Admitting this is probably one of those phenomenally bad ideas I continuously have despite how much older I get, but I am one of those wicked people who pretended to know, well … something about this American literary star for many years. People would mention his name and I would be all, "Oh yes, Carl Sandburg, wow … it went for how much? Woah!" While casually hoping the conversation would change because as far as I knew I could not remember reading anything by this author and continually neglected to read up on him when I got to a quiet corner away from prying eyes. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I know it is a shocker but I am not omniscient (though I'm sure it seems that way most of the time. Eh-hem). So now, just in case any of you out there are like me and think you can continue fooling people into thinking you know about this magnificent man … think again!
January 29 is the birthday of early American political activist Thomas Paine (1737), whose pamphlet Common Sense (1776) credited with inspiring American colonists to embrace the idea of independence from Great Britain. The American Revolution had already started but the work served to spur volunteers for the Continental Army. It was widely distributed throughout the colonies, read aloud in taverns, and unabashedly pirated. Some scholars say it was the first American bestseller.
In the 1920s, dreamers and schemers descended on the Sunshine State bent on making a fortune in the burgeoning real estate market. In the earliest days of the Florida Land Boom, it seemed that one had but to imagine great wealth for it to be so. Parcels were bought and sold, sometimes within hours, at huge profits. The real estate bubble didn't last long - a scant five years or so - and when the end came some would-be real estate tycoons were stuck with land bought at inflated prices and no money. But there were developers who, though they had prospered during the boom, were cautious and had not been caught up in the buying frenzy. C. Perry Snell, for instance, had been in St. Petersburg for a couple of decades before the hubbub began. He had successfully developed residential projects that eventually became known as Old Northeast. He owned land bought many years before that he had not yet developed.
In 1878, when Chief Thunderwater was 13 years old and not yet a chief, his uncle gave him an extraordinary book, titled The Life and Adventures of Black Hawk: With Sketches of Keokuk, the Sac and Fox Indians, and the Late Black Hawk War.
How to identify a rare book? "I got stumped last week, trying to catalog a book I'd recently purchased. It was the first full length biography of the American naval hero James Lawrence, and it was supposed to be 244 pages long. However, my copy seemed complete at page 240, which ended with the word "finis." I must've spent an hour pouring through my reference books trying to reconcile the discrepancy. I had a dim recollection of the pagination issue being explained to me by the gentleman from whom I'd purchased the book. But I couldn't remember the details, and I couldn't piece it together from the bibliographies ..."
Today we celebrate the birthday of legendary author John Steinbeck. Born on February 27, 1902 in Salinas, California, Steinbeck would become one of American's most notable authors. Steinbeck established himself as an author in an era when accomplished authors held considerable clout. Thus he one day found himself in a unique position: he held the upcoming United States presidential election in his hands.
Needless to say, few strikes in American history have generated as much literature, music or folklore as did Lawrence. Given our interest in the art and literature of social movements, we're unavoidably drawn to this material, as are our customers – it tends to come and go with some regularity. Here are a few recent acquisitions that are still with us, each interesting for its own reasons.
Napoli Today reports that Marino Massimo De Caro was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment and lifetime exclusion from public office following an expedited trial for the embezzlement of hundreds of volumes from the Girolamini Library. The other defendants received shorter sentences.
Held each autumn in the beautiful and historic Chelsea Old Town Hall, the Fair brings together more than 80 exhibitors specialising in antique books, first editions, maps, prints, and manuscripts from all over the world. Prices begin at just a few pounds and dealers are happy to guide you, making this an accessible and exciting venue for beginning collectors or those simply looking for an extra special Christmas gift.
"'There are a lot of happy dealers,' said Adrian Harrington, the world's foremost purveyor of James Bond first editions, as he walked through the fair on Saturday afternoon. He counted himself among them. The dealers who attended the festival are all part of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, a superhero-sounding collective encompassing 23 individual associations around the world, including the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of Canada." Read more about the Toronto International Antiquarian Book Fair in "The National Post"
The Harry Ransom Center holds the Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. archive, which includes books published under the Borzoi imprint and books from Alfred A. and Blanche Knopf's personal library. Nigel Beale interviews the Associate Directors for Exhibitions Cathy Henderson and Richard Oram, co-authors of "The House of Knopf", a book that contains collected documents from the Knopf, Inc. archive and is part of the Dictionary of Literary Biography series.
Not every reference book is strictly utilitarian — not every reference book, in other words, tells its users things they need to know. Many tell them what they simply want to know, and how they might amuse themselves. This explains the abundance of reference works that teach readers to play games.