Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ye Olde Partners Page

Ye Olde Partners Page
*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"In derelict sidings the poppies entwine,
With cattle trucks lying in wait for the next time . . ."
                                               --Roger Waters, Your Possible Pasts

1)  THE TIN DRUM . . .  Nobel Prize winner Gunter Grass died of a lung infection on April 13 in the city of Lubeck.  I have mixed feelings.  In my estimation, The Tin Drum (9780547339108) 15.95 is one of the most powerful books of the 20th century.  Little Oskar is a character that will remain with me the rest of my life, and he helped me to understand the relationship between Germany and Poland, especially in the post-war years.  On the other hand, for most of his life, Mr. Grass hid his service as a volunteer with the Waffen-SS near the end of WWII.  A youthful indiscretion?  Perhaps.  Its easy to make moral judgements from 50 years later, but I wonder what I myself would have done in the same situation, which brings us to Edith Hahn Beer's The Nazi Officer's Wife:  How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust (9780062378088) 16.99.  With falsified papers, Edith Hahn married and survived the war as the wife of a Nazi official.  It reminded me of the true story of Solomon Perel, a Jewish survivor of the war, who was inducted into the Hitler Youth.  His story is recounted in his autobiography and the outstanding foreign language film Europa Europa.  However, these successful attempts at hiding in plain sight were the exceptions.  Instead, more than 6 million people of Jewish lineage paid the ultimate price with their lives.  Their stories are now told in Nikolaus Wachsmann's KL (9780374118259) 40.00, the most comprehensive overview of the German concentration camp system, and Ravensbruck (9780385520591) 35.00 by Sarah Helm, which was one of the few all-woman extermination centers.  There are few words in any language more evil than Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, and Treblinka . . .



2)  CAT AND MOUSE . . .  And now, mercifully, some lighter fare.  Gordon Korman's older title Zoobreak (9780545125000) 6.99 has taken off again.  Our stock was recently replenished, and it reminded me of this little ditty from Thin Lizzy:

"Tonight there's gonna be a zoobreak
Somewhere in this town
See me and Griffin Bing don't like it
So we're breaking in and takin' them down

Tonight there's gonna be a zoobreak
Somewhere near the pound
Tonight there's gonna be a zoobreak
So don't you be around


Odds & Sods

Six of Detroit's premier chefs (Now there's a phrase I never thought I'd say) and Hour Detroit have created a beautiful tradepaper cookbook called Savor Detroit V1 (9781938018084) 19.95.  The cover looks so delicious that I could just eat it . . .

Much like apple and jacks go together, author Kathy-jo Wargin and illustrator 'Nick' Frankenhuyzen are a perfect pairing for any children's book.  This year they are responsible for a book that is destined to be a regional classic, S is for Sleeping Bear Dunes  (9781585369171) 16.99.  Say Yes to Michigan!

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