Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt can not catch a break

It has been a bad couple of weeks for newly created Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt

On May 11 it was learned that HMH had lost their Moody’s Credit Rating. Not so good if you need a loan/cash for various things. Like paying your bills. And your employees. Or those little Penguins you have come dance for you at the office. Little fishes cost money, people!

The OTHER bad news came at the beginning of this week when California filed an anti-trust complaint in federal court over the merger of Houghton-Mifflin and Harcourt. Seems like California doesn’t like when a one company controls 50% of the United States’ text book sales. But I mean, come on, where were they 10 years ago when the media industry started consolodating left and right? Random House and Penguin didn’t get that way overnight, or under cover of darkness when you fell asleep to steal your car keys and go joy-riding all over the city.

Best of luck, HMH. How else are we going to get our Philip Roth fix if you fail? Or … that 7th grade algebra book I’ve been reading for the past 12 years. I’ll get you one day, Pythagorean Theorem.

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A tad bit of repetition

I know. I know. I mentioned the book before, BUT, it is now our Unabridged Featured Book of the Month Not to be Missed at All Cost Because What Else do You Have to Do other than Read a Book About A Complaint Letter to American Airlines. AKA: UFBMNMACBWEYHDRBACLAA

Don’t miss Dear American Airlines! 10% off! Here’s what Robert had to say …

“This is the longest, most prone to digression letter of complaint you’ll ever read. And also the funniest, and most surprisingly poignant. Bennie Ford, a boozy failed poet is in a spot familiar to many  of us: stuck at O’Hare, fuming, and his missive to the airline becomes a confession, a diversion, a story of a life. Read it! Robert recommends!”

Mostly new in paperback, $13.95 and 10% off; Mariner Books.

You can sue anyone you want?!

A post from yesterday about Unabridged fave Orhan Pamuk. You may recall back in 2005 the Turkish government charing Pamuk for one crime or another for acknowledging the Armenian genocide as historical fact.

Well now Turkey is just like America! Yay? No. Bad. The Turkish supreme court ruled citizens can sue Mr. Pamuk for money and what not. This from MOBYLIVES:  “Turkey’s Supreme Court has ruled that a group of six citizens offended by Pamuk’s comments can nonetheless sue him for compensation.”

Meanwhile in America … Newt Gingrich and his lawyers sent a Twitter user a cease and desist letter because they don’t like him clogging up his Titterz. He needs his lolz, people!

For a beat you were hoping he was playing a joke

Now, whether you think Salinger is the cat’s pajamas or overrated ballywhoo, he is one of the great enigmas of 20th century literature. Wrote a book that struck a chord with … everyone and then as his fame was reaching a peak disappeared to the Hanover wilderness. Or. His house. With his wife.

SO. When this sequel hit the media-stream didn’t you for 10 seconds think, hey, maybe Salinger dusted off his typewriter long enough to let loose some prose. Because, as Gawker points out, that name, John David California, is pretty fake.

Well, here’s a drink to John David California, and one of my old English professors who was convinced Salinger’s been writing under a pen name this whole time.

Just in time for travel season!

lost on planet chinaTwo NEW paperbacks released today speak of the ills and payoffs of traveling in our flat-planet (referencing Friedman not nutter flat-Earthers) world.

Ever been to CHINA?! No, not the art exhibit at the Chicago Cultural Center, the country! Our good travel-ogue pal J. Maarten Troost tells of his journey to the communist regime. Here’s what Ed had to say:

“China – too daunting, too intimidating to tackle as a travel subject? Not for J. Maarten Troost, our favorite gonzo traveler and author of The Sex Lives of Cannibals. In yet another comic masterwork of travel writing, Troost brilliantly blends humor with insight, history with person experience, all with a healthy dose of irreverence and a dash of caustic cynicism! Move over Bill Bryson and Paul Theroux — make way for the edgy wit andirreverently funny style of J. Maarten Troost. Ed loved, loved, loved it! Think David Sedaris writing a travelogue.”

If actually getting somewhere is too much work for you Jonathan Miles has the antidote: stuck at O’Hare. Robert says this about Dear American Airlines:

“This is the longest, most prone to digression letter of complaint you’ll ever read. And also the funniest, and most surprisingly poignant. Bennie Ford, a boozy failed poet is in a spot familiar to many  of us: stuck at O’Hare, fuming, and his missive to the airline becomes a confession, a diversion, a story of a life. Read it! Robert recommends!”

We are selling Dear American Airlines at 10% off so come get your copy today.


Just a tease

This is but a small tease but we just received a huge, HUGE (225 titles. Two hundred and twenty-five), sale-book order of Random House (example: I, Claudius by Graves) titles. There are so many that it is making my back hurt from the lifting.

I’ll do a larger post later fleshing out the details, but come on down and check them out in our sale book room. Most of them (almost all of them) are $5.98.