Thursday, December 31, 2015


Ye Olde Partners Page
*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"When I work, I'm just translating the world around me in what seems to be
straightforward terms.  For my readers, this is sometimes a vision that's not
familiar.  But I'm not trying to manipulate reality.  This is just what I see and hear . . ."
                                        --Don DeLilo

It's official:  The 2015 holiday season is over.  It was an odd one.  There were no last minute Oprah recommendations that everyone absolutely had to have, much to the chagrin of Mitch Albom and The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto (9780062294418) 25.99.  Actually, most of the biggest sellers seemed to be titles that have been out for a bit like Anthony Doerr's All the Light We Cannot See (9781476746586) 27.00, Helen Macdonald's H is for Hawk (9780802123411) 26.00, and David McCullough's The Wright Brothers (9781476728742) 30.00.  To no one's great shock, nobody cared about the latest incarnation of Meyer's Twilight (9780316268394) 21.99, and, in fact, I believe you can stick a sharpened stake in the heart of that franchise.  "It's dead, Jim."


Instead, we were chasing the other Meyer -- Marissa Meyer and her Lunar Chronicles, especially the first one in the series, Cinder (9781250007209) 9.99.  As for other hot teen titles, there wasn't much.  We did well with the two Disney Descendants' titles: Mal's Spell Book (9781484726389) 11.99 and Mal's Diary (9781484726853) 9.99.  Also, Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush Saga experienced a surprise rebirth with both Hush, Hush (9781416989424) 11.99 and Finale (9781442426689) 11.99 selling the best of the lot.


As for science fiction or fantasy, or as those literary types like to call it, speculative fiction or magic realism, it was a weak holiday season.  If only George R.R. Martin had  found the time to complete the sixth book in the Song of Ice and Fire series The Winds of Winter, we would be laughing all the way to the bank, but instead, we were sold his prequel A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (9780345533487) 30.00.  To most of us, it was fairly obvious early on that this wasn't what his fans wanted.

  Most of the usual bestselling authors did well.  For example, we're still waiting on the reprint for Nicholas Sparks' See Me (9781455520619) 27.00, and a reprint on Joel Osteen's The Power of I Am (9780892969968) 26.00.  (Yes, Joel has become a holiday fixture on the bestseller lists.)  But, of course, the big winners this year were the coloring books with Ms. Basford leading the way.  We did receive two new coloring books yesterday:  Posh Adult Coloring Books: Happy Doodles for Fun & Relaxation (9781449475581) 12.99 and Paisley Designs for Fun & Relaxation (9781449474201) 12.99.  Sigh . . .


  Next week, we'll talk about diet books.

Odds & Sods

We've been told it's the start of a new tradition -- The college football playoffs will be on New Year's Eve this year.  One of those teams is the Michigan State Spartans, and we will have a new book about the Spartans that will cover the 2015 season in mid-February.  It's called Green Machine (9781597256261) 34.95.  The Lansing State Journal and the Detroit Free Press have joined forces to put together this beautiful coffee table book.  It will be non-returnable, but at a 40% discount.  Go Green!  Go White!

Everyone here at Partners would like to wish you and yours a very Happy New Years!

Thursday, December 17, 2015


Ye Olde Partners Page
*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion . . ."
                                    --Donnie Darko

  Psych!  B. Traven Jr here.  Actually, in this timeline, President Trump has banned any references to Star Wars.  So no Star Wars for you!  Nobody is quite sure why, but the general feeling is just because he can.  Hey, it could be worse.  You should see the alternate universe where Carly Fiorina was elected President.  I didn't even know you could outsource government jobs to China.  Ha, ha!
  I know you don't have a lot of time for jibber jabber, and book sales in every timeline is very similar, so here's a run down on titles we've just received (and some of these titles are in the stash, so you may have to call to check quantities):

1)  H is for Hawk (9780802123411) 26.00 by Helen Macdonald.  The feel good hit of the summer is back and selling briskly.

2)  A Manual for Cleaning Women (9780374202392) 26.00 by Lucia Berlin.  Short story writer extraordinaire.  I will be purchasing one for myself.

3)  S.P.Q.R. (9780871404237) 35.00 by Mary Beard.  I grabbed this one as soon as it hit the docks here.  Now everybody wants it.  I don't feel so cool anymore.  Kinda like John Mayer . . .

4)  Harry Potter & The Sorceror's Stone Illustrated (9780545790352) 39.99 by J.K. Rowling.  What you say?  There aren't enough editions of J.K. Rowling's first book in print already?  Scholastic:  Challenge accepted.

5)  The Man in the High Castle (9780544817289) 14.95 by Philip K. Dick.  The Amazon TV series is very, very loosely based on the PKD Hugo Award-winning novel.  So loosely based that it was virtually unwatchable to me.  However, I watched the first episode of the SyFy channel's adapation of Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End (9781101967034) 7.99 and the spirit of the novel definitely shone through.  Watch it instead. 


