Thursday, January 29, 2015


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*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"Enough is never enough.  Call us today and ask for more . . ."
                                 --Advertisement, The Zero Theorem

Deflategate.  If you were a time traveler or an alien from another planet, you might believe that this is the most pressing issue in our society.  In fact, Kim Kardashian, who is no stranger to relentless publicity, has taken a backseat to the NFL's non-story about the New England Patriot's alleged deflating of footballs during the AFC Championship game.  Much as I loathe the Kardashian clan (and yes, I was tempted to spell that with a K, but then it would have taken on an even creepier connotation), I would have found her non-comments about Bruce Jenner's weird transformation more newsworthy than the NFL's attempt to fill the two week gap before the Super Bowl with this dreck.  Benedict Cumberbatch, er, Sherlock Holmes would have solved this mystery in about five minutes and we could all get on to something more meaningful.  And so it goes . . .

Speaking of Sherlock (and much like you, I cannot wait for the Christmas special), Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's official legacy continues in Anthony Horowitz's Moriarty (9780062377180) 26.99.  Professor Moriarty is one of my all-time favourite villians, especially as played by Andrew Scott on the TV series (and a maybe a distant second Daniel Davis who played him on Star Trek: Next Generation).  Also, Mr. Cumberbatch has been nominated for Best Actor for his role as Alan Turing in the movie, The Imitation Game.  The movie was inspired by the book, Alan Turing: The Enigma (9780691164724) 16.95 by Andrew Hodges.  Coincidentally, his good friend Eddie Redmayne also plays a famous scientist, Stephen Hawking, in his Academy Award nominated role for Best Actor in The Theory of Everything.  There is no movie tie-in per se, but Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time (9780553380163) 15.00 is a pretty good place to start.


As you can tell, I'm a bit of a movie buff, but I have never taken it to the extreme that Patton Oswalt did in his new book, Silver Screen Fiend (9781451673210) 25.00.  Mr. Patton chronicles the four years in which he wrote for MADtv in the morning, watched over 250 classic films at the Beverly, and then performed standup comedy late at night.  He's not quite sure exactly how he survived this addiction, but comedy is a better place for it. 

Finally, I don't believe Kim Kardashian's most well-known film would have been included in the New Beverly Cinema run, but if you're looking for something in a similar vein, I would recommend E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey (9780804172073) 15.95.  It opens, appropriately, on Valentine's Day.

And yes, it is a pteradactyl.

Odds & Sods

I cannot believe that the Presidential election season has already begun.  Sure the election is still more than 500 days away, but the Republican candidates who have little to no chance of winning their party's nomination have already congregated in Iowa for the Iowa Freedom Summit.  One of those hopefuls, Mike 'Huckleberry Hound' Huckabee threw his hat into the ring with the release of his new book, God, Guns, Grits and Gravy (9781250060990) 26.99 (which is not to be confused with Ted Nugent's God, Guns, & Rock 'n' Roll (9780895261731) 16.95).  Although I will award Mr. Huckabee five bonus points for maintaining alliteration throughout the whole title.  Well done sir!     


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Guadalcanal Diary

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*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"Given the chance, I'll die like a baby
On some faraway beach
When the season's over . . ."
                                                                                 --Brian Eno, On Some Faraway Beach


  Although it has been over 70 years, I can still remember my best friend When Books Went to War (9780544535022) 25.00 by Molly Guptill Manning like it was yesterday.  We were a cheeky lot.  We were young and foolish.  We thought we'd win the war single handed and then we'd be back home in time for our reading group.  We pitied the Japs.

  He did make it back, but there were so many who didn't.  I remember when we found our American Sniper (9780062238863) 9.99 by Chris Kyle on the beach.  He had been missing for days.  The tides had half buried him in that Guadalcanal sand.  That cursed sand got into everything.  From your rifle to your underwear, it rubbed and chafed until it gummed up your gun or was painful to leave your foxhole.  When we found him, his spine had been broken and his exposed pages fluttered in the wind like the wings of butterflies.  After a month of fighting the Japs, I wanted to fashion a basket from pond fronds, grab a few butterflies, and fly away home.

  As for Unbroken (9780812987119) 16.00 by Laura Hillenbrand, he was captured by the Japs near the end of the first week and put aboard the Tokyo Express.  That was the last we saw of him until after the war.  He was so beaten up that a used bookstore buyer wouldn't even take a second look at him.  But I'm sure you know the rest of the story.

  Our medic, Redeployment (9781594204999) 26.95 by Phil Klay, had lost a few pages during his stay on Starvation Island, but he shipped out with the rest of us when it was over.  He was later transferred to the 7th Marine, and he bought it on Iwo Jima.  I heard that both of his covers had been ripped clean off by a booby trap.

  We never saw our company chaplain again, All The Light We Cannot See (9781476746586) 27.00 by Anthony Doerr, after he was pulled out.  When you've been to Hell, it changes you, especially for a pastor.  He prayed over and over for our dead brothers, he prayed for the rain to stop, and in the end, he prayed for the war to end.  It didn't work and I think he took it real personal like.  He cried every night and nobody really wanted to share a foxhole with him anymore.  I hope he found his faith again.

Unlikely, I'll be remembered,
As the tide brushes sand in my eyes,
I'll drift away . . .

 Odds & Sods

Back when The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven (9781414336077) 15.99 by Kevin and Alex Malarkey was initially released, I had thought to myself, 'Gee, that sounds like a load of ma, er, hooey.'  [ed: The new title Load of Hooey (9781938073885) 20.00 features the comedic stylings of Bob Odenkirk.  Check it out.  He's a very funny man.]  Well, the young lad has fessed up and admitted he made the whole story up to get attention from his Dad.  Now Tyndale House is recalling all available copies from bookstores.  I don't want to say I told you so, but I guess I just did . . .


