Good morning bookies! Stand by for news.
Thanksgiving morning dawns bright and clear here in West Tennessee and already the cooking is underway. Is this what you prefer? Is cooking the traditional Thanksgiving meal the way you would choose to spend this time? Or would lasagna be just as good? Personally, I would love a homemade pizza, some of my spinach balls, pasta with meat balls…I think I was a Roman at some point, or Renaissance Italian.
*** $100,000 books are not all that rare. In the auction houses and records you find more than a few of them, but I’m not sure there has ever been a book that cost $100,000 when it was brand new. Not exactly the sort of thing you would find a McB&N, jammed in alongside the bags of Starbucks Christmas blend and the scented bookmarks.
Now, I love the works of Michelangelo as much, if not more, than the next guy, but $100k seems just a bit steep. If you pick one up on your way home, however, you might want to read the next story for the perfect accessory for such a book.
*** $100,000 bookmarks are probably even more rare than $100,000 books, but that’s the price one man was asking for an 18 gold carat bookmark that once belonged to…you know it, right…who else could it be?…who do these sorts of weird things always seem to belong to?…
That’s right, a Romanian man was arrested for trying to sell a stolen bookmark that purportedly belonged to Hitler, a gift from his mistress/wife Eva Braun to console him on the loss of the Sixth Army at Stalingrad. (Is that how one forgets the loss of 350,000 of your best soldiers, with a gold bookmark?) The no-doubt shady Romanian was asking $150,000 for the artifact but would settle for $100,000. What a deal.
*** Can the shame of the French surrender in World War II ever be fully forgotten or erased? Late night talk show hosts certainly hope not. Where they would be without the French to drag out and bash every time some country meekly surrenders to an enemy, or if one needs a really nasty insult for a politician.
Anyway, during the Nazi occupation a number of Frenchmen (like, 95%) did everything they could to get along with the Nazis without fully cooperating. The grayest of areas and after the war the French have spent decades deciding exactly who crossed the line and who didn’t, and mostly making excuses for those who did. Thus we have the new book, The Shameful Peace: How French Artists and Intellectuals Survived the Nazi Occupation written by Frederic Spotts and published by Yale University Press.
So very French of them, and no doubt there will be great interest from the general public in such a cathartic work. Your friendly neighborhood bookseller, however, while reading just about everything he can get his hands on concerning that war, will probably never get around to reading this one. It’s probably a great book, just not my cuppa.
*** Borders has decided to remain an independent, publicly traded company. Now, long-time readers of this blog will note that BBG is not a big fan of chain bookstores such as McB&N, but he does admit to having a soft spot for Borders. Instead of 100 copies of the latest travesty from James Patterson, they will only carry 80 and then pick up 20 interesting titles from smaller publishers with better authors. This is what bookselling on the enormous level should be about and, while local stores do it better, at least they are trying. Now if we could just work $100,000 into the story somehow.