Thursday, July 30, 2015

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"Come on, man.  I had a rough night and I hate the f*cking Eagles, man . . ."
                                                                                     --The Dude, The Big Lebowski


  Wow!  What a crazy scene!  I think half the wackos in the world are at this gig.  Speaking of which, my uncle, Sir Charles Edmund Wilson III has entered himself in the 'Papa' Hemingway Look-Alike Contest once again.  Between you and me, he looks nothing like Papa, but I'm pretty sure he comes every year because this is a close as he can get to seeing him once more.  Before he pulled a Kurt Cobain, Hemingway had burned his bridges with most of his friends, but my uncle was one of the few who hung on to the bitter end.  Much like The Eagles in music, Papa was one of those polarizing authors who you either hated or loved.
  In honor of the event, I found a quiet corner and started reading Stewart James' collection of short stories, Writing with Hemingway at City Park Grill (9780988501157) 24.95.  Good stuff, but not exactly the best atmosphere for reading, so I hopped on my iPhone to see what titles are hot at Partners.  As of this moment, the most requested title has been another of Dr. Seuss' lost gems, What Pet Should I Get? (9780553524260) 17.99.  I know we couldn't give away Horton and the Kwuggerbug etc. when it was released and whatever the other lost classic was before that one, but this one has gone viral.  We're hoping to get our next shipment by Friday.


  Which reminds me.  We have a new children's title that I believe the young Hemingway would have enjoyed while fishing on Walloon Lake in upper Michigan.  It's called The Flight of Megizzewas (9780692252482) 18.85 by Karen Trolenberg.  However, the best part of this book is the artwork by Christopher Smith; it almost appears that the eagle (Meggizzewas) is going to flap right off the page and into your room.

  Another sorta surprise bestseller is YouTube SensationTM Miranda Sings' Selp Helf (9781501117947) 22.99.  Great title.  I've had to either spell out the title or explain it to every customer I've spoken with over the last few days.  Thanks, Miranda.  We still have a few in the secret stash.

  Well, my uncle appears crestfallen.  I guess he didn't win again this year.  Geez, what kind of get-up does his loyal manservant Chip have on?
  I ask, "Hey, Uncle Chuck, why is Chip wearing a wig and woman's clothes?"
  "Dear boy, Chip is playing Hadley Richardson to my Hemingway.  Just like in Paula McLain's book, The Paris Wife (9780345521316) 16.00."

  "Yeah, I know who Paula McLain is.  In fact, she has a new book out called Circling the Sun (9780345534187) 28.00 about Beryl Markham."

  My uncle makes a non-committal sound halfway between a grunt and a sneeze.  For a moment I think he's going to launch into one of his stories about Beryl, but instead, he reaches into a sack and pulls out a couple bottles of wine.
 "Let's celebrate!"

Odds & Sods

College football season is right around the corner.  There's a new sheriff in town in Ann Arbor, and there certainly won't be a shortage of new books to capitalize on the re-invigorated Wolverine football program. John U. Bacon is back with Endzone: The Rise, Fall, and Return of Michigan Football (9781250078971) 27.99, which is due September 1. Longtime equipment manager Jon Falk has a new one, Forty Years in the Big House (9781629370736) 24.95, which we received today.  Lastly, even Arcadia Publishing is getting in on the action with The Game:  The Michigan-Ohio State Football Rivalry (9781467114585) 21.99. I can almost smell the pigskin!


Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Ye Olde Partners Page
*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"No tears to cry no feelings left
This species has amused itself to death . . ."
                                                                                     --Roger Waters, Amused to Death

(Long after our demise, the Arcturians, an alien race, stumbled upon our dead planet Earth.  The Arcturians are large beetle-like creatures with four tentacles in lieu of arms and legs.  From the remaining flotsam and jetsam of our civilization, their archaeologists have tried to piece together how such a successful dominant species ultimately went extinct.  They have preserved the Earth intact as a cautionary tale for other alien races.  Also, once an Arcturian year, which runs 720 of our Earth days, they bring their unmolted children on a Grand Tour, which culminates in a visit to the local library.)

