of good books come across my desk, and of course I get excited by many
of them. Here's the exciting book of the hour, thought I'd share
it with you...
my book of the moment!
died this week, so I decided to plug a book to honor her. She read
a lot, and I can remember her devouring Pat Conroy, Updike and Irving,
and even all the Harry Potters. But her love for Bridge and other
card games has a special place in my memory of her. She a good, quiet
player, a nonchalant loser and gracious winner. I suspect that what
she really enjoyed was sitting at the table with family and friends, but
that doesn't mean she wasn't a good player. She taught me how to
play Solitaire (several versions, with both cards and marbles), Go Fish,
Crazy Eights, Gin Rummy, Canasta, Cribbage, and my mother's cut-throat
favorite, Samba. And Bridge, of course. So here are two recommendations:
one for the smart adult side of her, and the other for her gentle, nurturing
appreciation of children (which is of course how granddaughters remember
Sheinwold, Alfred. 5 Weeks to Winning Bridge.
Permabooks, 1959, 1960. Mass paperback. VG-. <SOLD>
do you say when the world explodes in chaos and violence?
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
Carroll, Lewis. Jabberwocky. Illustrated by Graeme Base. Modern Curriculum Press, 1987. Paperback. F. <SOLD>
cover! Kids reading books, sitting on books, books in the windowsills....
feels just like home.... or Loganberry....
Farjeon, Eleanor. The Little Bookroom. Eleanor Farjeon's Short Stories for Children Chosen By Herself. Illustrated by Edward Ardizzone. Henry Z. Walck, 1955. VG/VG <SOLD>
a peace collector myself, and this is one of my favorite peace books.
Peter Max's wonderful pop graphics meet here with granola-loving hippy
peace mantras to good effect, and the small square format is perfect.
Max, Peter. Peace. With the words of Swami Sivananda, Himalayas. William Morrow, 1970. VG. Scarce. <SOLD>
I just mentioned Dr. Sam, here's the real thing. No, it's not the
original (oh, how I would like to have the 1755 edition!), but it is excerpts
from the first all-emcompassing awesome Dictionary by Dr. Samuel Johnson,
L.L.D. If you've forgotten words like titubation (the act
of stumbling), geck (to cheat) or pledget (a small mass of
lint), then this is the book you need! Yours for a doit, I
Johnson's Dictionary: A Modern Selection. Edited by E.L. McAdam and George Milne. Cassell, 1963, 1995. New paperback. <SOLD>
can resist a book with a picture of Dr. Samuel Johnson beating up
his favorite bookseller with a book? After all, this is the man who
defined "patron" in his Dictionary as " one who countenances, supports
or protects. Commonly a wretch who supports with insolence and is
paid with flattery." Wish I had one too. Well, this book is
full of literary and bookish anecdotes.
Donaldson, Gerald. Books: Their history, art, power, glory, infamy and suffering according to their creators, friends and enemies. Paidon Press, 1981. VG/VG $18
Dudley Fitts, editor. Greek Plays in Modern Translation. Dial Press, 1947, reprinted 1962. Some pen underlining (not mine, I swear! I bought it used), but at least it's neat and not pervasive. Oh-so-out-of-print. $10
I was shelving fiction the other day, and totally ran out of room around the R's. Looked behind the shelf and found more, and yet more Anne Rice, and decided that I need to deacquisition some of these. Nice copies, some discreetely ex-library, all hardback copies in dust jacket. Titles available: Taltos, Memnoch the Devil, The Tale of the Body Thief, Lasher. <SOLD>
I have to answer Audrey's book special with a feminist deconstruction of Miss America pageants and their ilk. This one is both academic and popular in its history, and covers not only Miss America, burlesque and theatre, but also their impact on fashion and social mores. Never mind that this was written by a friend of mine--this is a great book!
"A lively look at the ways in which American women in the 1920s transformed their lives through performance and fashion. "
Latham, Angela J. Posing a Threat: Flappers, Chorus Girls, and Other Brazen Performers of the American 1920s. University Press of New England, 2000. Paperback. <SOLD>
eating a chocolate orange that I got for Christmas (cool stuff--I'd never
had one before!), but I should be eating this carrot. Here's a nice
collection of Gustaf Tenggren books for you, with some wonderful Giant
Golden Books with fabulous color illustrations!
All illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren:
Jackson, Kathryn and Byron. The Little Trapper. Little Golden Book #79, 1950. First edition. Cover and edge wear. G. <SOLD>
Duplaix, Georges. The Big Brown Bear. A Big Golden Book, 1944, 1947. Binding paper fraying and bottom right hand corner peeled. <SOLD>
Soifer, Margaret and Irwin Shapiro. Golden Tales from the Arabian Nights. Giant Golden Book, 1957. Cover lamination peeling, color illustrations devine. G+ <SOLD>
Jackson, Kathryn and Byron. Cowboys and Indians. Giant Golden Book, 1948. Edges worn, esp. top of spine cloth. G. <SOLD>
Jackson, Kathryn and Byron. Pirates, Ships and Sailors. Giant Golden Book, 1950. Cover lamination has created slight discoloration on cover, otherwise VG+. <SOLD> Another copy, later edition, 1972 printing. An inch shorter and an inch wider than original edition. VG. <SOLD>
classic retains all the grit and grey skies that Scrooge lived under in
this illustrated version by New Yorker illustrator Ronald Searle.
The character sketches are right-on, and the color illustrations are gorgeous,
intricate and slapdash all at the same time. If you're looking for
a pleasurable copy to hold and to read, with modern and captivating illustrations,
this is it. You'll see things you never saw before as you follow
a well-known story.
Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol. Illustrated by Ronald Searle. World Publishing, 1961, first edition. Fine condition in fine dust jacket. Now that's a find. <SOLD>
decide on a book to give Cousin Claire this holiday season? How 'bout
a coffee mug with Edward Gorey's irrepresible "So Many Books; So Little
Time" design? Comes in full color on a white porcelain mug, in both
the little boy and little girl design. (Featured is the little girl
design). Such a deal, too.
Gorey coffee mug, <SOLD>
all the hype about the Grinch movie. Take Christmas advice from a
real legend, and take heart that it is back in print and affordable once
again! Eloise has great mischievous fun, and what better holiday
to pair with spoiled Miss Eloise than the master of consumer holidays,
Thompson, Kay. Eloise at Christmastime. Illustrated by Hilary Knight. Simon & Schuster, 1999. New hardback, $17.
Vintage Cleveland Postcard, <SOLD>
daughter to father: last week, Anne Fadiman; this week, Clifton Fadiman.
If you wondered how a person like Ann Fadiman becomes so well-read with
a vocabulary that requires a dictionary (even if you did solve some of
her 22 impossible vocubulary picks), here is your answer. Her father,
Clifton Fadiman, is the ultimate example of a gentleman of books.
He's read everything, reviewed most, and written books, essays, and book-of-the-month-club
reviews for most of what is considered the canon of English and American
literature. If you haven't had time to read it all yourself, fear
not. In this book, most of the great classics and standards are outlined,
critiqued and given their place in literary history. Concisely.
This is not Fadiman's Cliff Notes, however, but a springboard for reading
adventures and the critical analysis that makes reading good literature
Fadiman, Clifton. The New Lifetime Reading Plan. Harper Collins, 1999. New paperback, $14. Older edition, used paperback, VG. <SOLD>
Perrin to Fadiman, it seemed a likely progression. Anne Fadiman,
of Fadiman fame, writes here several essays of book love, lore, and library
accumulation. Her stories of merging libraries, compulsive proofreading,
and the irrepressible Fadiman U. are wonderful fun, enlightening, and for
some us, recognizable in that "a-ha! Comrad!" kind of way. Delightful.
Fadiman, Anne. Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader. Farrar Straus & Giroux; 1998. New hardback, $16.
just back from Vermont. Luckily Audrey was here to mind the shop.
Noel Perrin is perfect choice for vacation reading in Vermont: Perrin
lives not far from where I stay, and his prose is delightful. But
if you need good reading I recommend this one doubly: not only is the book
of essays a joy to read in and of itself, but the books Noel Perrin reviews
are worth discovering. But don't take my word for it; if you read Perrin's
essays you'll be searching for the books yourself. (Stay tuned--I'll
write up a page dedicated to these books eventually).
Perrin, Noel. A Reader's Delight. University Press of New England, 1988. out-of-print
autumn. Time to go check out the trees, soak in the mountain air,
feel the crispness of a changing season. In other words, time to
go to Vermont. It's a tradition since my grandfather's time, if not
before, and even though I live further away than did my grandfather, I
still feel that spiritual pull to return every autumn (or any other chance
I might get). Dorothy Canfield Fisher felt the same, and it's impossible
not to share her love and admiration for the climate and peoples of Vermont.
So if you can't get there, you can at least escape by reading a tribute
and dreaming of peace.
