Monday, November 22, 2010

Mark Twain's Autobiography the Holiday Book this year!

I've been watching the progress of the Mark Twain project over the years, and was excited to know the the Autobiography was being published this year. I ordered my copy from Powell's early this month and got it within a week. From reviews I've read there really isn't much of the much vaunted info that was not to be published until 100 years after Samuel Clemens died, since many researchers and writers have worked through it in the intervening years. However, it should be the authoritative version.

Today the New York Times reports that it has gone back to press numerous times already (the official release date was just last week) and is the holiday sell out book of the year.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

American History

I'm reading The Great Upheaval by Jay Winik right now, covering American and European history for the last quarter of the 18th century. Evidently he wrote an Civil War history that has some good reviews as well. I found this one in a remainder stack at a bookstore---something that would never happen online.

At the shop I'm still working on Charles Keene off and on, while the Lantern Guy has another Louis L'amour on the desk.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

time does fly

Just checked and I haven't posted here all summer! Facebook has become so easy that making a blog entry just hasn't crossed my mind.
So, what have I read lately?

I finished biographies of Ralph Stanley and Bill Monroe as we worked all summer on the plans for the Metamora Old Time Music Festival on Labor Day Weekend.
I've been reading a biography of Charles Keene of Punch magazine, from time to time in the shop.
Two of the "Cat Who....." mysteries, just because I can get through them quickly in an afternoon or two.
The Economics of Food, a survey of the effects of energy and agriculture policies on food pricing globally.
I'm sure there were others, but they've slipped my mind.

We brought several titles from the Indiana Historical Society into stock this year, including a new title "Indiana One pint at a time" which give info on beer breweries around the state. Also, both of Earl Conn's titles from his newspaper columns, 101 and 101 more... things to do in Indiana.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Victorian Illustrators

I noticed a story today about Lewis Carroll and Sir John Tenniel--there is a letter between them that is going to be offered at auction. Interesting as I am currently reading a Life and Letters of Charles Keene of Punch, a contemporary. From what I have read so far, and from the story about the Carroll/Tenniel note, it appears that the epistolary style of those gentlemen was more breezy than we might have expected.

Times Online

Friday, May 28, 2010

Book Signing May 29th

Glory-June Greiff will be at Words and Images in Metamora, IN from 2 to 4 PM to sign her new book about the Indiana state parks. She will have copies of some of her other work as well. That evening she will portray Gene Stratton-Porter at the Historic Metamora meeting.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Salmuel L Clemens as a book critic

It comes as no surprise to me that Mr. Clemens would have decided opinions on the writings of others. Anyone who has read beyond Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer would be aware that he was a man of far ranging interests and concerns. NYT has an article about the discovery of marginal notes in books from his personal library donated to the Redding Connecticut Library.
"In honor of the centennial of his death on April 21, the library granted The New York Times permission to examine this trove of books and record notes and markings Twain left behind in their margins."
Since the books were in circulation for much of their existence, and the library collection was culled of slower moving items at times (as all library collections are), there are not a large number of the Clemens/Twain volumes left.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Kipling family Jungle Book found

In the process of cataloging the holdings at Wimpole Hall, the home of Kipling's daughter Elsie from 1938 to 1976, a copy of the Jungle Book given to Josephine Kipling was found. BBC news story here

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The Death and Life of Great American Cities

I would have thought that I would have read this book long ago, but I'm getting around to it now. Although Jane Jacobs makes it very clear from the start that she is talking about large, great cities; that her ideas won't be the right prescription for small towns and even small cities, from what I've read so far I think there is something to be gained.

Activity is the key to safe, viable areas. There needs to be a variety of uses and a steady stream of occupants for much of the daytime. There needs to be a reason to be there. All of this is applicable to creating any public space in my opinion. A space established with only one purpose and no supporting destinations to feed it is destined to be a underused space, or a mis-used space.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

William Faulkner influenced by authentic plantation diary

New York Times has a story today on the Leak family Mississippi Plantation diaries that were read by a friend of the family, William Faulkner. Evidently the diaries have been readily available and used for much research into antebellum life of the south, but the link to Faulkner had not been realized. Story here