Thursday, March 24, 2016


Ye Olde Partners Page
*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"A whale ship was my Yale College and my Harvard . . ."
                                                                                     --Herman Melville

  B. Traven here.  Welcome to my new Animal Planet show, Great Lakes Alien Lawman, and do we have some fun in store for you this week.  My team went in search of the mermaid Tallulah, a legend which is recounted in Denise Brennan-Nelson's book, Tallulah: Mermaid of the Great Lakes (9781585369096) 16.99.  We outfitted our ship, The S.S. Minnow, with state of the art technology including sonar, deep sea diving equipment, and of course, the indispensable new edition of Roger Lelievre's book, Know Your Ships 2016 (9781891849213) 18.95.  I never leave home without it.  Ha, ha!
  While aboard the S.S. Minnow, I was reading my new copy of William Rapai's Lake Invaders:  Invasive Species and the Battle for the Future of the Great Lakes (9780814341247) 27.99, when we heard a few weird sonar blips in Lake Superior.  Holy cow, this could be a monster-sized sea lamprey, which would explain why several divers have recently gone missing.  We'll be right back after these commercial messages:




Legendary romance writer Danielle Steel has returned with her 732nd novel, Property of a Noblewoman (9780345531063) 28.95.  'In her thrilling new novel, a woman's legacy -- shaped by tragedy, fortitude, and undying devotion -- transforms lives and hearts long after she is gone, and fulfills at last her most precious request.'  It is now available at most fine bookstores!

  Welcome back!  It turns out that the sonar had malfunctioned and what we were really seeing was merely a long underwater moraine on the lake floor.  Ha, ha!

  Several days later, we were chugging through some rough seas on Lake Michigan.  I was reading the ironically titled new Harlan Coben book, Fool Me Once (9780525955092) 28.00, when suddenly it was flung from my hands by the shock of a large object striking the side of the S.S. Minnow.  There was also the sickening sound of shattered wood, which was followed quickly by the gush of water streaming into the hold.  I picked myself up from the deck and looked aft.  Creasing the water like a torpedo, I gazed upon the largest albino sturgeon I have ever seen.  I was agape.  It was circling back around again on the surface of the water in a wide, lazy circle.
  I half shuffled and half crabwalked towards the prow of our ship, and I called over my shoulder to Manny, my first mate, "Grab the harpoon!"
  Tune in next week for the quixotic conclusion of Great Lakes Alien Lawman!        

Odds & Sods

Most Americans are unfamiliar with the finely-crafted pop tunes of Andy Partridge and his former band XTC.  If so, it is your loss.  I have been waiting weeks for his new book about songwriting, Complicated Game: Inside the Songs of XTC (9781908279781) 19.95 from Jawbone Press.  If you can, buy five or six of their albums, listen to them 15 to 20 times each, and then, you'll understand my passion for this band . . .

Easter is nearly upon us, and I can't wait to dig into Grandma Mary's succulent ham this Sunday.  The crew at Partners would like to wish everyone a safe and Happy Easter!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Ye Olde Partners Page

Ye Olde Partners Page
*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"I still remember the time you said goodbye . . ."
                                                                                     --Jon Anderson

1)  LONG DISTANCE RUNAROUND . . .  Once Harper Lee passed away, it was only a matter of time until the publisher shenanigans would begin in earnest. For many years, Grand Central had licensed the mass market edition of To Kill A Mockingbird (9780446310789) 7.99 from Harper Collins.  On Monday, we learned that the license will not be renewed, so there will be no mass market edition available. Much like Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 (9781451673319) 15.99, as soon as the author dies, the major corporation who holds the copyright will remove the consumer friendly mass market and saddle readers with the tradepaper edition, which in many cases is much more expensive.  In Mr. Bradbury's case, ironically, the author prevented the mass market edition from being removed by the publisher while he was still alive. So today, after a round  of negative publicity, Harper Collins has announced that it will only be charging $8.99 for To Kill A Mockingbird (9780060935467) 14.99 in the tradepaper edition to direct school accounts for a limited time.  How limited? The publisher is saying that like any sales promotion they 'will evaluate it on a ongoing basis.' Or in other words, they will wait until no one is paying attention and then jack the price back up again . . .


