Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"No.  I am your father . . ."
                                                                                --Darth Vader

Dearest Mick--

  Chip, my loyal manservant, and I had just returned from the gaming halls of Monaco to find your latest parcel perched near our security fence at the villa.  Chip shlepped the box inside and cracked open a bottle of 1978 Romanee-Conti Grand Cru before perusing its contents.  Chip, surprisingly, made an astute observation about your title selection.  He declared, "Guv'ner, there is a Father's Day theme attached to your former ward's presents."
     His comment, of course, sent me to reminiscing about The Colonel, my own father.  You know most of his story; he was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium who had low-grade narcolepsy.  My father would womanize, he would drink, he would make outrageous claims like he invented the exclamation mark.  When I was insolent, I would be placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds, pretty standard really.  It was tough love.  At the Battle of Shiloh, he saved Ulysses S. Grant from a stray bullet, and subsequently received a battlefield commission as a colonel on the spot.
  But enough about my idiosyncratic past, so on to the books!  The first one is Because I Am Your Dad (9781423147749) 15.99 by Ahmet Zappa, who I believe is one of those rock 'n' roll hooligans.  It's a kid's book, so I suspect you were being ironic or you simply wanted us to share this one with the street urchins of Napoli.  I was a bit flummoxed by Jim Gaffigan's Dad is Fat (9780385349079).  If I had ever said that to The Colonel, it would have been a quick, "And back in the burlap sack with you!"  And quite possibly, also for good measure, he would have tossed in a viper or two.


 Chip is a bit of a fan of the thriller, English or otherwise, so he was extremely excited to see I Am Pilgrim (9781439177723) 26.99 by Terry Hayes.  Although the author is Swiss, I know this title has been getting a lot of 'buzz' in the trades.  I have nothing against the Swiss.  They do make exemplary watches, passable chocolate, and I am fond of the occasional Ricola candy, but name one good Swiss author . . .  I'll wait.  (Editor's note:  Terry Hayes is English-born.)
  Your last choice hit a little closer to home.  Earl Swift's Auto Biography (9780062282668) 26.99, which is about the 13 owners of a '57 Chevy, but primarily the most recent owner, who appears to be a bit of a cad.  He may own a car I tried to restore in the 1970s.  Every morning I would put on my dungarees, walk out to my 14 car garage, and work on the 'beast' for a couple of hours.  It was good for the soul.  Thank you for your care package.


                                                                                    Warmest Regards,
                                                                            Charles Edmund Wilson III

Odds & Sods
Maya Angelou passed away at the age of 86.  Working in the book business for most of my adult life, it appeared as if she had been around forever, and for some strange reason I just figured she'd be cranking them out long after I'd gone.  She just seemed, well, timeless.  Her best known title, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings (9780345514400) 6.99 will be read for generations to come.  Maya made the world a better place and she will remain an icon . . .

Tom Powers' Michigan State and National Parks: A Complete Guide 5th Edition (9781933272436) 15.95 is finally here and I think it qualifies as a potential Father Day gift if he likes to camp.  This title is a prerequisite for any Michigan bookstore . . .

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"Poverty is injustice sold as a character flaw . . ."


1)  NOT SO FAST MR. BOND . . .  Harper Lee, friend of lawyers everywhere and incidentally, the author of To Kill a Mockingbird (9780446310789) 7.99, has never met a lawsuit she didn't like, including the ones she has already settled. Shelf Awareness stated, "[Harper Lee] who had reportedly settled a lawsuit against the Monroe County Heritage Museum for exploiting her trademark and personality rights in February, has changed her mind. The Associated Press reported that attorneys for Lee filed court papers Monday seeking reinstatement of the suit, claiming that the museum 'won’t proceed with the settlement without additional terms not previously agreed to by the parties.'"

