illustrations by Edward Gorey. I could pontificate for hours on the many virtues of my late friend Eddie, but I will save those for my memoirs.
When you have lived as long as me, the names of friends appear more and more frequently in the obituaries, which is the case for my former student Richard Matheson. Richard passed away this past Sunday at the age of 87. You may be unaware that I was the inspiration for his classic episode of the Twilight Zone, Nightmare at 20,000 Feet. Of course, he is more well-known for I am Legend (9780765357151) 7.99 and the Mackinac Island based Somewhere in Time (9780765361394) 6.99, which were both made into movies. I swear there was something on the wing of that airplane.
I spoke with Vicki Erwin, the owner of Main Street Books, on the speaking telegraph last week, and she mentioned her husband James had written a new title called Guerrilla Hunters in Civil War Missouri (9781609497453) 19.99. And lo and behold, there was a copy of it in your gift box. Coincidentally, my paternal grandfather served with the Ninth Missouri Cavalry during the Civil War, and he helped chase Johnny Reb up and down the great state of Missouri. His cavalry sword still hangs above my fireplace.
Speaking of Missouri, I found Kenneth Kieser's Missouri's Great Flood of '93 (9780989481311) 24.95 to be a riveting read. In fact, Charles Edmund Wilson II almost drowned in the Great Missouri Flood of 1851. He couldn't swim, but fortunately, he was able to hitch a ride on his outhouse door and ground ashore several miles down the river. True story.
Charles Edmund Wilson III
Odds & Sods
Apparently, the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup on Sunday night. We are carrying two titles to commemorate this auspicious event. Triumph is pushing out Unstoppable: The Chicago Blackhawks 2013 (9781600788918) 14.95 and Random House has The Year of the Chicago Blackhawks (9780771051357) 19.99 slated to arrive within days. Humph . . .
Becky, our indefatigable children's buyer has brought in two nifty kits for summer fun. A Walk on the Beach (9781935703242) 19.99 & A Walk in the Woods (9781935703235) 19.99 will keep them out of your hair for a bit . . .