Thursday, January 28, 2016

Ye Olde Partners Page

Ye Olde Partners Page
*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"I like beautiful melodies telling me terrible things . . ."
                                               --Tom Waits

AQUALICIOUS (9780062330161) 17.99 by Victoria Kann
(Sung to the tune of Aqualung by Jethro Tull)

Sitting on a bright beach
eyeing mermaids with good intent
Sand sliding between my toes
nimble fingers taking off our clothes
Drying in the hot sun
watching the kids having so much fun

Aqualicious my friend
Don't start away uneasy
You poor old sod, you see it's only me . . .

1)  WOND'RING ALOUD . . .  I know it's January, but there are some books selling that are not diet related.  For example, we have Alexandra Bracken's Passenger (9781484715772) 17.99 and as Liam Neeson once said, "Release the Bracken!"  This is a young adult title about a concert violinist who is kidnapped and put aboard a time traveling ship with a hunky captain.  It soon becomes obvious that the violinist, Etta Spencer, is a descendant of a chrononautic family and she must maintain their quest to find the missing astrolabe.  In his review, my associate, B. Traven Jr, gave it two thumbs way up. 
  From jewelry to action figures, the Harry Potter franchise continues to issue more and more related product.  The latest addition is a second coloring book: Harry Potter Magical Creatures Coloring Book (9781338030006) 17.99.  We are still selling coloring books hand over fist with no end in sight.  I ask you, "When will our long national nightmare end?"


2)  WIND UP . . .  So as disappointed as I was with the first episode of The Shannara Chronicles, I decided to give MTV and Terry Brooks one more try and watch the second episode of the series, which is based on The Elfstones of Shannara (9781101886052) 7.99.  I fell soundly asleep about halfway through it.  Before I dozed off, I turned to my wife and said sarcastically, "You know, none of these guys could act their way out of a wet paperbag, but they sure look good with their shirts off with their washboard abs."  She replied, "Actresses are chosen like that all the time.  Strictly by appearance."  It was an 'Oh, snap!' moment.  And then ten points were awarded to House Aubreypuff . . .

(I was going to riff on Steve Martin's song King Tut, the poor repair job on the broken beard on King Tut's death mask, and Clive Cussler's The Pharaoh's Secret (9780399174117) 28.95, but I have neither the time nor the space.)

Odds & Sods
I know it's difficult to sell a $75 coffee table book this time of year, but if you are in the Chicago area, you might want to make an exception for Mike MacDonald and his new title, My Journey into the Wilds of Chicago (9780996311908) 75.00.  Mike's attention to detail and the vibrant colors of his photography are unsurpassed . . .

Also, if you like rock 'n' roll photography, Janet Macoska shares 40 years of her photos in All Access Cleveland (9780936760384) 25.95.  As Ian Hunter once said, "Cleveland Rocks!"

Yesterday, we were saddened to learn of the passing of one of our national treasures, Abe Vigoda.  Goodnight, Funnyman. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Ye Olde Partners Page

*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"Buffin lost his child-like dreams,
And Mick lost his guitar . . ."
                                                                                     --Mott the Hoople, Ballad of Mott

1)  ONE OF THE BOYS . . .  There's that moment in your life when you have an epiphany and you realize you've grown old.  For some, it's when you become acutely aware that you are beginning to attend more funerals than weddings.  For me, in the past few weeks, I have become conscious that the rock 'n' roll musicians I grew up with are starting to die in droves.  There was Lemmy and Bowie last week, and this week I learned that Dale 'Buffin' Griffin, the drummer from Mott the Hoople, passed away.  [The band name comes from the Willard Manus novel, Mott the Hoople (9780735103788) 9.99.]  "While the other kids were rocking around the clock, I was listening to the Mott the Hoople rock."  When I was younger my rock 'n' roll idols were overdosing or dying in tragic helicopter crashes, now they are dying from diseases like Alzheimers or cancer.  It's sad.  Also, I learned that one of the guys in the Eagles is no longer with us.  As The Dude once said, "Man, I've had a rough night and I hate the f***ing Eagles!"

