*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.