2)  SOUTH SIDE OF THE SKY . . .  With the popularity of comic books, er, graphic novels, I guess it was just a matter of time until the Baby Boomers resurrected their childhood love of coloring books, too.  From Hachette, we have received their version of the Colored Pencils Set (9780735346994) 13.99.  It has 24 colored pencils in a nice box.  We have also received a couple of new, inexpensive coloring books from Rebecca Jones; The Coloring Book of Cards and Envelopes: Flowers and Butterflies (9780763692445) 10.99 and The Coloring Book of Cards and Envelopes: Nature (9780763692452) 10.99.  As a bonus, you can color the cards as well as the envelopes.  I guess I can cross that one off my bucket list . . .


3)  5 PERCENT FOR NOTHING . . .  Finally, Bob Mehr has told the real story behind one of the most underrated bands of all time (and that is not hyperbole) in his new book, Trouble Boys (9780306818790) 27.50.  My friend Dennis turned me on to The Replacements many moons ago and they have become one of my favourites.  Over the years, I have heard second hand about their legendary drinking habits.  For example, one of my friends saw them perform live twice; she said the first concert was one of the best shows she'd ever seen, but they were so drunk the second time she saw them that she wanted her money back.  I always thought they should have been bigger than they were, but between their alcoholism and their total lack of business acumen -- which is shown in this book with warts and all -- they really never had a chance.  Long Live The 'Mats!   

Odds & Sods 

"Come out and see the Tigers, everybody!"  Baseball season is right around the corner and what better way to celebrate than purchasing a copy of William Anderson's The Detroit Tigers:  A Pictorial Celebration of the Greatest Players and Moments, 5th Edition (9780814341575) 39.99.  With their acquisitions and if everyone stays healthy, it looks like the Tigers can make one more run at the World Series this upcoming season. Also, at this price, it truly is a bargain . . .

We would like to wish everyone a Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Stay safe and be careful out there on the roads tonight . . .

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Book Stalkers

Ye Olde Partners Page
*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"There are no such things as book hoarders, only aspiring librarians . . ."
                                                                                     --Inafetse Santos

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 duck-billed platypus outfits.)

Stoner Bill:  Hey Dudes and Dudettes!  Welcome to Book Stalkers! Boy, do we have a treat in store for you. Today's guest is Tony McCracken, AKA The Book Whisperer and he has flown all the way from Homer, Alaska. Duuuuuude!

Book Whisperer:  Thanks, Bill. It's a privilege to be here. The long flight from Alaska gave me an opportunity to finish Jane Mayer's latest book, Dark Money (9780385535595) 29.95.  Scary stuff  . . .

Double D:  Hey, Tony. So let me get this straight -- you can hold any book in your hands and tell me what the title of it is.

Book Whisperer:  Oh, I can do more than that. I can tell you the author, a brief synopsis of the plot, and sometimes, and I can't even stress this enough, sometimes I can tell if the book will be a bestseller.

Stoner Bill:  Really? Well,  the good Doctor and I have taken the liberty of removing the book jackets on some of the new releases, and we're going to put your ability to the test. (He tosses him a Star Wars bandana.) Here's your blindfold.

Book Whisperer:  (Bill hands him a book.)  Hmmm, I believe this is Locally Laid  (9781594634222) 26.00 by Lucie Amundsen . . .

Stoner Bill:  Heh, heh!

Book Whisperer:  Sorry, Bill.  It's not what you think. On a night out with her husband, he confessed that he wanted to quit his office job and start an egg farm in Duluth. They bought 2,000 chickens and now they have a thriving business.  Next!