2)  WHEN MY MIND'S GONE . . .  I often semi-jokingly say that there are only three poets that actualy sell:  Billy Collins, Mary Oliver, and Seamus Heaney.  And Seamus Heaney is dead.  However, with the success of Jim Harrison's new collection, Dead Man's Float (9781556594458) 23.00, I may have to re-evaluate my smug little comment. We have already sold out of his title once, and it just came back in today.  And it is still selling . . .

3)  ROLL AWAY THE STONE . . .  Pope Francis seems to be a fairly active writer.  He has a new book, The Name of God is Mercy (9780399588631) 26.00, and it has already hit most of the bestseller lists.  It's too bad that he can't go on a book tour and sign his books, or even just make an appearance on Good Morning America to promote this title.  Hmmm, I wonder how exactly he would sign his books.  Would he just write 'The Pope' or something more elaborate?

4)  WRATH AND ROLL . . .  For some reason, Scholastic thought it was a good idea to bring out a children's book about one of George Washington's slaves, and it portrayed slavery in a very positive light.  It's called A Birthday Cake for George Washington (9780545538237) 17.95 by Ranin Ganeshram.  The story concerns the President's chef Hercules and his daughter, who are both slaves, baking a birthday cake for their owner.  In real life, Hercules would later escape from Mount Vernon and flee North, so it would appear he was not very enamored with being a slave.  Scholastic has since done the right thing and pulled this title from the shelves, so I imagine that we will not see it nominated for any of the ALSC Book & Media Awards for 2017 . . .   

Odds & Sods

Paul Kalanithi new book, When Breath Becomes Air (9780812988406) 25.00 is getting a lot of buzz.  There have been comparisons to Atul Gawande's Being Mortal (9780805095159) 26.00 and Randy Pausch's The Last Lecture (9781401323257) 22.00.  It is the true story of a young neurosurgeon who has almost completed his training and then is diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer.  With the dire circumstances of his own fate hanging in the balance, he decided to write a book that asks, "Is life worth living?"  Unfortunately, he was unable to complete it, but his wife, Lucy, finished it for him . . .


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Ye Olde Partners Page

Ye Olde Partners Page
*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"I'm a born librarian with a sex drive . . ."
                                           --David Bowie

1)  ALADDIN SANE . . .  "But where were the Spiders?"  I have never met David Bowie unless you want to count the one time I saw him at a Detroit concert on his Serious Moonlight Tour.  I'm sure he doesn't remember me.  However, like very few celebrities in my lifetime, I felt like I did know him.  It seemed like he had been around as long as I could recall.  In fact, I dressed as Aladdin Sane for a Halloween party when I was around 18 or 19.  My friend Donna Fry did a excellent job on the lightning bolt, which appears to be de rigueur for Facebook profile photos as of late.  I played Ziggy Stardust at maximum volume.  From The Man Who Fell to Earth to The Hunger, I went and saw his movies.  I read whatever biographies I could find on him.  [My favourite is Wendy Leigh's Bowie (9781476767079) 28.00.]  His lyrics spoke to me, but most of all, I knew he was a voracious reader.  And he didn't read crap either.  Here's a list of his Top 100 books: .  Multi-talented artists like Bowie do not come along very often, and the world is a worse place when they are gone.  And that's all I have to say about that . . .

2)  DRIVE-IN SATURDAY . . .  Speaking of movies, the Golden Globe winners were announced this past Sunday.  There were several movies that won big that were based on books.  The biggest winner was Michael Punke's The Revenant (9781250072689) 16.00, who won for best motion picture (drama), best director, and actor (drama).  Inexplicably, Andy Weir's The Martian (9780553418026) 15.00 took top honors for best movie (musical or comedy) and best actor (musical or comedy).  I saw The Martian at the theatre and it was neither a musical nor a comedy.  (Although, the use of the song Starman by David Bowie in the movie was truly inspired.)  Lastly,  it's not a movie, but the TV series based on Terry Brooks' Shannara Centology debuted on MTV last week.  The TV series starts with the second book, The Elfstones of Shannara (9781101886052) 7.99.  [I guess they felt the first book, The Sword of Shannara (9780345314253) 7.99 was too much of a Tolkien rip-off.]  I watched the first episode the other day.  Visually, it was stunning and you could tell that they spent a lot of money on it.  However, the acting was so bad that  it made Paris Hilton look like an Oscar-winning actress.  As Bowser from Sha-na-na (and not Nintendo) once said, "Get a job, Sha-na-na-na, Sha-na-na-na . . ."



