Thursday, July 31, 2014

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"I have always found it quaint and rather touching that there is a movement
in the US that thinks Americans are not yet selfish enough . . ."
                                                                                 --Christopher Hitchens on Ayn Rand

  With a head nod, Wilson gestured towards the police forensics anthropologist, who was kneeling next to a body, "What's 'The Ghoul' doing here?"
  Juan could see Jim Maxwell, who had been nicknamed 'The Ghoul' by his old boss, poking and prodding one of the unconscious booksellers with various metallic instruments.  Looking up, he grinned from ear to ear like The Joker then reached into his bag and pulled out a few sample vials.
  Wilson was literally whispering in his ear, "Lieutenant, why is he taking samples?  Could this be some kind of mutant virus? Like in William Brinkley's The Last Ship (9780142181430) 17.00 or is it like that Guillermo del Toro TV series The Strain (9780062344618) 9.99?  I really don't wanna be turned into a vampire."


  Juan turned and gave him a sarcastic smile, "First of all, Wilson, please get your tongue out of my ear.  And secondly, 'No, no, no.'  If there was any chance of a virus, 'The Ghoul' would be wearing a Hazmat suit right now," he carefully picked his way through the maze of prone bodies.  He nearly knocked over a display of Jeffrey Brown's Goodnight Darth Vader (9781452128306) 14.95 in the aisle and hollered, "Hey Jim, what ya got so far?"

  'The Ghoul' had his hair slicked back.  It looked even greasier than Tom Hank's hair when he played Robert Langdon in The Da Vinci Code (9780307474278) 9.99.  Personal cleanliness had never been high on his list of priorities, but he had a twinkle in his eye as he answered, "Lieutenant, it looks like we have a bit of a mystery on our hands.  The good news: it's definitely not a pathogen.  The bad news: I have no idea what possessed a mob of old people with Nooks to attack these poor booksellers . . ."

  Juan queried, "Frustration?"
  Maxwell scratched his head, "I think I see where you're going with this.  Old people tend not to be technologically savvy, and this may have been the only outlet for them to vent their frustrations.  I guess if there ever were an argument for old people to stick to the printed page, this might just be it.  Or it could be . . ."
  Juan knew exactly where his line of reasoning would lead them, "Dataclysm?"
  Maxwell nodded, "I think we really need to consider it as a valid possibilty."
  He noticed a copy of How to Survive a Sharknado (9780553418132) 14.99 by Andrew Shaffer, "Dataclysm.  Well, to me, it sounds like a bad SyFy Channel movie like Sharknado 2, or millions of people buried under a mountain of data."

  'The Ghoul' became more animated, "Christian Rudder's new book Dataclysm (9780385347372) 28.00 delves into this exact topic.  And, of course, there is another expert we can talk to."

  Juan's face turned ashen, "Are you saying what I think you're saying?"
  "Yup, I believe it's time someone paid Mr. Jeff Bezos a visit in his Cloud City."  

Odds & Sods

Michigan historian Larry Massie is back from a long hiatus with a new book, Blue Water, Red Metal & Green Gold: The Color of Michigan's Past (9781886167346) 14.95.  From lumberjack shenanigans to Native American lore, this collection has 27 true stories about Michigan.  Shenanigans.  Heh, heh . . .

I saw the trailer for the upcoming movie based on Gayle Forman's If I Stay (9780147514530) 10.99 over the weekend and I had the startling revelation, 'I am definitely not the target audience for this movie.'  However, it should be a hit with the 'tweeners.'  The sequel Where She Went (9780142420898) 10.99 has been selling well, too . . .


