The SHELLS and the BEES

A 2003 novel from the University of Chicago Press made a leap in sales (from a lowly #646, 688 to #137), based on a recommendation from Sue Miller on NPR’s All Things Considered last night.

Miller picked McKay’s Bees by Thomas McMahon, for,

…its frequent hilarity; its occasional tender sexiness; the sheer erudition on display within its pages; and the modest, generous terms in which this last is offered. Do you want Darwin’s theory explained? Why, it’s about “the greenness of every living thing, its sexual purpose, and its mortal nature.” Do you want to know, say, how to divide and multiply bee hives? You’ll find it here. How to build a small funicular to get you upstairs without electricity? How to make a daguerreotype? Construct a kiln? All included for the price of admission, and all connected intimately to the foibles, the hopes, the aims, the character of the characters in this book.

Most libraries we checked do not own the book.

McKay’s Bees: A Novel (Phoenix Fiction)
Thomas McMahon
Retail Price: $16.00
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: University Of Chicago Press – (2003-10-15)
ISBN / EAN: 0226561119 / 9780226561110

The University of Chicago Press is doing well this week. The NYT reviewed its book on shell identification (including a stunning online slide show of images from the book), also causing a rise on Amazon.

The Book of Shells: A Life-Size Guide to Identifying and Classifying Six Hundred Seashells
M. G. Harasewych, Fabio Moretzsohn
Retail Price: $55.00
Hardcover: 656 pages
Publisher: University Of Chicago Press – (2010-06-30)
ISBN / EAN: 0226315770 / 9780226315775

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