Adult Tour Guide:  My young larvae, we have been able to glean many things about the human species from these things called books.  Their mating rituals were quite complicated, but we have been able to learn their intricacies from a book entitled Down the Rabbit Hole (9780062372109) 25.99 by Holly Madison.  The most desirous available females were called Playboy bunnies.  Apparently, the best males were chosen by status, often by their immense wealth and old age.  Humans did not only mate to propagate their species but also for pleasure . . .

(There was a chorus of 'Ewwww!' from most of the larvae.)

A Larvae:  Did the males fight to determine who was to mate with the females?

Adult Tour Guide:  That's a bit of a shell scratcher.  They did fight, but again, more for pleasure than to establish dominance for breeding.  We have book about Usa (Pronounced: oo-sa), which was the supreme military nation in the 21st century, called Ghost Fleet (9780544142848) 28.00 by P.W. Singer and August Cole.  Their military technology was very sophisticated for a non-interstellar culture.  The Usians were fighting with another nation called China, who seemed to have specialized in eating utensils.

 A Larvae:  So their warrior caste was very powerful then?

Adult Tour Guide:  It was, but there were also members of their species like Jerry Dennis and Glenn Wolf, author and illustrator of A Walk in the Animal Kingdom (9780990912521) 16.95, who respected the other animals and humans that inhabited their world.  Their biosphere was once diverse.  Unfortunately, large corporations destroyed their environment and wasted much of their natural resources.  But what we really think caused their extinction was their entertainment.  They quite literally amused themselves to death . . .

Odds & Sods

Until you have a baby, you cannot truly appreciate Sandra Boynton.  She is the Queen of Boardbooks.  Of course, I know it's a little early for Halloween, but it is Sandra Boynton and her Spooky Pookie (9780553512335) 5.99.  Everybody loves hamming it up with Pookie, and for bookstores everywhere, it is sure to bring home the bacon.  Mmmm, bacon.

On a serious note, we were saddened to learn that E.L. Doctorow passed away.  Several years ago, I listened to him speak at the Wharton Centre and met him afterward at a meet and greet.  He was genial and he was truly a class act . . .

Thursday, July 16, 2015


Ye Olde Partners Page
*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"From the fields of Nebraska to the banks of the Ohio
The farmers won't be free to grow what they want to grow
When corporate control takes over the American farm
 With fascist politicians and chemical giants walking arm in arm . . ."
                             --Neil Young, A Rock Star Bucks the Coffee Shop

Channel 13 Community Access TV Presents:  BOOK STALKERS
(Camera pans Double D's basement.  Stoner Bill and Double D are dressed from head to toe in white rabbit costumes.)

Double D:  As you well know the book business was front and center in the media with yesterday's release of Harper Lee's sorta sequel to her classic title To Kill a Mockingbird (9780446310789) 8.99.  It's the biggest thing in the biz since that British Harry Potter bloke series.  Ms. Lee's recently unearthed manuscript is called Go Set a Watchman (9780062409850) 27.99 . . .


Stoner Bill:  Prince Harry?

Double D:   . . .  However, we are excited to have the author of the third biggest book released yesterday in here on August 13.  You know I'm not one for hyperbole . . .

Stoner Bill:  And a half. 

Double D:   . . .  But we are extremely excited to have Mardi Link, author of The Drummond Girls (9781455554744) 26.00 pop in here after she signs Partners' stock earlier in the day.  In fact, Mardi is so beloved here in Michigan that she just might beat out Go Set a Watchman . . .

Stoner Bill:  We'll have an air date as soon as we can figure out the linguistics of the whole thing.

Double D: (Jumping up from his seat).  Dude, why do you keep interjecting!?  Linguistics?!  I was going to go into this whole bit about Ernest Cline's Armada (9780804137256) 26.00 being the second biggest book out yesterday, and now you've ruined that with your idiotic comments!  That's it!  You stupid *beep* of a *beep*!  I'm done!  You can do this show by yourself!

