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March 8, 2012 / schulerbooks

Notes from Neil, our Schuler Books Downtown Newsletter

Notes from Neil
 
 

I’ve been commenting on the weather almost every week for the past few months, mostly because of the oddity of having no winter storms, and also because that’s what Michiganders do. But all the while I was making those comments, I was expecting that the snow and wind would show up as we’ve come to know and love them, sooner or later. Apparently, I was wrong. Here’s what we’re reading:

It’s going to be a very interesting March Madness this year, with both Michigan State and U of M probably getting high seeds in the annual NCAA tournament. This year, my hands-down favorite book about college basketball is Mark Titus’ Don’t Put Me In, Coach. Mark’s story of being a perpetual benchwarmer on one of Ohio State’s most successful teams is the Ball Four of his sport. Titus played alongside (or, more accurately, watched) seven future NBA players during his four years of sitting on the far end of the Buckeye bench. His total of nine total points in his time there didn’t set any scoring records, but his book is gift to the fan who wants an inside look at the college game and the intensely popular tournament. I wouldn’t go so far as to say Titus is a better writer than player (I never saw him play), but his book is perceptive, unflinching and very funny.

Springing from The Believer magazine’s audacious “Sedaritives” advice column (written by David Sedaris’ equally funny sister, Amy) Care to Make Love in That Gross Little Space Between Cars? is laugh-out-loud funny. The folks who give you The Believer rounded up a stellar group of comedians, authors and musicians, and gave them a shot at their own advice column. Roz Chast, Louis C.K., Bob Saget (!), Weird Al Yankovic, Nick Hornby, Zach Galifianakis, Fred Willard…you get the idea. The advice ranges from planning the perfect murder of a hermit crab to avoiding being found in your underwear by firemen. Useful? Debatable. Hilarious? Definitely.

The internet is a constant source of fascination to me. I use it daily, without really thinking about it; I use the word “google” as a verb, just like everybody else. But I’m old enough to remember a world without it, and where it might be going is something I can’t help pondering. Enter Free Ride by Robert Levine. A provocative and thorny look at the idea of a “free internet”, Levine chronicles the struggles and changes that have already occurred, especially within the world of media. Newspapers, compact discs and TV ratings have already been decimated, with content providers being obliged to offer their wares for free. How long this can continue is a very valid question, and Levine works through many scenarios and possibilities.

Sorry, this is another of those I-get-to-read-it-first alerts, but so many of you read and loved Robert Goolrick’s last novel, A Reliable Wife (Google eBook), that I have to mention his upcoming new one. Heading Out to Wonderful is every bit as mysterious, dramatic and beautifully written as Wife was. I’m just now catching up on the sleep I lost staying up too late to read. It’ll be on our shelves June 12, and very much worth the wait.

Here are a few of this week’s paperback releases:

Doc by Mary Doria Russell (Google eBook)
The Information by James Gleick (Google eBook)
The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (Google eBook)

Thanks to all of you, once again, for reading this newsletter, and the kind words of encouragement you’ve sent in reply. If we can assist you or your company in any way, please feel free to call upon us.

Until next week,

Neil

neil@schulerbooks.com * 459-7750 * fax: 459-7778

 

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