6)  The Wright Brothers (9781476728742) 30.00 by David McCullough.  He is the Mack Daddy of American historians.  Earlier today I was picturing Mr. McCullough and Antony Beevor, author of Ardennes 1944 (9780670025312) 35.00 at one of their many historian soirees, perhaps the Pritzker Prize Award ceremony and the two of them are having cocktails near the entrance.  And who should walk in?  Erik Larson, author of Dead Wake (9780307408860) 28.00.  I can envision them turning their backs on him and whispering to one another, "Who invited HIM?  He's not a real historian."  Ha, ha!


Odds & Sods

For our Minnesotan accounts, we've received Wynia and Haine's Pond Hockey (9781592988334) 49.95.  It'll bring back memories of hot chocolate and frozen toes . . .

Michigan-wise, there have been two regional titles that have been doing exceptionally well:  Frederick Stonehouse's The Last Laker (9781938229237) 19.95 and the Detroit-centric How to Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass (9780996836708) 19.99 by Aaron Foley.  The sudden burst in sales for the Stonehouse book is inexplicable to me, but Foley's book has the best title that I've heard in years . . .


Thursday, December 10, 2015


Ye Olde Partners Page
*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo and doesn't . . ."
                                  --Mark Twain


  Paddington Bear took the left fork on the road by The House on Pooh Corner.  Our ursine friend heard the Wind in the Willows as he arrived at the place Where the Sidewalk Ends . . .


"They need to fight it out, Not wild about it,
Lay your seedy judgements,
Who says they're part of our lives?
That's why I've done it again.  No-no-Notorious . . ."
                                    --Duran Duran, Notorious

  Yo!  Yo!  Yo!  Born in Brooklyn to Russian immigrants, Jewish rapper, legendary litigator, and Conscience of America, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has a surprise hit on her hands with Carmon and Knizhnik's biography, Notorious RBG (9780062415837) 19.99.  Justice wears a crown, my friends, and her name is R-Bader.  Fortunately, I can now tell you that their book is back in da HOOOOOUSE!

  Tangentially related, Wisconsin Senator Tim Cullen's new book, Ringside Seat: The 70s to Scott Walker (9781942586104) 18.95, has arrived.  The cover shows a boxing ring, hence the title.  My first inclination when I heard the title was to associate it with the circus.  But hey, maybe that's just me.

David Ezra Stein's Interrupting Chicken (9780763641689) 16.99

  B. Traven Jr. here.  I apologize for the interruption, but I'm madder than a wet hen right now.  I was ready to launch my new Weather Channel Show, Treasure Hunters, next week and, once again, James Patterson has stolen my thunder.  Mr. Patterson's third title in his series, Treasure Hunters: Secret of the Forbidden City (9780316284806) 14.99 released recently and has been selling well.  I've been there in multiple time lines; it's not that secret.  Ha, ha!

   My oldest daughter is a pastry chef, and she has had the privilege of working with Jacques Pepin.  She said he was adorable.  So when I saw Jacques Pepin's Heart & Soul in the Kitchen (9780544301986) 35.00 pop in here, I knew I had the perfect Christmas gift for her.


Odds & Sods

Partners' unofficial poet laureate is Joyce Benvenuto.  And we are happy to announce that Thunder Bay Press has released her second book, Poem Journey: More Poems & Prose from along Old Grand River (9781933272566) 17.95.  No matter the journey, one would be hard pressed to find anyone who would make better company.

Our good friend Deborah Diesen stopped by and signed copies of her latest children's book, The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish (9780374355494) 16.99.  We have a limited supply.  First come, first served . . .  

Thursday, December 3, 2015


Ye Olde Partners Page
*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live . . ."
                                             --George Carlin


Charles Edmund Wilson III, Partners investor:  I am excited to learn that Mary Beard's S.P.Q.R.: A History of Ancient Rome (9780871404237) 35.00 has been embraced by a populist audience.  Not since Edward Gibbon's The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire has there been a bestseller of this magnitude on Roman history.  (I am, of course, excluding John Julius Norwich's three volume set on the history of the Byzantine Empire.)  And I should know.  My maternal great-grandfather Henry Charles Howard, 13th Duke of Norfolk was a close confidante to Edward Gibbon, and rumor has it that he assisted with much of his research.  You may also recall the Duke of Norfolk married Lady Charlotte Sophia Leveson-Gower, the eldest daughter of the 1st Duke of Sutherland in the excruciatingly hot summer of 1814 . . . [Edited]

 Stoner Bill, receiving clerk:  Hey dudes and dudettes!  It's only mere weeks until the release of the new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens.  There's a ton of new product out there, but I'm really digging on Bray and Horton's Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know:  Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens (9781465437853) 19.99.  Double D wouldn't agree, he's a Babylon 5 guy.  Also, and it doesn't come out until next Tuesday, but I love me some Dean Koontz, and I just finished his new one Ashley Bell (9780345545961) 29.99.  When it comes to supernatural mysteries, nobody does it better.


