Thursday, June 26, 2014

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"My professional aspirations were simple --
I wanted to be an intergalactic princess . . ."
                                             --Janet Evanovich, author of Top Secret Twenty-One                                                                                    (9780345542922) $28.00

Dearest Mick--

Chip, my loyal servant, and I had just returned from my private compound in St. Barts to find your latest parcel teetering on our expansive front porch.  I am not sure how the delivery man was able to negotiate not only our security fence, but also our pack of guard dogs as well as several fully staffed guard towers without incident.  Chip will have to look into this situation.  It is unacceptable.  At any rate, I ran into one of your authors, a Mister James Patterson, who was dining at one of my favourite local eateries.  What a wonderful fellow!  Not only is he donating some of his pocket cash to struggling English and Irish bookstores, but he also personally signed a copy of his latest books Invisible (9780316405348) 28.00 and Middle School: Save Rafe (9780316322126) 13.99 to me.  Did you know that he has a personal sherpa who lugs around cases of his books so he can sign them for friends and new acquaintances at a moment's notice?  I found it quite refreshing.


  I also thought you might be interested to learn that I was recently knighted by the Queen of England, and prior to the ceremonies I spent some time with Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall (9780312429980) 16.00 and Bring Up the Bodies (9781250024176) 16.00.  She was there to join the ranks of the Dame Commanders of the British Empire.  With her Wolf Hall series in the process of being filmed, she did ask me if I knew any good directors, so I gave her Steven Spielberg's phone number.  I suppose he could use the work.


  But enough about me, Chip and I cracked open a bottle of Chateaux Lafite-Rothschild 1869 and delved into your most recent care package.  I was excited to see Chip pull out a copy of The Vacationers (9781594631573) 26.95 by Emma Straub, but then I realized that I had confused her with her father Peter Straub.  His Ghost Story (9780671685638) 6.99 scared me so much that Chip had to ply me with hot toddies for nearly a week just to get me to sleep.


  Since I knew them well, I was exceptionally intrigued with The Romanov Sisters (9781250020208) 27.99 by Helen Rappaport.  Long before the unpleasantness in Russia, I had played with young Sasha at the Summer Palace whenever my father was on business.  Sasha loved his toy soldiers and we would play with them for hours on end.  Even at that young age, I found his sisters to be quite fetching and beguiling.  Unfortunately, that Rasputin character was even more beguiling, and I still blame him for much of what ensued.  Thank you for your care package.        

                                                                             Warmest Regards,
                                                                           Charles Edmund Wilson III     
Odds & Sods

British historian Antony Beevor had a nice payday.  He was announced as the winner of the $100,000 2014 Pritzker Military Museum and Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing.  Our friends, Double D and Stoner Bill will not be attending this year's Museum and Library gala event in Chicago, as they have been banned for life after last year's incident at the awards.  Antony Beevor's latest title was a little thing called The Second World War (9780316023757) 20.00.

Correction:  Diana Gabaldon's TV show based on her Outlander series debuts on August 9 on Starz and not August 3 as erroneously stated here . . . 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"Hi everyone, I'm Olaf, and I like warm hugs . . ."
                                                --Frozen Junior Novelization   (9780736431187) 4.99


  "Do you carry Don Chipotle?
  "You know the book about the guy and the windmills."
  "Oh, Don Quixote (9780060934347) 16.99.  Sorry, you had me a little confused."
  "Is this a recent book?"
  "Ah, no.  It's a classic."
  (Hands a copy of the book to the customer.)
  "This is much too long.  I'll have to get a different one."

(Oh, I am I, Don Quixote, the Lord of La Mancha, Destroyer of evil am I, I will march to the sound of the trumpets of glory, Forever to conquer or die.)