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"What a drag it is getting old . . ."
                                                            --The Glimmer Twins, Mother's Little Helper


  This wasn't his first rodeo.  Lieutenant Juan Carlos had been a beat cop for twenty years before he'd made detective.  And he thought he had seen it all.  He picked his way through the barricade of police cars and EMS vehicles, and then gingerly stepped over the the yellow crime scene tape.  He paused to look up at the Barnes & Noble logo over the store doorway, shook his head, and strode inside. 
  Nothing could have prepared him for the carnage that lay before him.  Several hover rounds were toppled over like ungainly dinosaurs with mottled skins of mismatched paint and Tea Party bumper stickers.  With an attendant high-pitched whine, one of the scooters still had its rear wheels impotently spinning.  Round and round.  EMS technicians were administering first aid to broken and bloodied booksellers.  There were books scattered across the floor, and small electronic devices of plastic and glass.  He felt the hard crunch of glass beneath his shoe as he tiptoed his way towards the sales counter.  Wilson, his partner, sidled up to him and handed him a foam cup full of warm coffee, then gestured over toward a bandaged bookseller perched on the counter, "Lieutenant, we got a live one here."
  Juan took a sip of coffee, grunted affirmatively, and answered, "Man, that's good coffee.  Are you ever going to tell me where you get this stuff?"
  Wilson's eyes twinkled,  "State secret, sir."
  He chuckled, "You know I could find out if I really wanted to.  I am a detective."
  The bookseller had a look in his eye that Juan hadn't seen since he'd served in the first Gulf War.  The faraway stare.  What the lad had seen was so shocking that his brain was completely unable to process it.  Shell-shocked.  But worse.
  Juan leaned down and asked quietly, "What's your name, son?
  He said haltingly, "Bil . . . ly."
  "Billy, can you tell me what happened here?"
  Billy continued to stare into the distance, "I dunno, sir.  They were like zombies.  There was a whole mob of them shuffling towards us.  They were pawing the air with one hand and holding up their Nooks with the other.  They had flecks of spittle flying from their mouths as they mumbled the same things over and over again . . ."
  Juan briefly made eye contact, "This is important Billy.  What were they saying?"
  Billy hesitated, "They were saying stuff like, 'What's a cart?' or 'Can I plug this into my computer?' or 'Can I watch Matlock on here?'  It was horrible . . . horrible."
  Wilson plucked a still glowing Nook from beneath his feet, "Let's see what we have on here . . .  America (9781621572039) 29.99 by Dinesh D'Souza, Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. The Obamas (9781621573135) 27.99 by Edward Klein, Ben Carson's One Nation (9781595231123) 25.95 and Tom Clancy's Support and Defend (9780399173349) 28.95.  Well, if Tom Clancy wrote it,  he'd have to be a zombie by now."
  Juan ignored his last comment and sighed, "Yup, it's definitely old people."

Odds & Sods
For some inexplicable reason, there are not many good Michigan biking books available right now.  Fortunately, Robert Downes has  stepped into the breach with his new release, Biking Northern Michigan (9780990467007) 13.95.  Just to be clear, this book only covers the northern part of Michigan's lower peninsula, so as not to confuse our Yooper friends.  But hey, it's a start . . .

At first I thought that Mark Rea's The Legends: Ohio State Buckeyes (9781939710109) 22.00 was one of those joke blank books like What Every Man Knows About Women.  But apparently this is a legitimate book about their football program.  Go figure . . . 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"Shakespeare's sonnets leave me cold
The drama stage and the high brow prose
But my world shakes for me, my bird sings sweetly . . ."
                                                   --Colin Moulding, My Bird Performs

An open letter to George R.R. Martin--

  I understand from a recent interview that you were offended by some fans of your Song of Ice & Fire series who were worried that you may not complete it before your death.  In fact, you not only used the F-word to describe said fans, but also flipped them the bird for good measure.
  I really think you should take this as a compliment, and not as a criticism.  Your fans would prefer that you finish your saga than say someone like the talented Brandon Sanderson.  Mr. Sanderson is not going to have the same vision nor the feel for the characters that you do.  And from my Sanderson comment, you know I am alluding to Robert Jordan and his Wheel of Time series.  Like you, Mr Jordan was over 60 years old, and he was not exactly the picture of health when he died.  Also, as the pace of your new books has slowed considerably, I feel that our fears as fans are well founded.  So put down your toy soldiers and please, please finish The Winds of Winter.