Doctor Delay, receiving manager:  Holiday titles, eh?  In the hope that it will minimize Bill's dumb questions, I am purchasing Randall Munroe's Thing Explainer (9780544668256) 24.95 as a Christmas present for him.  Personally, the title I want to read is John Irving's Avenue of Mysteries (9781451664164) 28.00.  I have seen him repeatedly compared to Charles Dickens over the course of the past few weeks.  He is no more Charles Dickens than Nicholas Sparks is Ernest Hemingway.  He is his own writer.


 B. Traven Jr, site manager / explorer:  B. Traven Jr. here.  I have been exploring the environs of Minnesota in anticpation of my new H2 show, My America, in which I visit different localities with a local celebrity.  For this show, I was joined by the legendary Bob Dylan in Minneapolis.  He brought a recent title to my attention:  Everybody's Heard About the Bird:  The True Story of 1960s Rock n Roll in Minnesota (9780816693191) 29.95 by Rick Shefchik.  Bob, in his own imitable way, had this to say about it, "Mmmm,  herren iss wastern rinnd."  Ha, ha!

Odds & Sods

(Sung to the tune of 'Signs' by the 5 Man Electrical Band)

"Signed, signed, every book is signed . . ."

Bonnie Jo Campbell, the Pride of Kalamazoo, signed copies of her latest collection of short stories, Mothers, Tell Your Daughters (9780393248456) 25.95.  She was wunderbar!

B.A. Shapiro, or Barbara to her friends, popped in to autograph her latest book,

The Muralist (9781616203573) 26.95.  I hadn't realized that her breakout book, The Art Forger (9781616203160) 14.95 was actually her sixth novel . . .


Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Ye Olde Partners Page
*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"Marley was dead, to begin with. 
There is no doubt whatever about that . . ."
                                             --Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol


1)  THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST . . .   From the New Comprehensive A-Z Crossword Dictionary (9780380724253) 7.99 to The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (9780877798224) 8.50, there are books that we sell every holiday season.  One of the grand traditional bestsellers for Christmas comes from Chris Van Allsburg, who was at Schuler Books & Music this past Sunday to sign his new 30th anniversary edition of The Polar Express (9780544580145) 19.99.  It has all the bells and whistles.  As for non-children's titles,  Laura Ingalls Wilder's Pioneer Girl (9780984504176) 39.95 may have another spurt of sales since very few customers could find it last year.  Also, Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman (9780062409850) 27.00 hasn't been through a holiday season yet, but we should see another spark of interest for that one, too. "These are the shadows of things that have been.  That they are what they are, do not blame me!"


2)  THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT . . .  The 2015 National Book Award winners were announced last week.  Fortune smiled on Adam Johnson, who won the fiction prize for Fortune Smiles: Stories (9780812997477) 27.00 (Pun intended.)  Author Ta-Nehisi Coates added yet another trophy to his fireplace mantel with his non-fiction winner, Between the World and Me (9780812993547) 24.00.  The Young People's Literature winner was Neal Shusterman for Challenger Deep (9780061134111) 17.99.  Finally, there was also a winner in the poetry category.  "Are there no prisons?  Are there no workhouses?"


3)  THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS YET TO COME . . .  It looks like we're already chasing a few Harry Potter titles for this upcoming Christmas, including: The Illustrated Harry Potter & The Sorceror's Stone (9780545790352) 39.99, Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them (9780545850568) 9.99, and The Harry Potter Coloring Book (9781338029994) 15.99.  The non-Harry Potter  blockbusters for the season will be brought to you courtesy of the 99th Sappy Book Brigade, which includes Mitch Albom's The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto (9780062294418) 25.99 and Nicholas Sparks' See Me (9781455520619) 27.00.  "Assure me that I may yet change these shadows you have shown me, by an altered life!"



(Cue:  Stevie Vai's The Ghost of Mars theme song.)          
Odds & Sods

The slow boat from China has finally arrived and we now have the reprint of Mike Barton's
Mushroom Houses of Charlevoix (9780980102499) 21.95 back in stock.  This title truly has to be seen to be believed . . .

November 30 will mark the 180th birthday of Mark Twain, author of The Autobiography of Mark Twain V1 (9780520267190) 34.95.  Congrats, Sam, you don't look a day over 120 . . .


By the way, UPS is picking up and delivering on Black Friday, and we will be here to take your orders . . .
 Happy Thanksgiving!