We have been selling Liesl Shurtliff's Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin (9780307977960) 6.99 in tradepaper quite well.  Apparently, the rehabilitation of evil characters in nursery rhymes and children's stories will continue at an inexorable rate (i.e. -- The Wicked Witch, The Big Bad Wolf, etc.).  Speaking of music, this one reminded me of that ol' chestnut by The Presidents of the United States:
(Sung to the tune of Lump)
He's Rump, he's Rump
He spins a web
He's Rump, he's Rump
He's filled with dread . . .


Unless you've been living under a rock in Tikrit, you must have heard about the ongoing battle between Hachette and  There's still no resolution to their squabble so their customers are unable to pre-order Hachette titles like J.K. Rowling's The Silkworm (9780316206877) 28.00, which is a sequel to Cuckoo's Calling (9780316206853) 18.00.  Consequently, it should fly out of the gate for retailers.  As a kid, I had bought some silkworms that were advertised at the back of a comic book.  It was an unmitigated disaster.  I'm not sure how the Byzantines were able to pull it off, but I was just left with a bunch of silkworm corpses. It still weighs heavily on my soul . . .


Odds & Sods

Bernida: A Michigan Sailing Legend (9781585369041) 16.99 by a consortium of authors, including Gloria Whelan, is another children's picture book that has been moving well.  There is also an adult version of Bernida (9780977875924) 14.95 by Tom Ervin & Al Declercq.  It is the story of a 1920's sailboat that ran in the very first Port Huron to Mackinac Island Race and then was restored to run in the 2012 race . . .


As a loyal reader, I am sure you know I'm a bit of a David Foster Wallace fan and of the post-modernists in general.  I had a chuckle when I stumbled upon this article from The Onion archives:,76 .   Good times.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"Speaking personally, you can have my gun, but you'll take my book
when you pry my dead, cold fingers from off of the binding . . ."
                                     --Stephen King, author of Mr. Mercedes
                                      (9781476754451) 30.00

1)  THE RUNNING (WO)MAN . . .  I would like to believe that Hillary Clinton's Hard Choices (9781476751443) 35.00 will be a blockbuster bestseller, but I remain unconvinced.  When people buy memoirs, they're buying them to see if the author is dishing any dirt.  And then they buy accordingly.  Hillary may or may not be running for President, but either way, she's not going to reveal where the bodies are buried.  This book has been vetted through so many hands there can't possibly be anything that could be even vaguely controversial.  So far, the only thing that has been questioned by the media (and The Right) was the comment that Bill and she were dead-broke after Bill's presidency.  If that's the most outrageous assertion in her book, then I expect sales to be fair to middling.  This is what we were really hoping for:

  Vince Foster was staring at the wrong end of a .44 Magnum.  The end of the barrel looked like a black, unblinking eye.  It appeared just as uncaring as the face behind the gun, which belonged to one Hillary Rodham Clinton.
  Hillary said in a clipped staccato, "I know what you're thinking Vince.  You're thinking 'did she fire six shots or only five?'  Now to tell you the truth I forgot myself in our little run through the forest.  But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and it will blow your head clean off, you've gotta ask yourself a question: 'Do I feel lucky?'  Do ya?"
  His tear-stained eyes implored her, but try as he might, no sound would escape his lips.
  She cocked the hammer on the gun,  "Sorry, Vince.  These are the hard choices I have to make.  Do I shoot you in the head or the heart?"
  A shot rang out and Vince slumped forward in the seat of his car.
  "I guess I'm going with the head shot."

Now I'd buy that book . . .

2)  JOYLAND . . .  This is the place my wife went when she received her copy of Diana Gabaldon's Written in My Own Heart's Blood (9780385344432) 35.00.  She has been waiting for the 8th title in the Outlander series for five years and innumerable delays.  So you can imagine her excitement.  Starring John Heffernan, Nell Hudson, and Caitriona Balfe, the Starz television series based on Outlander (9780440212560) 9.99 debuts on August 3.  This means that this title will have some legs and we will be selling her backlist as well.  We have already sold out of the first shipment, but we should have more stock next week . . .   