Stoner Bill:  (He hands him another book.) Good Luck!

Book Whisperer:  This one is definitely a Clive Cussler title.  Maybe Gangsta . . .  no, wait . . .  The Gangster (9780399175954) 29.00.  Detective Isaac Bell, in early 20th century New York City, is trying to take down an Italian crime family.

Stoner Bill:  Holy crap! Are you some kind of alien-human hybrid?

Book Whisperer:  No, I see dead people. 

Odds & Sods
Whether you love him or you hate him, everyone has an opinion about presidential candidate Donald Trump.  George Beahm has assembled an unauthorized collection of Trump quotes in his new title, Trump Talk (9781440595592) 12.99. Now you can get his bold insight straight from the horse's mouth . . .

Loren D. Estleman is back with a new collection of short stories called Desperate Detroit (9781440596230) 16.99.  Oddly, the city of Flint is probably in more desperate straits than Detroit, but just barely . . .

Our condolences to the family of George Martin, who will always be the fifth Beatle to me . . .

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Book Stalkers: Oscar Edition

Ye Olde Partners Page
*A Collection of Antiquarian Curios & Relics*
"People don't read anymore.  It's a sad state of affairs.  Reading's the only thing
that allows you to use your imagination.  When you watch films it's someone else's vision, isn't it?"
                                                  --Lemmy Kilmister from Motorhead

Channel 13 Community Access TV Presents: Book Stalkers: Oscar Edition
(Camera pans Double D's basement.  Stoner Bill and Double D are seated behind a large newscaster's console in red panda outfits.)

Stoner Bill:  Hey Dudes and Dudettes!  It was Oscar week and you know what Double D and me were up to on Sunday . . .

Double D:  Reliving the diversity issue at the Academy Awards?

Stoner Bill: Well, yeah.  I thought Tracy Morgan was HI-larious in the movie skits from the Danish Girl (9780143108399) 16.00 by David Ebershoff and as the black astronaut from Andy Weir's The Martian (9781101903582) 15.00.


Double D:  Those were a few of the laugh out loud moments.  What I found interesting is that Alicia Vikander, the Best Supporting Actress Award winner will be starring in The Light Between Oceans (9781501106484) 16.00 by M.L. Stedman with her boyfriend Michael Fassbender, who was nominated for Best Actor for his role in Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs (9781501127625) 20.00.


 Stoner Bill:  I would pay good money to watch Fassbender read his grocery list.  However, I was not that outraged by the lack of diversity in the Oscar nominations.  I was more cheesed off because Rocky didn't win the Best Supporting Actor . . .

Double D:  Sylvester Stallone.

Stoner Bill:  What is this?  Random word association?

Double D:  (Laughs uneasily)  No, Dude, Rocky is played by Sly  Stallone.  And actually, there was movie news today that may overshadow the Oscars entirely.  Stephen King's The Dark Tower series is in pre-production.  It has been announced that Idris Elba will play Roland and Matthew McConaughey will play his mystical nemesis, The Man in Black.  There will be so much coolness with both of them on screen that I don't think any celluloid can safely contain them.  I mean, look at McConaughey in that new Lincoln commercial where he's talking to his dogs.  The man is so cool that he's a &%$#$ Doctor Doolittle!

Stoner Bill:  Rocky Balboa.  He was played by Rocky Balboa.

Double D:  (Facepalm)

Odds & Sods

I have read the board book, A is for Activist (9781609805395) 9.99 by Innosanto Nagara to my daughter countless times, so you can imagine how tickled I am to see that he has written and illustrated  a new board book, Counting on Community (9781609806323) 8.99.  It's never too early to learn about the importance of community in our lives . . .


Mark Hyman, the author who wrote the bestselling diet book, The Blood Sugar Solution (9780316127363) 17.00, has a new diet book called Eat Fat, Get Thin (9780316338837) 28.00

and it's doing well.  It's time to get ready for summer.  Well, alright, alright alright!