Also, there is an unconfirmed rumor that she is exploring the legalities of suing anyone born after 1960 who is named either Boo or Scout for copyright infringement.  Bruce Willis, who has a daughter named Scout, was reached for comment at his Los Angeles mansion.  He noted, "This is ludicrous.  My daughter was obviously named after my now legendary movie The Last Boy Scout.  I've never even heard of To Kill a Mockingbird, much less read it."  Stay tuned . . .

2)  MY DEAR, UNCOOPERATIVE DOMINO . . .  From the dawn of mankind, as parents, we have been trying to find an easy way to raise healthy, well-adjusted children in a safe manner.  Periodically, from Dr. Dobson to Dr. Spock, there is a new expert with a revolutionary method to raise the perfect child.  Shefali Tsabary, author of The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children (9781897238455) 19.95 is the latest guru to tackle this topic, and she has been endorsed by no less than the great and powerful Oprah herself.  Her first title, Out of Control: Why Discipling Your Child Doesn't Work and What Will (9781897238769) 18.95 was also mentioned on her segment and it has seen a bump in sales, too.  Personally, I have found that the cat-o-nine-tails is one of the most effective tools for child-rearing . . .


 3)  DO YOU BELIEVE IN BAD LUCK?  Gayle Forman's young adult novel If I Stay (9780142415436) 10.99 has been selling at a healthy clip for a few months now.  I decided to do some research on the intrawebs and find out why.  Apparently, it is an upcoming movie starring Chloe Grace Moretz and is due to be released on August 22.  This is the only edition available until July 1 when the movie tie-in is finally released (9780147514530) 10.99.  I have no earthly idea who Chloe Grace Morentz is, but then I'm probably not the ideal target demographic for either the book or the movie . . .     

Odds & Sods

We finally have some of Thomas Piketty's (Das) Capital in the 21st Century (9780674430006) 39.95 available that hasn't been gobbled up by backorders.  I believe it should be a strong seller through at least Father's Day . . .

 Speaking of young adult titles that are releasing as movies very shortly, John Green's The Fault in Our Stars (9780147513731) 12.99 will unquestionably be a huge summer blockbuster.  Shortly, we will have the audio CD (9781491510704) 9.99 in stock.  $9.99?  Yep, $9.99.  You certainly can't beat that deal . . .

Have a great and a safe Memorial Day weekend!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"Little bird, you look alright
I'm sure it's not easy getting through your night
So tell me this can't be how it's going to end
Tell me my heart somehow, dear God, it's gonna mend . . ."
                                                                                --The Eels, Little Bird

1)  I LIKE BIRDS . . .  Our good friend Josh Malerman stopped by to sign copies of his debut novel, Bird Box (9780062259653) 25.99.  Josh, who is also the lead singer and songwriter for the local Detroit rock band The High Strung, is taking the band on the road to help promote his new novel.  Last night, his band performed at Schuler Books in Lansing and a good time was had by all.  They also performed a set at Mac's Bar later that same evening.  This title is sure to appeal to fans of Joe Hill or anyone who likes their post-apocalyptic novels with a heavy dose of horror on the side.  As per usual, it's first come, first served . . .


  Something didn't smell right.
  I was sitting at a table directly across from my future son, B. Traven III, at the local Chipotle.  I was waiting for my chicken fajitas and reading a copy of Nick Pope's Encounter in Rendlesham Forest: The Inside Story of the World's Best-Documented UFO Incident (9781250038104) 25.99.  My son was idly thumbing through the pages of The Most Dangerous Animal of All: Searching for My Father and Finding The Zodiac Killer (9780062313164) 26.00 by Gary Stewart.  Trey, who is the Assistant Exarch for Media Permutations for the 23rd century Earthforce, was dressed in a black fedora, an archaic-looking black suit, and a bolo tie.  He would have looked at home in a Dashiell Hammett crime noir novel.  As time travelers go, Trey is one of the best, but he's usually a bit off on the fashion styles of each particular time period.