--A Concerned Fan
Dear reader, I'm sure you have the same problem that I do.  It's encapsulated by a quote oddly attributed to Frank Zappa, "So many books, so little time."  Like many of you, I have a pile of books on my 'to read list' that rivals the biblical Tower of Babel (which reminds me, I've been meaning to read Babel-17 by Samuel Delaney).  My wife is much better at this than I; she just finished the latest doorstop by Ken Follett, The Edge of Eternity (9780525953098) 36.00, which will hit the bestseller lists on September 16 and then picked up Diana Gabaldon's latest doorstop, Written in My Own Heart's Blood (9780385344432) 35.00. So bottom line, she's good for a while.  By the way, Isaac Asimov's The End of Eternity is one of the best time travel books ever written.  I am on the final chapter of A Man Called Destruction (9780670025633) 27.95 by Holly George-Warren, and I have a tough decision to make: should I read William T. Vollmann's Europe Central (9780143036593) 20.00 or John Williams' Stoner (9781590171998) 14.95?  (I have also been rifling through Tom Powers' Michigan State and National Parks (9781933272436) 15.95, but that doesn't really count.  I'm just looking for a nice destination for a weekend vacation.)  I dunno.  Both of those books sound so deathly serious, I'm just going to have to go with something more practical like Andrew Shaffer's How to Survive a Sharknado (9780553418132) 14.99.  It never hurts to be prepared . . .   

 Odds & Sods

Speaking of vacationing in Michigan, two new guides from Thunder Bay Press, Discovering Michigan County by County Lower Peninsula (9781933272467) 24.95 and Discovering Michigan County by County Upper Peninsula (9781933272474) 19.95 by Barbara VanderMolen will be in high demand.  Check your stock . . .


One of Michigan's foremost photographers, Ken Scott, has a new offering, The Ice Caves of Leelanau (9780974206851) 25.00. It should be here by the end of July.  The first printing sold very quickly and there will be a limited supply.  Backorder accordingly.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"[Author] Hugh Howey has a petition out for . . . well, I don't know exactly what it's for,
except I think it's like, an anti-boycott for Amazon? A love-fest for Amazon?  I'm not sure . . ."
                                                                                 --From Chuck Wendig's Blog


  We're in Double D's basement, again. 
  The Good Doctor created an exact replica of 'The Stage', which is located in the back of Schulers bookstore in Lansing.  'The Stage' is an elevated platform where authors can meet, greet, and speak to a captive audience safely ensconced in folding chairs.  Henry, Stoner Bill's younger brother, has invited about 30 of his 6th grade classmates to be a surrogate audience for this simulation.  They are preparing Bill for Veronica Roth's author event at Schulers at 7:00 on July 16.  She is promoting Four: A Divergent Collection (9780062345219) 17.99.

  Henry sidles up to Double D, who is dressed in one of his Mom's old pantsuits and a short black wig, "Hey Veronica, how many more times are we going to have to do this?  The natives are restless.  You promised my friends copious amounts of cake and ice cream for doing this crap . . ."
  Double D's straight black wig whips around just a little quicker than the rest of his hair as he snaps, "They'll get paid once Bill gets this right", he gestures towards his friend, "You know what I'm dealing with here.  Just once it would be nice to see him go to an event like this and not make an ass of himself.  Just once!"
  Double D whips around again and addresses everyone,  "One last run through!  Bill, are you on your mark?  Good!  Roll it!"
  Stoner Bill walks up to the center aisle with his ticket.  He hands the ticket to Henry and Henry hands him a pre-signed copy of Four.
  Stoner Bill stops, "What's this?  I want her to personalize it to me."
  Henry sounds exasperated,  "Dude, how many times do we need to go over this?  She's much too busy to sit at a table and sign books for schlubs like you!"
  "Well, what's like the point then?  Maybe I should just buy a copy of Lois Lowry's The Giver Quartet Omnibus (9780544340978) 29.99 instead.  You know that book is being made into a movie, too.  And even better, it stars 'The Dude' from The Big Lebowski as The Giver.  It looks really awesome."