3)  YOUNG AMERICANS . . .  The ALSC Book & Media Award Winners for 2016 were announced on Monday, which was a week earlier than in previous years.  Lindsay Mattick's Finding Winnie (9780316324908) 18.00 picked up the Cadecott Award.  The big winner was Matt De La Pena's Last Stop on Market Street (9780399257742) 16.99, which not only won the Newbery Award, but was also a Caldecott Honor title.  You can find the rest of them here:    


Odds & Sods

For those of you who are Lee Child fans and I know there are a lot of you out there, Jill from Saturn Booksellers believes that Nicholas Petrie's The Drifter  (9780399174568) 27.00 is even better than his Jack Reacher series.  Check it out . . .

The internet is the gift that keeps giving.  Every once in a blue moon, there is actually some useful information out there.  If you ever wondered how long your fast food condiment packages will last, this site breaks it down for you: .  You're welcome . . .

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


Ye Olde Partners Page
*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"Wondrous is our great blue ship,
 That sails around the mighty sun,
And joy to everyone that rides along . . ."
                                            --Jeff Lynne, Jungle


1)  BELIEVE ME NOW . . .  Well, we survived another one.  And now the cycle begins anew.  Earlier in the week, the winners for the Michigan Notable Books 2016 were announced.  Like last year, we will stock all of the winners.  We're working on acquiring Mark Rosenthal's stunning coffee table book, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit (9780300211603) 50.00.  Most of this title highlights Diego Rivera's incredible mural at the Detroit Institute of Arts, and if you haven't seen it yet -- you really should.  The other beautiful coffee table book on the list is John Gallagher's Yamasaki in Detroit (9780814341193) 39.99.  A world class architect and the man responsible for the design of the World Trade Center in New York, Minoru Yamasaki moved to Detroit near the end of WWII and planned the construction of many famous buildings in the area.  Also, my newest FacebookTM friend, Bonnie Jo Campbell won for her latest short story collection, Mothers, Tell Your Daughters (9780393248456) 25.95.  We still have some of her signed copies in stock.  Matt Norcross, Shelf Awareness superstar, cookie aficionado, and owner of McLean & Eakin Bookstore had already brought Adam Schuitema's Haymaker (9780875807195) 17.95 to my attention over the summer.  This book asks some big questions about the extent of our personal freedoms and is set in a small Michigan town.  Finally, Angela Flournoy's debut, The Turner House (9780544705166) 23.00 was a surprise bestseller.  I had dinner with her before the book was released and she was terrific company.  These are just a few of the winners; you can see the rest here:,2351,7-160-54574_39583-372447--,00.html


2)  THE WHALE . . .  And, as promised, this is my rundown on the diet books that are trending upwards.  Surprisingly, Dr. Phil McGraw's The 20/20 Diet (9781939457318) 26.00 is one of them.  Never underestimate the power of television.  JJ Smith's The 10 Day Green Smoothie Cleanse (9781501100109) 15.99; if it tastes like crap, it must be good for you.  And lastly, the provocatively entitled How Not to Die (9781250066114) 27.99 by Michael Greger & Gene Stone presents a diet that will extend your life and help prevent disease.  Good luck on those resolutions . . .


On this day in Byzantine History (January 6)
   In 1449, the last Byzantine Emperor, Constantine XI Palaiologos was crowned four years before the fall of Constantinople . . .  

Odds & Sods

Nick Sparks' latest blockbuster See Me (9781455520619) 27.00 is back in stock.  And yes, it's killing me to say that . . .

Football is just about over and baseball is months away, so that means it's all about hockey right now.  We have a new book about the greatest hockey team ever and it's called Red Wing Nation: Detroit's Greatest Players (9781629371283) 14.95.  From Stevie Y to Ted Lindsay, all the greats are here . . .

I was saddened to learn that Lemmy Kilmister from Motorhead passed away recently. 

"The ace of spades, the ace of spades . . ."