Are we there yet?

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

"If I ever had twins, I'd use one for parts." -Steven Wright

Everybody says everything is in decline: books, reading, you name it.

But a Mashable review of a new iPhone indicates one of the great themes of literature is alive and well in the digital age:
There is one way to fool Face ID, though, and Apple has already acknowledged this: identical twins. I tried it, so I know. 



Leftovers: the Scary Show reading list.



Lots of background work goes into every episode of Rare Book Cafe. We cast a wide net for background information that might inform our discussions and provide diversions when Lindsay Thompson launches into another lecture.

But then the show is over, and- especially if Lindsay's worked up a head of steam- the material may not have all been used!

So here's an out-takes reel from our Scary Show for October 28:

HALLOWEEN COSTUMES FOR BOOKSELLERS, Christine Stickles, Book Riot, 10/15/16


A Brief History of Horror Literature, Kristin Masters, Books Tell You Why, 10/24/ 2013.

Orson Welles’ Horror Show (Macbeth), Colin Fleming, The Smart Set, 4/30/15

The 50 Scariest Books of All Time, by Emily Temple, Flavorwire, October 9, 2013



Paranoia, the Devil, and Witchcraft: Books on the Salem Witch Trials, by Anne Rouyer, Supervising Librarian, Mulberry Street Library, New York Public Library, October 27, 2015

14 Terrifying Facts About Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, by Maureen Monahan, Mental Floss, 10/22/15

Top 10 haunted houses in fiction, Claire Barker, The Guardian, 10/29/15

Bats and Vampiric Lore in Père Lachaise Cemetery,by Allison Meier, Atlas Obscura, 5/27/14



So You Want to Read Japanese Horror: Here’s Where to Start, Feliza Casano, Unbound Worlds, 10/18/17


12 Morbid Quotes on What the Dead Can Teach Us, by Tom Blunt, Signature, October 31, 2016

Is it Possible to Be Scared to Death?, Katy Heaney, The Atlantic, 9/28/17


Friday, October 27, 2017

And, as Ray Bradbury wrote, "Then... some idiot turned on the lights."


Ten months before he died, actor Boris Karloff (1887-1969) celebrated “the best friend I ever had.” He viewed his long career in horror roles as a happy accident: “When I was nine, I played the demon king in "Cinderella" and it launched me on a long and happy life of being a monster...You could heave a brick out of the window and hit ten actors who could play my parts. I just happened to be on the right corner at the right time.”
In 1996 he was the only actor to be represented by two of six US Postal Service stamps commemorating the classic horror roles of film.


Mary Shelley and the Gothic horror genre; H.P. Lovecraft’s febrile imagination; a letter written in blood. Those are just a few of the terrors to come Saturday at 2.30 pm EDT on Rare Book Cafe.

So gird your amygdalae! Confine your tinglers to your spines! Grab a bowl of candy and tell us the horror tales you’ve read that stuck in your mind over the years.

And if it all gets too terrifying, we’ll read you something soothing to make it all right.


Wolfman reads.jpg





*****

Rare Book Cafe is streamed by the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair every Saturday from 2.30 to 3.30 pm EDT. We feature interviews, panel discussion and stuff you can learn about book collecting whether you are a regular at Sotheby’s or just someone who likes books.

The program airs live on Rare Book Cafe’s Facebook page, and remain there after the show.

The program’s regular guests include Miami book dealer, appraiser and WDBFRadio.com’s Bucks on the Bookshelf radio show creator Steven Eisenstein, Thorne Donnelley of Liberty Book Store in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; Lindsay Thompson of Charlotte’s Henry Bemis Books; miniature books expert Edie Eisenstein; ephemera expert Kara Accettola; and program creator/producer T. Allan Smith.

We enjoy the support and encouragement of these booksellers: Little Sages Books in Hollywood, Florida; Liberty Books in Palm Beach Gardens; As Time Goes By, in Marion, Alabama; Quill & Brush in Dickerson, Maryland; Lighthouse Books in St. Petersburg; The Ridge Books in Calhoun, Georgia; and Henry Bemis Books in Charlotte.