Odds & Sods

"Dada ding ding ding ding."  I have absolutely no idea what Sam Kean's new book, The Tale of the Dueling Nerosurgeons (9780316182348) 27.00 is about, but I just love the title.  It immediately conjured up an image of two slit-eyed doctors with whirling scapels performing neurosurgery side-by-side on a Southern shack's wooden porch.  Or stethoscopes.  Definitely stethoscopes.

We were saddened to learn that children's author and illustrator of The Spot series, Eric Hill passed away at the age of 86.  I still remember reading Where's Spot? (9780399207587) 12.99 to my oldest daughter, and barring the machinations of a mad scientist, I will have those memories forever . . .

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"Kids know what's going on.  They always respond to The Beatles, for instance.
Doesn't matter when they were born, they always seem to respond.  Show me
a kid who innately doesn't like The Beatles, and I'll show you a bad seed . . ."
                                                                                --Mark Oliver Everett

1)  I AM AUTHOR . . .  As you well know, we have had many fine authors traipse through here, sign our copies of their latest title, and then offer them to you at no additional cost.  Some writers embrace this process, some do not.  The ones who do not, I understand, just as well as the ones who do.  The writing process, unless you're James Patterson who has a legion of fact checkers, research assistants, and ghost writers, is a solitary one.  Many authors are suitably introverted.  Terry Hayes, author of I Am Pilgrim (9781439177723) 26.99 is not one of those.  And damn, was it refreshing.  This may be his first book, but Terry has been working as a screenwriter for years and some of his better known movies are The Road Warrior, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Dead Calm, and From Hell.  (Okay, you had me at The Road Warrior.)  Michele, the media escort, warned me that he was a talker, and if you know Michele, that's saying something.  In the course of fifteen minutes, our conversation went from Rudolph Valentino to The Rolling Stones to Picasso and everything in between.  The man can tell a story, which leads me to believe that his new thriller must be one hell of a ride.  The action-suspense genre is not usually my cup of tea, but on the strength of his visit, I'm willing to give it a try.  As per usual, our signed copies are on a first come, first served basis . . .

2)  I AM HEROINE . . .  Unless you are from a parallel universe, you have surely heard by now that Maya Angelou was taken from us last week.  Subsequently, we have had a run on her titles.  Most of them are backordered at their various publishers, but we do currently have her wonderful His Day is Done: A Nelson Mandela Tribute (9780812997019) 15.00 available.  It is a lyrical and moving final gift to a man who changed the world.  Also, we are distributing Carolyn Goodman's My Mantelpiece: A Memoir of Survival and Social Justice (9780984991945) 23.00, which was written by the mother of Andy Goodman, one of the three civil rights activists who were killed in Mississippi in 1964.  Ms. Goodman is a political activist in her own right.  I mention her title since one of the last things Dr. Angelou wrote was the foreward to this book.  As you are well aware, the Civil Rights movement was near and dear to her heart.  And although Supreme Court Justice John Roberts and his cronies are 'convinced' that racism no longer exists in America, we need reminders like this book to make sure it never rears its ugly head again.  Unfortunately, there is no one near her stature to write Her Day is Done:  A Maya Angelou Tribute . . .


On this day in Byzantine History
Influential Byzantine eunuch minister Staurakios died on June 3, 800 AD.      
Odds & Sods

Prairie Lights wunderkind and Iowan bookseller Paul Ingram will have his new title The Lost Clerihews of Paul Ingram (9781888160772) 19.95 available shortly.  It is mentioned in his publicity kit that he is one of the Top Five booksellers in the United States.  

Michigan also has a bookseller in the Top Five nationwide -- Bill Cusumano at Nicola's Books.  Unfortunately, he is fleeing our state for the warm weather of Mississippi, and now their state's readers will benefit from his vast knowledge and wisdom.  Good luck, Bill, and as Leslie West once said, "Mississippi Queen, you know what I mean, Mississippi Queen, she taught me everything."