Sometimes there are themes that converge on us.
They can’t be ignored, and we have to give them their due. This summer, it seems to be about who – or what — is missing.
The President is Missing
The name of James Patterson is a household word to suspense fiction fans.
He reigns at the top of Forbes magazine’s list of highest paid authors, bringing in $95 million in 2016.
He produces novels at an astounding rate, which the Independent (UK) attributed to his “farming out the tedious duty of writing his books to a team of assistants.”
Always on the cutting edge of innovative ways to boost profits, Patterson discovered a new vehicle a few months ago, when he co-authored a book with Bill Clinton — The President is Missing.
The partnership was likely more along the lines of the two doing lunch at La Bernardin. Patterson’s people will call Clinton’s people. And then we have another instant bestseller. It’s all so easy.
His missing president theme isn’t an original one, though. Novelist Robert J. Serling published The President’s Plane is Missing in 1967.
The success of Patterson’s latest book will no doubt spur him to seek out other celebrity co-authors.
But whatever tales his team may produce in the future, the title which would cause Patterson the most suspense would be The Royalty Check is Missing.
The Prince is Missing
It’s a common fact of library life that people check out items and never return them.
And despite our attempts at recovery, many of them remain missing.
One such book which left our collection this year, never to return, is Niccolò Machiavelli’s classic work, The Prince.
The book, originally published in 1513, is a political discourse famous for its viewpoint that the morality of a leader’s deeds ceases to be an issue if they are necessitated by the public interest.
Would Machiavelli have approved of the theft of his book from the library shelves? That’s a topic for an entire discussion!
The Baby Name Book is Missing
This happens with enough regularity that it almost is predictable: One person checks out most, if not all, of our baby name books and never returns them.
I don’t understand many things in life, and this is certainly among them.
Do some families expecting children have a natural propensity for purloining public property?
Or does the stress of trying to select the perfect name for the impending new arrival drive the parents to hurl our books in the trash and run screaming into the hills?
Expect a new selection of baby name books to be making an appearance on the library shelves.
And The Prince has already been replaced and awaits your perusal. As for Patterson, you’ll always find his books in abundance here. They never go missing.