Oprah has a new Book Club title on the horizon.  It's all hush-hush.  The dummy ISBN is (9780804188241) 16.00 and it will be announced on February 10 . . . 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


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*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"The three saddest words in the English language are: Joyce Carol Oates."
                                                                                 --Gore Vidal

It's the second week in January and the new car smell of the New Year has already worn thin.  Other than the blistering cold of a Michigan winter, the only excitement we can look forward to is the Library of Michigan's annual list of the books that we really should be reading.  From small presses to big publishers, these are the types of books that Michiganders can curl up under an afghan blanket on the couch and have their cockles thoroughly warmed.  Here are the 2015 winners:

MAC: Campus Life (9781933272443) 19.95 Stephen Terry

The Arsenal of Democracy (9780547719283) 27.00 by A.J. Baime

The Art of Memory (9780814340196) 39.99 by Thomas Dilley

Bernida: A Sailing Legend (9781585369041) 16.99 by Al Declercq

Bird Box (9780062259653) 25.99 by Josh Malerman

Bright Shards of Someplace Else (9780820346878) 24.95 by M. McFawn

Burnt Toast Makes You Sing (9780670015443) 27.95 by Kathleen Finn

The Contract (9781481423120) 16.99 by Derek Jeter

A Detroit Anthology (9780985944148) 20.00 by Anna Clark

Eight Mile High (9781611861426) 19.95 by Jim Daniels

The Fish & Not the Fish (9781938103810) 14.95 by Peter Markus

Making Callaloo in Detroit (9780814339695) 18.99 by Lolita Hernandez

Midnight Plan of the Repo Man (9780765377487) 24.99 by W.B. Cameron

Old Islam in Detroit (9780199372003) 35.00 by Sally Howell (Sd 15%)

A Polish Doctor in the Nazi Camps (9780806144313) 26.95 by Rylko-Bauer

Rivers of Sand (9780762778119) 24.95 by Josh Greenberg

Songs Only You Know (9781616953362) 25.00 by Sean Madigan Hoen

Station Eleven (9780385353304) 24.95 by Emily St. John Mandel

 Strange Love (9780814340172) 18.99 by Lisa Lenzo

Strings Attached (9780814340134) 15.99 by Diane DeCillis

Odds & Sods

In an odd twist of fate, I found myself rooting for the Ohio State Buckeyes during the National Football Championship last night.  My motives were not entirely altruistic.  I reasoned that we would sell a lot more OSU books than Oregon Ducks ones, and as a final lie to myself, it would make the B1G look better on a national level.  The two titles we will be stocking are Next Man Up: The Ohio State 2015 National Champions (9781629370576) 14.95 paper and Against All Odds: The Road to the Buckeyes 8th National Championship (9781940056166) 24.95 hardcover.  We are expecting both titles on either Thursday or Friday.  Backorders are starting to pile up . . .


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been.  The strain
of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our cultural
and political life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that
'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge'."
                                                                                 --Isaac Asimov

Dearest Mick--

  I hope the New Year finds you well.  Chip, my loyal manservant, and I welcomed the New Year in our private compound on the tropical island of St. Barts.  I can tell you the young lady Rhianna is truly a sweetheart.  We attended her party and it was a smashing success.  Unfortunately, she now has Chip listening to that hippity-hoppity music and he's wearing his trousers halfway down his arse.  I hope this is just a passing phase.
  I feared Chip would insist on brown bagging it with a bottle of MD 20/20 or heaven forbid, Don Cristobal when we decided to open your box from the parcel post, but once again his good taste has shown through with his choice of a bottle of Henri Jayer Echezeaux Grand Cru.  It is divine.
  I am not familiar with Paula Hawkins, the author of your first choice, The Girl on a Train (9781594633669) 26.95.  I had Chip fire up the old Commodore 64 and look this book up on the intrawebs.  It has already released in England, but it goes on sale on your side of the pond on next Tuesday.  He said there were a lot of comparisons to both Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl (9780307588371) 15.00 and Alfred Hitchcock.  I have not had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Flynn, but Alfie and I became fast friends when I worked as a gaffer on his moving picture The Lodger.  He later used my fear of everything avian in the motion picture The Birds.  I also shared my phobia of flying with a young lady in the 1960s, but that is an entirely different story.


I see you have included a copy of that ol' chestnut, A Brief History of Time (9780553380163) 15.00 by my good friend Stephen Hawking.  He is receiving the cinema treatment in the new film, The Theory of Everything.  You may not know that I taught physics at Cambridge for a spell.  I always believed Mr. Hawking could be a promising pupil, but he needed to stop chasing girls and get serious about his work.

  I was not sure how to take your inclusion of Marie Kondo's Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up (9781607747307) 16.99.  I admit that I greet my home just as I would a Shinto Temple.  Also, as you are well aware, Chip is very fastidious.  I'll chalk this up as an error on your part.

  And as always, thank you for your care package.             
                        Warmest Regards,
                        Charles Edmund Wilson III             
Odds & Sods

Nicholas Sparks, the man whose works of art embody the eternal love between a man and a woman is divorcing his wife of 25 years.  You might want to grab a copy of his latest movie tie-in for Best of Me (9781455556557) 15.00.  I have a feeling his next title may be taking a darker turn . . .

Speaking of New Year resolutions, dieting is probably the biggest one, and so far, it looks like Dr. Phil McGraw's The 20/20 Diet (9781939457318) 26.00 could be (I'll never forget him) the leader of the pack.  We've already sold out of it, but we are expecting more stock soon . . .