  Ignoring him, Henry hisses under his breath, "Dude, avert your eyes.  Whatever you do, do not look directly into Veronica Roth's eyes."
  Double D jumps in as Veronica Roth, "Thanks so much for coming to Schuler Books.  Henry, can you get him seated, please?  Great.  Before I talk to you about the fourth book in the Divergent trilogy.  I want to thank the fine folks at Schulers who have recently purchased Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor.  They will keep the independent spirit alive and well in one of the Top 10 most literate cities in the U.S."
  Stoner Bill stands up, "Well, don't forget there are several other fine independent bookstores in Ann Arbor like Literati Bookstore and Bookbound . . ."
  There is an angry murmur from the crowd.  Henry interjects, "That's it!  What does that have to do with anything?!  Cake or no cake, we're out of here!"
Odds & Sods

It's not one of the Chillers, but Johnathan Rand has new horror story for young readers called The Ghost of Gratiot Road (9781893699984) 4.99.  Hopefully, it'll briefly keep the kiddies out of trouble over summer vacation . . .

Speaking of summer, there is no better place in Michigan to spend a summer vacation than Mackinac Island.  Long-time resident and chair of the Mackinac Island State Park Commission Dennis Cawthorne has put together a collection of local stories and reminiscences in his new book, Mackinac Island: Inside, Up Close, and Personal (9781933926452) 40.00.    It's not a bad looking book, but a little pricey at forty dollars . . .

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"Do you want to know what happiness is?
Happiness is the absence of unpleasant information . . ."
                                     --William T. Vollman, Europe Central
                                          (9780143036593) 20.00


  The package had come addressed to him.  The VHS tape was in one of those off-yellow single copy envelopes that inevitably exploded in a puff of little gray shreds of almost paper no matter how carefully you tried to open them.  To make matters worse, they also were imbued with a ridiculous amount of static electricity and the paper mulch seemed to attach itself to everything.  After several minutes, he wiped enough crap off of the tape with his hands to insert it into the VHS player.
 There was a moment of blackness on the TV screen and then an unfocused shot of a man with a pith helmet.  He spoke, "Trey, B. Traven Jr. here and . . .", he cupped his hands together to make his voice echo," . . . I am your father.  Ha, ha!  But seriously, if you are watching this tape, I am already dead.  So be it.  However, I have some words of advice for you that I could never tell you before.  Remember these two words: Nathan Hale . . ."
  Trey mumbled aloud, "Revolutionary War spy."
  His father continued, " . . . No, not that Nathan Hale.  Nathan K. Hale.  He writes  a series of graphic novel histories for youngsters called 'Hazardous Tales.'  I have found his books to be indispensible in my time traveling forays.  His most recent book is the Donner Dinner Party (9781419708565) 12.95, which follows the travails of a group of American settlers heading for California in 1846.  Without his book, I might have forgotten to bring my own food.  And that could have gotten really awkward.  Ha, ha!"
  He turns to his right and shouts at someone off-camera, "No, Tim!  I don't think The Donner Family Cookbook would be a very good idea!"
  B. Traven Jr. looks into the camera, "And don't waste your time on Edward Klein's Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas (9781621573135) 27.99.  He has proven to be a serial liar who just regurgitates the same half-truths and innuendos about both the Clintons and Obamas from the past and then presents them as fact.  Although when I heard the title, I did imagine a Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome throwdown by both families in a pay-per-view cagematch.  Ha, ha!
  "Speaking of Mad Max, with the Fuel Wars soon to begin, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of reading and implementing William Gurstelle's Defending Your Castle (9781613746820) 16.95.  It has step-by-step intructions for building everything from catapults to crossbows to moats.  It is going to get ugly.  In fact, it will make George Saunders' CivilWarLand in Bad Decline (9781573225793) 14.00 look like a walk in the park.  So Trey, be careful."
  Trey stared at the blank screen for a minute, sighed, and mumbled to himself, "Well, here we go again . . ."


Odds & Sods

I have no idea who Jenny Mollen is.  I'm not proud of this.  (Okay, maybe I am.)  But apparently, she is the most hilarious voice on Twitter.  From what I could glean on-line, she's married to a famous actor and she does some acting herself.  What I do know is that her book, I Like You Just the Way I Am (9781250041685) 24.99 is just about sold out at Partners.  Her writing style has been compared to Chelsea Handler, author of the cringe- worthy title, Uganda Be Kidding Me (9781455599738) 27.00.  So yeah, Jenny has a potty mouth . . .


To all our loyal customers, Partners would like to wish a very happy 'Independent's Day!'