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!   

Thursday, November 19, 2015


Ye Olde Partners Page
*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"Use the Force, Harry!"
                                                   --Gandalf, The Trouble with Tribbles

(Sung to the tune of State of Confusion or Father Christmas by The Kinks.)

  There are some literary characters that never go out of style:  Sherlock Holmes is one of them.  With the new season of Sherlock from the BBC due out shortly after Christmas, we are reminded that this devious detective has become the archetype for both real and imaginary sleuths.  This week we received The Sherlock Holmes Book (9781465438492) 25.00, which breaks down Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlockian mysteries case by case.  Shortly, we will have Mike Collins' Sherlock: The Mind Palace Coloring Book Adventure (9780062458377) 14.99, which is based on the BBC show, in stock.  If you can't wait to color Mr. Holmes, we still have copies of Mel Elliot's Colour Me Good:  Benedict Cumberbatch (9780992777753) 13.00 available.  "Everyone and their mum loves him!"  (By the way, we still have a few of Peter Pauper Press' Colored Pencil Sets (9781441314512) 14.99 in the stash.)  Also, two of the most talented actors in my lifetime, Ian McKellan and Laura Linney are starring in the latest addition to the Sherlockian cinematic oeuvre, Mr. Holmes.


  Speaking of pop culture icons, this Potter kid has been around for awhile now, so they are going to have to mine one of the early guidebooks for material for the upcoming movie prequel.  The title in question is called Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them (9780545850568) 9.99 by Newt Scamander.  (Shhhh!  Don't tell anyone, but we do have some copies in the stash.)  Coincidentally, I saw a Quidditch game on-line yesterday.  It reminded me of beer pong from my misspent youth.  In fact, if I were ever reduced to playing Quidditch, those cups better be full of beer.  At least it would give me the opportunity to drink myself into a stupor to assuage my embarrassment.  And as for the prequel movie, I think Edgar Allan Poe said it best:

"While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly their came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping on my internet door.
'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, 'tapping on my internet door --
Only this and Pottermore . . .'"

  Finally, I had a customer ask yesterday, "I know I'm going to say this wrong, but do you have Ar-dee-nas 1944 by Antony Beevor in stock."
  I responded, "Do you mean Ardennes 1944 (9780670025312) 35.00? 
  "Well, he probably should have just went with The Battle of the Bulge then."

  I grab my deerstalker and my slickers, "Come, Watson, come!  The game is afoot!"

Odds & Sods

We've had a run on the children's title Baba Yaga's Assistant (9780763669614) 16.99, which is nice.  But what really caught my eye was the author's name: Marika McCoola.  Now if that isn't the best author name that I've seen, I don't know what is . . .

First of all, as a former Detroiter, I would like to apologize for Ben Carson.  Just because you're a brain surgeon, it doesn't make you a rocket scientist.  Speaking of Detroit, I have the winner for the best title of the year:  How to Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass (9780996836708) 19.99 by Aaron Foley.  It is humorous, but it is full of actual practical advice.  Come to Detroit!  It is the Land of Milk and Honey!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Channel 13 Community Access TV Presents: BOOK STALKERS

Ye Olde Partners Page
*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"And he still gives his love, he just gives it away
The love he receives is the love that is saved
And sometimes is seen a strange spot in the sky
A human being given to fly . . ."
                                                    --PJ, Given to Fly

Channel 13 Community Access TV Presents:  BOOK STALKERS
(Camera pans Double D's basement.  Stoner Bill and Double D are seated behind a large newscaster's console in giant hedgehog costumes.)

Double D:  And so it begins.  Today marks the 5,101 day of the War on ChristmasTM.  And it doesn't look like there will be a truce any time soon.  "Fox News was our last, best hope for peace.  A self contained, echo chamber five blocks long, located in New York.  A place of misdirection and fabricated lies for millions of Americans and non-aliens.  A shining beacon in Manhattan . . .  all alone in the night.  It was the dawn of the Second Age of Mankind -- the year the War on ChristmasTM came upon us all.  This is the story of the last of the Fox News stations.  The year is 2015.  The name of the place is Fox News 47."

Stoner Bill:  Dude, that was . . . awesome.  You know I love me some Babylon 5.

