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.