Good morning bookies! Stand by for news.

The morning dawned bright, cool and crisp here in West Tennessee, the air washed clean by yesterday’s rain, the sun refracting from the wet grass in rainbows of color. And your friendly neighborhood bookseller wishes he had a winter home where it’s hot in January and has a nice white beach. Remember, you can decorate a palm tree for Christmas.

*** The story below fascinates me. Essentially, it’s a nice little piece about the Bishop of Wrexham visiting a Welsh school and holding a copy of a very rare book, Catholic Mirror, produced in 1586-87. Now, I love old books as much as anybody else, but what really interested me was the realization that if you were caught with this book by the Queen’s agent, Elizabeth, that is, then you were dead, Catholicism being illegal. Earlier this year I listened to an impressive audio of Will in the World, How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare and gained a new understanding of this era in English history, just how gory and vicious it was, how the slightest slip could lead to a brutal death at the hands of the Queen’s men. A book such as this is a relic of that era.

*** Time is rolling forward and once again the Miami Book Fair is almost here and once again I’m not going. Some day, maybe. The festival is so enormous that mentioning any sort of author list is pointless. I do note that personal favorites Greg Iles and James W. Hall will be there, and that Gore Vidal is listed, the status of his recent injury apparently being healed enough to let him attend. I wouldn’t bank on that one until it happens.

*** Did you know that Starbucks is in the book business? I didn’t. I knew they sell expensive coffee that I don’t like, I knew they sometimes give away coffee grounds for gardeners and composters (like me), I knew they sold CDs and just closed a bunch of stores. But books? Apparently so. And apparently it’s a big deal to be selected to grace their stores, and so I’m certain that Daniel and Daren Simkin, co-authors of The Traveler, the book Starbucks is pushing this Christmas season, are pretty happy about the extra attention and sales this will bring. Starbucks spokeswoman, Nikkole Denson, thinks the book will “inspire and awe our customers… a perfect gift for family and friends this holiday season.” Maybe it’s just me, but I’m fairly hard to awe, so I’ll chalk that one up to hyperbole.