Leave it to a spunky Northern California bookseller to steal some of the thunder away from Sarah Palin.
Bookshop Santa Cruz, located in Downtown Santa Cruz and known for its long history of commenting on politics and political books, is now offering an "essential" item as a companion to Palin's new book, Going Rogue. For every book sold, the bookstore will give the buyer a free bag of walnuts dubbed: "Sarah Palin's Just Plain Nutz."
The bag is also available solo for just under $4 for those, the bookshop says, "who can stomach a 1-ounce bag of walnuts, but can't stomach 432 pages of Sarah Palin's writing."
"Our bag of nuts is an honest 1-ounce," muses bookstore owner Casey Coonerty Protti. "It's also good for you and won't you to feel compelled to go out and shoot a moose. Sarah's new book of fiction is none of those things."
"We felt we needed to strike a balance," she adds.
This wouldn't be the first time Bookshop Santa Cruz felt the need to do that. Back in 1993, the store sounded off on Rush Limbaugh's book, See I Told You So, selling it for the price of baloney. A few years later, in 1995 -- the year Newt Gingrich was named Time Magazine's Man of the Year -- the bookshop offered a custom-made barf bag with every copy sold of Gingrich's read, Contract With America.
Then came George W. Bush. (Admittedly, an easy target.)
Sometime before the 2008 election, the bookstore gave birth to, and sold, more than 65,000 George W. Bush Countdown Clocks to "help depressed Americans know that there would be an end to the national nightmare created by the Bush administration." Curiously, those clocks were sold all over the world -- Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, England, Germany, China and other ports of call. According to the store, even Bill Clinton nabbed one of the countdown clocks.
When all is said and done, the Bookstore may go down in history as one of the quirkiest, perhaps more inventive, booksellers in Northern California. "We can't see Russia from our doorstep," the owner notes, "but we can plainly see a bit of fun on our bookshelves."
Nothing nuts about that.
Follow Greg Archer on Twitter: www.twitter.com/chroniccharlie