*Good Luck to the Winter Paralympics US Sledge Hockey Team*
"As he spoke my spirit climbed into the sky
I bid it to return
To hear your wonderous stories
Return to hear your wonderous stories . . ."
--Yes, Wonderous Stories
1) FRINGE . . . First of all, I anticipated Alice Hoffman's Museum of Extraordinary Things (9781451693560) 27.99 to be her big breakout book. In my opinion, she was on the cusp. I wasn't expecting her book to have numbers like new-found Indie darling James Patterson, but hey, I thought that Clive Cussler-type sales was an attainable goal, especially since her last release The Dovekeepers (9781451617481) 16.00 did really well for us in tradepaper. She's done everything right. The reviews have been glowing, she did the obligatory Q&A for the author interview in the NYTBR, and coincidentally, American Experience aired an episode on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, which is the centerpiece of her new book. So what gives? I did see that Ms. Hoffman chooses the images for her bookcovers, and I don't want to go all Occam's razor on you, but the cover is the most important part of any book, and just maybe, that's the obvious answer. I've always thought that an author should be involved in this process, but perhaps there is a good reason that publishers hire professionals to handle authors' cover art. Hopefully, this one will build by word of mouth, instead. Stay tuned . . .
2) THE X-FILES . . . I'm nursing a Winter OlympicsTM hangover. It took me four years to forget how biased the scoring can be in figureskating, how boring it is to watch the 50,000 km crosscountry skiing, and just how much I really despise Vladimir Putin in general. And I missed the %&$#@ curling events, so I was kinda ticked about that, too. However, next Sunday, we can segue into the OscarsTM and feel pretty darn good about ourselves. As long as cinema has been around, there has been an odd symbiotic relationship between books and movies. There are movies based on books, and there are books based on movies. (I'm looking at you Peter David.) This year is no different. The movies with the most nominations are based on books, such as Jordan Belfort's The Wolf of Wall Street (9780345549334) 16.00, A Winter's Tale (9780544320420) 15.99 by Mark Helprin, Michael Sixsmith's Philomena (9780143124726) 16.00 with the incomparable Dame Judi Dench in the starring role, and of course, Solomon Northrup's Twelve Years a Slave (9780143125419) 16.00. And then there are the movies that may not be OscarTM calibre but continue to sell like gangbusters, such as Robert Edsel's The Monuments Men (9780316240055) 17.00 and Marcus Luttrell's Lone Survivor (9780316324106) 17.00. Finally, John Feinstein's new title Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life in the Minor Leagues of Baseball (9780385535939) 26.95 released yesterday, and I believe it could be a great movie. Oh wait! It's already been a TV show called Eastbound and Down.
Odds & Sods
I spoke to Sonny Longtine a long time ago when he was living in Grand Rapids and still self-publishing a couple of titles about Native Americans in Michigan. He is one of the nicest guys you'd ever meet. Now, Sonny has a new book with History Press called Murder in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (9781626193550) 19.99. We've already sold out, but we should have stock in a few days...
You wouldn't know it from the weather, but I believe Spring is supposed to be right around the corner, which means it's almost time for The 2014 Great Lakes & Midwest Catalog. You can check it out online: http://partners-east.com/documents/GLC2014.pdf