Double D:  That was for you baby.  Also, the national stock for frankincense and myrrh are at historically low levels.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Fortunately, the foot soldiers over at Fox News are fighting the good fight.  Former Fox staple Glenn Beck has retold the St. Nick story in his own imitable way in The Immortal Nicholas (9781476798844) 26.99.  Personally, I'll stick with the stop-action Rankin & Bass cartoon.  (Stoner Bill laughs.)  Fox & Friends host and pretend historian Brian Kilmeade is re-writing the history books with his latest title, Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates (9781591848066) 27.95.  And what would the Christmas season be like without another 'Killing' book from Bill O'Reilly?  This year we have his new one, Killing Reagan (9781627792417) 30.00, which is confusing since President Reagan wasn't killed.  But Mr. O'Reilly isn't one to let the truth get in the way of a good story.  I guess his next book will be Killing Bush Sr. Until then, we will have to settle for a real historian's take on the first Bush administration, Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush (9781400067657) 35.00 by Jon Meacham.  The first Bush seemed like a fairly reasonable man, and I suspect he would find this whole War on ChristmasTM screed rather silly.


Stoner Bill:  Silly!  Imagine if James Patterson's Merry Christmas, Alex Cross (9781455544943) 15.99 was actually titled Happy Holidays, Alex Cross.  I think you'd be the one feeling silly.  (Double D shakes his head.)  Hey, can you pass me my StarbucksTM coffee?  It's the one with the name 'Merry Xmas' on it.  

Odds & Sods

The Cloud Atlas guy, David Mitchell signed our entire stock of his quirky new title,
Slade House (9780812998689) 26.00.  We've already gone through about half of our stock.  As per usual, it's first come, first served . . .

For you history geeks, and I consider myself one also, Mary Beard's SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome (9780871404237) 35.00 looks like the real deal.  It's next on the docket after I finish William T. Vollman's Europe Central (9780143036593) 18.00, which is chock full of early 20th century European history . . .


Thursday, November 5, 2015


Ye Olde Partners Page
*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream . . ."
                                                 --Edgar Allan Poe


  I will never forget the smell of the Somme.
  As a first lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Munster Fusiliers, I dutifully blew my whistle five minutes after the bombardment was finished.  I waved my right arm, and I and my men clambered out of our trenches and into No Man's Land.  I peered down at the muck and mire, and I saw books placed like stepping stones ahead of me.  I leapt from book cover to book cover to avoid sinking into the ooze.  I heard German machine guns begin to cough and spit out their bullets.  The first book was Stephen King's short story collection The Bazaar of Bad Dreams (9781501111679) 30.00.  As it began to sink into the slime, I bounded onto the next title, Patricia Cornwell's latest Kay Scarpetta mystery, Depraved Heart (9780062325402) 28.99.  Men began to fall all around me.  I ducked and hopped onto another book cover.  It was Elizabeth George's Banquet of Consequences (9780525954330) 28.95.  Suddenly, there was the scream of a shell, an explosion, and everything went black . . .


  "Balderdash!" exclaimed Sir Alasdair Ffrench.
  I glanced around.  I recognized this place; it was a hallway outside the House of Lords.  Sir Ffrench and Sir Eton Hogg were seated on a velvet Chesterfield.  They were arguing about Ted Koppel's new book, Lights Out (9780553419962) 26.00.  It was beginning to get ugly.
  Sir Hogg laughed haughtily, "Do you really think that Britain, or the United States for that matter, are ready for a cyber attack that would cripple our infrastructure?"
  "Humph!  I have servants and a well-stocked wine cellar.  I am not worried in the least," harrumphed Sir Ffrench.
  I rubbed my eyes.  Slowly and strangely, both of my friends were becoming pixelated, as well as the sofa they were perched on.  The dots grew larger and larger until they were swallowed by the blackness yet again...

  "How doth thy plead, Consilience Mather?" asked the local magistrate.
  I was seated on a wood bench in a courtroom.  It dawned on me that this young lady was the woman on the cover of Stacy Schiff's book on the Salem Witch Trial, The Witches (9780316200608) 32.00.  And now her gaze was fixed on me.
  "Thy Devil is here!"
  There were audible gasps throughout the hall.
  She pointed at me, "And thy name is Sir Charles Edmund Wilson III!"

  I felt a shake.  A man in a giant white rabbit costume loomed over me.  Oh, thank God, it was only Chip.
  I smiled, "Dear boy, can you get me a hot toddy?  It's going to be a long night." 

Odds & Sods

Bottoms Up!  There is no one who knows his beer and breweries better than Kevin Revolinski.  I am proud to announce that we have received Kevin's 3rd edition of Wisconsin's Best Beer Guide (9781933272559) 16.95.  It is an updated companion to his other titles: Michigan's Best Beer Guide (9781933272382) 16.95 and Minnesota's Best Beer Guide (9781933272535) 16.95.  These are perfect gifts for the alcohol aficionado on your holiday wishlist.


Also, for the young Spartan fan on your list, I would recommend the Go Spartans Activity Book & App (9781941788615) 14.99.  Go Green!