  Trey pointed to his book, "Pops, this guy is spot on about The Zodiac Killer.  I'm glad he wasn't around when I had to dispose of his Dad in Mexico.  Heh, heh!"
  I nodded.  I could see the door to the kitchen from where I sat; it had one of those round windows at the top, and I could briefly see a shadowy head through its translucent grime.  I stood up and whispered to Trey, "Hang here for a second."
  I felt for the comforting bulge of my laser pistol, strode the intervening feet to the door, and pushed it open.  Two reptilian humanoids stood next to the grill.  Each creature had their head tilted back, and each one held a wiggling coachroach above its mouth.
  The song La Cucaracha was playing on a beat up boombox on the counter.
  I had startled them.  I drew my laser pistol.  As I fired, I screamed, "Peleidians!  Eat radioactive energy, scumbags!  Ha, ha!"

Odds & Sods

Elizabeth Homer's Pioneers, Reformers, & Millionaires (9780991553013) 24.99 is finally here.  This title recounts the history of the Turner family in the Lansing area, and it illuminates a period generally neglected in local lore.  If you're near Lansing, you should have this book . . .

Speaking of autographed books, we have a limited amount of Michael Cunningham's The Snow Queen (9780374266325) 26.00.  A modern fairy tale based loosely on a Hans Christian Anderson story, it is not to be confused with Disney's 'Frozen'.  So, um, just 'Let It Go' . . .


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"When the Jester sang for the King and Queen
In a coat he borrowed from James Dean
In a voice that came from you and me
Oh, and while the King was looking down
The Jester stole his thorny crown . . ."
                                                                                --Don McLean, American Pie

1)  FESTE . . .  Our good friend Christopher Moore stopped by the warehouse on Saturday and signed copies of his latest book, The Serpent of Venice (9780061779763) 29.99.  His new one is sort of a sequel to his previous novel The Fool (9780060590321) 14.99.  Mr. Moore said that they can be read independently of each other, but it is best to read The Fool first.  He was quite interesting and knowledgeable.  'He spoke of many things:  Of shoes -- and ships -- and sealing wax -- of cabbages -- of kings -- and why the sea is boiling hot -- and whether pigs have wings.'  He also mentioned reading Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven's Lucifer's Hammer (9780449208137) 7.99 in high school which, of course, permanently endeared himself to me.  In Lucifer's Hammer, our civilization has been destroyed by a comet striking the Earth and there are armed enclaves where people have gathered together for safety.  However, they will only let you in if you have a useful skill.  He said that Daniel Handler and himself had talked about this at a recent conference, and they had imagined themselves outside the town gates yelling, "But I can get you metaphors!  I know what a simile is!"  I replied, "Tell me about it."  As usual with signings, first come, first served . . .


2)  LAVANCHE . . .  And then there are books that defy any categorization,  Walter Potter's Curious World of Taxidermy (9780399169441) 19.95 by Dr. Pat Morris would be such a book.  It is repulsive on several different levels, but yet, I could not stop flipping the pages.  I suspect that whoever had written the movie script for the very underrated comedic gem Dinner for Schmucks was familiar with Mr. Potter's body of work.  Mr. Potter, a British country taxidermist, has taken various stuffed animals, dressed them in contemporary clothes, and situated them in Victorian-style dioramas. Some, like the rabbit schoolchildren, are visually adorable, but subconsciously you realize that you're looking at a bunch of dead animals.  So it really becomes kind of creepy.  I guess my description can't really do it justice; you'll have to check it out for yourself . . .

 3)  POMPEY . . .  Greg Iles new cookbook, Nachos Burning has been . . .  Oh, it's really called Natchez Burning (978062311098) 27.99, and it's not a cookbook but, instead, a novel in a projected trilogy.  As if living in Mississippi isn't bad enough, Mr. Iles was in a car accident several years ago and loss part of his leg.  I'm not sure how extensive his book tour will be, but this title has been getting tons of publicity.  We should have more stock next week . . . . . .   