Fisher, Dorothy Canfield. Vermont Tradition: The Biography of An Outlook on Life. Boston: Little Brown, 1953. VG/VG. $15
honor of the olympics, here's the ultimate book of sports news and facts,
presented in readable format with short articles and, of course, lots
pictures. Arranged chronologically by year beginning with the 1900
Olympics in Paris when many American athletes refused to compete because
races were held on the Sabbath, to the 1950 NFL Championship by the Cleveland
Browns, to 1992's wondrous Bonnie Blair and her three gold medals.
Smith, Ron: The Sporting News. Chronicle of 20th Century Sport. Mallard Press, 1992. VG. <SOLD>
is a little old Italian lady (she can't be more than 4'10") who lives in
the neighborhood. She comes by periodically to tell me about her
vegetable garden and to ask about my mother: these are the things that
are important to her. I can understand about 60% of what she says
in her broken English, and she tells me tales about her family, her cooking,
and her own mother. Yesterday she sold me this book. It's not
the first edition, which is fetching nice sums these days, but the reprint
made in 1984. Other copies I found on the 'net range from $40-80,
even for the reprint, so here's a real deal.
Lanes, Selma G. The Art of Maurice Sendak. New York; Harry N. Abrams: 1984. Reprint edition. The large, colorful, jam-packed tribute to the life and work of one of the greatest children's illustrator's of the 20th century. A common-enough book, but do you have your own copy? Why not? 12"x11", 278 pages, loaded with b&w and color illustrations, dj has a few minor tears. VG/G. <SOLD>
just rearranged the store again. I don't remember when her inventory
morphed into a greater percentage of new rugs than old rugs, but that does
seem to be the case today. We still have some fine antique carpets
here, but perhaps because Dede found the sources for some fine new carpets
made with handspun wool, vegetable dyes, qualtiy craftsmanship and artistic
sensibility, it was hard to resist. These rugs are just as well-made
as some of the old ones, the chief difference being affordability.
But until recently, there wasn't a single book that discussed new rugs
at all, so how was the layperson supposed to know this? At last,
here's the answer. So in celebration of our rearranged inventory
(pant, pant), here's the ultimate guide book to tell you what the new rug
market is all about, where and how the rugs are being made, and what to
look for when contemplating a purchase. Of course, to buy the rugs,
you should visit my compatriot and shop partner, Dede
Moore Oriental Rugs.
Eiland, Emmett. Oriental Rugs Today : A Guide to the Best in New Carpets from the East. Berkeley Hills Books, 1999. $35
nostalgic funny bone enjoyed flipping through this one. It's a huge
oblong book (11.5" x 15.5"), heartily illustrated. The letters Schulz
received are highly amusing, and the controversy (yes) that some strips
generated are wonderful fun to read about.
It was October 1950 when Charles Schulz`s Peanuts made its first appearance in a handful of American Newspapers. To celebrate these fabulous years, this 25th-year-commemorative book contains 134 of the all-time favourite episodes in full colour, plus Charles Schultz himself writing about his own boyhood, his creative start, the origins of Peanuts characters, working sketches never before published, family snapshots, Peanuts memorabilia and much more.
Schulz, Charles M. Peanuts Jubilee: My Life and Art with Charlie Brown and Others. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1975. First edition, out-of-print. VG/VG.
Call-backs for the next show I'm directing are tonight. The show
isn't Cyrano, but a modern feminst spin-off about a collegiate
production of Cyrano with a mostly-female cast. Rehearsing
Cyrano isn't a published play (yet), but you can come see the production
September 21--October 14 (see Red
Hen Productions homepage for details). In the meantime, the
source material is not to be beat! Gerard Depardieu, Steve Martin
and Jose Ferrer have all played this swash-buckling hero, but reading the
original text allows you to play one of the stage's most
Rostand, Edmond. Cyrano de Bergerac: An Heroic Comedy in Five Acts. Translated by Brian Hooker.
wasn't named after Harriet Tubman (I have more t's than she does), but
I've been on a Harriet Tubman kick lately. At least a children's
book Harriet Tubman kick. She's the ultimate feminist role
model: born into slavery, escaping, and then returning to rescue hundreds
of people from slavery. Live free or die. Go, Harriet, go!
Here is one of my favorites, illustrated by the great Jacob Lawrence.
Look for more Harriet Tubman books on the Named for that Book page, coming soon. Even if I wasn't named for her. We can pretend, right?
Lawrence, Jacob. Harriet and the Promised Land. Simon & Shuster, 1968, 1993. Gorgeously illustrated with simplicity and power and song-like narration by Harlem Renaissance artist Jacob Lawrence. A New York Times Best Illustrated Book. Still in print.