Thursday, February 12, 2015

Ye Olde Partners Page

Ye Olde Partners Page
*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"As her young man dies,
On a cold and gray Chicago mornin',
Another little baby child is born
In the ghetto . . ."
                                                      --Mac Davis, In the Ghetto

1)  HEARTBREAK HOTEL . . .  Harper Lee.  There is no single title author who has had more impact on American society than Harper Lee and her To Kill a Mockingbird (9780446310789) 8.99.  Shockingly, the publisher announced last week that they will be releasing a long lost manuscript of a sort of sequel, Go Set A Watchman (9780062409850) 27.99 on July 14 with a 2 million copy first print.  (Oh, those will be collectible.)  This will be huge.  Readers are going back to re-read her first novel, and it has already produced a noticeable upward tick in sales.  As usual with Harper Lee, controversy is swirling around not only how the book was found, but if she is even cognizant enough to sign-off on its release.  (Ms. Lee is not in the best of health.)  In a way, it is a testament to our industry that people are questioning the ethics and morality in releasing a title that her literary executor and her sister Alice, who recently died, had been sitting on for nearly 60 years.  I'm sure we will be hearing more about this one in the days to come . . .


 2)  CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE . . .  Only something as big as a new novel by Harper Lee could overshadow the release of a new Oprah Book Club 2.0 title.  Yesterday, Oprah announced that Ruby (9780804188241) 16.00 by Cynthia Bond is her new title.  This is the first book from Ms. Bond, who is 53 years old and has taught writing to the homeless and at-risk youths for the past 15 years.  Oprah has gone all-in on this title by purchasing both the film and television rights, so expect her to hammer this one home . . .

 3)  IN THE GHETTO . . .  The Grammys produced more than its fair share of headlines this year.  Lost in the controversy surrounding Zack Braff's incredibly racist tweet was Pharrell's own social commentary in his Grand Budapest Hotel-style production number for his hit song Happy.  As we all know too well, there was a reason the dancers were wearing hoodies and holding their arms up behind him.  Obliquely, this touches upon the theme in Jill Leovy's Ghettoside (9780385529983) 28.00.  African-American males are 6% of our country's population, yet they account for 40% of the homicides in America.  Most often the murderers are black men and they are never brought to justice.  They usually occur in the poorest part of our cities where, unfortunately, the police are spread too thin to make much difference.  For example, Ms. Leovy focuses on the murder of a teen in Watts and the attempt of one cop to bring the perpetrators to justice.  We really should be talking about this, and not Kanye West's latest stupid remarks . . . 

Odds & Sods 

Hotdog!  The new edition of Larry Wagenaar and Izzi Bendall's Historic Michigan Travel Guide (9781880311110) 7.95 is finally here.  There are so many cool places to visit in here.  If you're looking for a respite from the Michigan winter blahs, this is your book . . .

We were saddened to learn that Colleen McCullough passed away recently.  You may recall the Australian born author wrote The Thorn Birds (9780380018178) 7.99, which became a mega-hit mini-series starring Richard Chamberlain.  She had also written a well-respected Roman history series.  She will be missed . . .

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