Stoner B:  Hey, don't you be talkin' about my Mama!

(Bill leaps from his chair and tackles Doctor Delay.  White fur flies everywhere, and they are soon tussling on the ground.  Camera fades out.)

Odds & Sods

As a lifelong Michigander, even I was unsure where exactly M-22 was located.  I dunno, maybe Drummond Island?  Thankfully, M. Christine Byron and Thomas R. Wilson have cleared that up for me with their lovingly illustrated new title, Vintage Views Along Scenic M-22 including Sleeping Bear Dunes (9780996217309) 40.00.  Aha!  Leelanau!  Also known as 'The Manitou Trail,' M-22 snakes through some of the most gorgeous country in the state of Michigan.  Filled with both color and sepia-tinged postcards from the early 20th century, this title is sure to make the most cantankerous visitor wistful for a long ago Michigan . . .

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Ye Olde Partners Page

Ye Olde Partners Page
*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"They don't notice there's people like me,
Write lightly, yours truly, dear diary . . ."
                                                --Dear Diary, Ray Thomas

Dear Diary--                                                                           Thursday, July 2

  For my vacation, I flew into Naples to visit my Great-Uncle Sir Charles Edmund Wilson III.  His loyal manservant Chip helped me haul my baggage into what he jokingly calls the presidential suite.  It has several Monets and a Van Gogh painting on the wall as well as a nice master bathroom.  The grounds have five different species of mango trees, which I don't believe are indigenous to southern Italy.  There are also roving packs of adorable golden tamarins imported from South America frolicking amongst the trees.  Maybe they're bands?  Or are they troops?  I'm sticking with packs.  After I put on my dinner jacket, I joined them downstairs for supper and Uncle Charles suggested we crack open a bottle of Chateau Margaux 2009 Balthazar.  The topic of Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman (9780062409850) 27.99, which releases next Tuesday, came up, and of course, Uncle Charles went on a long tangent about how he and his friend Truman Capote assisted in writing To Kill a Mockingbird (9780446310789) 8.99.  There were also a series of boring stories about Gregory Peck.  We finished the bottle of wine and went to bed.


Dear Diary--                                                                           Friday, July 3

  I slept soundly, perhaps, too soundly.  Apparently, during the night, the pack of golden tamarins struck.  My suitcases were ripped apart, and my clothes and toiletries were strewn throughout my room and balcony.  They also deposited a copious amount of rodent-like feces inside my shoes.  When I went down for breakfast, I was surprised to see Milan Kundera, author of The Festival of Insignificance (9780062356895) 23.99 digging into a grapefruit at the breakfast table.  Why does it always have to be intellectuals?  Why couldn't it be someone like Holly Madison, who wrote Down The Rabbit Hole (9780062372109) 25.99?  Heck, I'd even settle for Dolly Madison.  With my limited knowledge of French, I gleaned from their conversation that Mr. Kundera was on a book signing tour and had just stopped by to visit.  Trying to sound relevant, I mentioned how outstanding I found Stewart James' new collection of short stories, Writing With Hemingway At City Park Grill (9780988501157) 24.95.  As soon as the word 'Hemingway' left my mouth, I knew I was doomed to regret it.  Uncle Charles, of course, taught Ernest to fish at Walloon Lake when he was a youngster.  Later they were inseparable as journalists in the Spanish Civil War and WWII.  Alas, there is no escape from his anecdotes.  Help!  He talked and talked and I finally went to bed.   


Odds & Sods

Good news for the Land of 10,000 Lakes!  Kevin Revolinski's Minnesota's Best Beer Guide (9781933272535) 16.95 has finally arrived.  From the man who brought you Wisconsin's Best Beer Guide (9781933272344) 16.95 and Michigan's Best Beer Guide (9781933272382) 16.95, and as painful as it must sound, Kevin has researched first-hand every brewery in Minnesota.  It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it . . .


In other exciting news, the long awaited Thunder Bay Press catalog is now available upon request.  Partners carries all Thunder Bay Press titles.  By the way, it's real . . . and it's spectacular!