*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"I don't know anything with certainty,
but seeing the stars makes me dream . . ."
--Vincent Van Gogh
ONE STARRY NIGHT
I don't know what to believe anymore. For years I had been under the impression that Vincent Van Gogh killed himself, but now there is evidence that he may have been accidentally shot in the gut by two boys. Supposedly, he covered it up so that the kids would not be prosecuted. So much for his artistic street-cred. Next someone is going to tell me there is no such thing as Santa Claus. Sheesh! Of course, before I buy into that hook, line, and sinker, I should see how forensics expert Patricia Cornwell, author of Flesh and Blood (9780062325341) 28.99 weighs in on this theory.
With Santa waiting in the wings, it is time to prepare ourselves for the commercial armageddon that we like to call Christmas. Saleswise, there are certain suspects that rear their collective snouts every holiday season. For example, Guinness World Records 2015 (9781908843630) 28.95 sells like clockwork every year, especially during those desperate last two weeks. Also, count on the not-so New Comprehensive A-Z Crossword Dictionary (9780380724253) 7.99, as well as The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (9780877798224) 8.50 as great last minute stocking stuffers. And since this is the new 5th edition, you will probably move some of the hardcover edition of The Scrabble Players Dictionary (9780877794219) 25.95, too.
As for fiction, there is the new-born King and then there is Stephen King, who is a fixture on the bestseller lists this time of year. Revival (9781476770383) 30.00, which is Mr. King's latest title, was featured in this past week's NYTBR and the reviewer noted that, well, it's Stephen King, you really should know what to expect by now. Also, we have our yearly contribution to the fiction genre with Bill O'Reilly's latest book in his 'Killing' franchise, Killing Patton (9780805096682) 30.00. 'But Mick, Bill's books aren't fiction. These are important historical treatises on conspiracy theories. Wah wah wah . . .' No, they are not. They are not 'important historical treatises.' As a history buff myself, I'm not going to mince words -- they are crap. However, you will sell more of his books than Stacy Schiff, H.W. Brands, David McCullough, and Gordon S. Wood combined. And you wonder why I hate this world. Over the past few years, John Grisham has switched his big releases from early spring to the holiday season and his latest is Gray Mountain (9780385537148) 28.95. David Baldacci is back this week with Joe Puller, one of his most popular characters, in The Escape (9781455521197) 28.00. He's no Chesty Puller, but then who is?
Bottom line: We've all been here before, and we know things are going to get a little crazy over the next month or so. I'll put together some more titles for the next Partners Page. Until then, whatever you do, don't do anything rash like, say, chopping off your ear.
Odds & Sods
As you probably suspected, Stoner Bill and Dr. Delay are attending the annual National Book Award dinner tonight. They mentioned something about civil disobedience and releasing a truckload of live lobsters at the event, but hopefully, that's merely hearsay. The fiction field should be a spirited contest:
Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman (9780802122940) 16.00
Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See (9781476746586) 27.00
P. Klay, Redeployment (9781594204999) 26.95
Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven (9780385353304) 24.95
M. Robinson, Lila (9780374187613) 26.00