Odds & Sods

Somebody mentioned Mac Burnett's President Taft is Stuck in the Bath (9780763663179) 16.99 yesterday, and I must admit that it is quite amusing.  Most American presidents are known for a particular characteristic or foible.  Mr. Taft was known for being ginormous, and it is played to great comedic effect in this children's picture book.  Study it out . . .

Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21st Century (9780674430006) 39.95 is shipping from the publisher on Friday, so we should have stock early next week.  Backorders are piling up.  Order accordingly.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"Tax the rich, feed the poor
Till there are rich no more . . ."
                                                            --Ten Years After, I'd Love to Change the World

FOX TV Presents: BOOK STALKERS w/ Double D and Stoner Bill
(Camera pans Double D's basement, settles on Stoner Bill and
Double D arguing with each other.)

Stoner Bill:  Hey Dudes and Dudettes!  Welcome to Book Talkers . . .

Double D:  Book Stalkers!  It's Book Stalkers!  Since FOX bought us we don't own the rights to Book Talkers anymore!  Get something right for once!  Geez!

Stoner Bill:  Hey, like, I'm sorry, man.  Book Stalkers sounds kinda creepy to me.  Like we're stalking readers or something.  (Double D shakes his head.)  Before we get into Double D's segment, I want to mention this new book called The Klingon Art of War (9781476757391) 25.99, which was translated from the original Klingon by Keith R.A. DeCandido.  First of all, I'm not sure what you do to get two middle initials, which I think is pretty awesome, but I was also into Star Trek way before it was cool.  So here's Double D's Thunder Bay Press Roundup . . .

 Double D:  Thanks, Bill.  And by the way, Star Trek has never, ever been cool, whereas we all know that Star Wars is the epitome of chic(Stoner Bill mouths 'Whatever.')  It's Spring, which means that the new Thunder Bay Press titles are in full bloom.  A couple of choice blossoms for your bouquet should surely include Barbara VanderMolen's Discovering Michigan County by County Lower Peninsula (9781933272467) 24.95 and Discovering Michigan County by County Upper Peninsula (9781933272474) 19.95.  (Double D raises his fist threateningly at Bill.)  Don't even say it!  The Lower Peninsula edition is more expensive because there are more counties.  There is also a new edition of an old favourite which should be sprouting up in a few weeks:  Tom Powers' Michigan State and National Parks 5th ed. (9781933272436) 15.95, and shortly after that we should have Haunting Illinois 3rd ed. (9781933272450) 12.95 by Mike Kleen pushing up through the loam.  Finally, there are the annuals that pop up year after year like Views of Michigan (9781933272351) 19.95 and Jennifer Powell's What I Saw on Mackinac (9781933272368) 10.95 that should be on everyone's shelf.  It looks like it's a bumper crop of bestsellers at Thunder Bay Press.



Stoner Bill:  Dude, really?  Well, on a final note, Target has chosen Ron Irwin's Flat Water Tuesday (9781250048721) 15.99 as their May Book-of-the-Month selection.  Wouldn't it have been way cooler if they had chosen David Baldacci's The Target (9781455521203) 28.00?  Way cooler.   

     Odds & Sods

Our good friend Andrea Cremer stopped by Tuesday and signed our copies of her latest, The Inventor's Secret (9780399159626) 18.99.  'It's an action-packed alternate history steampunk adventure'.  Hmmm, sounds pretty good to me . . .

 Anyone who is familar with Grand Rapids, Mi. might be surprised by a book titled Wicked Grand Rapids (9781626192966) 19.99 by Amberrose Hammond, but evil can lurk in even the holiest of places . . .

Keep an eye on Robin Roberts' Everybody's Got Something (9781455578450) 27.00,  it's starting to shape into a Mother's Day favorite.  Thank you Captain Obvious!