Rare Book Cafe program encourages viewer participation via its interactive features and video: if you've got an interesting book, join the panel and show it to us! If you’d like to ask the team a question or join us in the virtually live studio audience for the program, write us at rarebookcafe@gmail.com.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Me, the Under-Achiever



I've done 97% of over a thousand Rare Book Cafe, Book Week and Book Fair pages the last twelve months, and after three days, Facebook says,


Saturday, October 21, 2017

As one author asked, “You don't need to have big hairy feet to read The Hobbit, why should you be gay to read a gay book?”

oscar wilde bookshop.jpg


The Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop opened in New York in 1967. Pictured here, left to right, is playwright Tennessee Williams, owner Craig Rodwell, Bruce-Michael Gelbert, Karol Lightner & Tim Lennox. A conspicuous landmark with large, often-shattered display windows, the store was a leader in LGBT literature until the pressures of online retailing and the Great Recession drove its owners to close in 2009.

Rare Book Cafe’s October 21 program observers LGBT History Month with a look at learning about, and collecting in, a literary genre that encompasses innumerable subgenres and the work of authors stretching back over two millennia, and as rich and varied as it is unknown to most collectors.


We’ll be touching on leading authors and their works; the role of private collectors of books, periodicals and other material that was subject, for decades, to government confiscation on the whims of postal inspectors and the denunciations of freelance censors. Later, donated, their curations became the foundations of great collections in the libraries of every serious research college and university in America.


The role of LGBT book clubs and bookstores in the rise of the gay rights movement over the last half-century cannot be underestimated; from the first stores opening the 1960s- wondering if there were enough books and periodicals to fill the shelves- to today, when online shopping and a degree of mainstream assimilation has squeezed many out of business, it’s a story of an American identify many labored long- and still do- to silence.


Uniquely accessible and affordable for the beginning collector, yet with plenty of unicorns of inestimable value, LGBT lit is a fascinating field. At the Cafe’s table to discuss it will be three experts:




-Author and bookseller Libby Ware is President of Georgia Antiquarian Booksellers Association, and is a member of the Atlanta Writers Club, Georgia Writers Association, and the Appalachian Writers Association. Her short story, “The Circuit,” was a finalist in the Poets & Writers Award for Georgia Writers, judged by Jennifer Egan.

Ware’s first novel, Lum- about an Appalachian intersex woman- was published by She Writes Press in October 2015. It debuted to strong reviews and gathered an American Library Association Stonewall Book Award, the gold medal of the Independent Book Publishers Association, and a 2016 Lambda Literary Awards finalist slot.


“The Circuit,” which is now Chapters 1—3 of Lum, in slightly different form, was published in Feminist Studies. She belongs to a writing group that has met for nearly twenty years. She is a fellow of The Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences. She lives in Atlanta with her two dogs, Tilly and Robin, and her wife, Charlene Ball.




Together, they are at work on the premiere volume of a detective series, called Murder at the Estate Sale. It’s about two female booksellers who find a local book thief dead in the basement of a house where an estate sale is taking place. At the same time they are trying to figure out who murdered him, they are looking for a book on black magic that they suspect is related to the murder.


Toadlily Books is Ware’s business base in Atlanta. She focuses on antiquarian books across the fields of African-American literature; art and photography; books about books; LGBT works; natural history; Southern writing; and travel books.


-Co-host Kara Accettola’s expertise in books and book-related ephemera is both deep and wide, and one of her concentrations is in LGBT materials. It is a rich field for exploration given the community’s long marginalization in American society.


-Cafe co-host Lindsay Thompson, owner of Henry Bemis Books in Charlotte, has been active in LGBT rights issues for a quarter-century. In a previous life as a lawyer, he represented gay businesses and individuals in business and litigation matters. One of his main bookselling interests is LGBT fiction and history; Henry Bemis Books regularly features books in those and related genres, as well as popular birthday profiles of LGBT authors.


Co-hosts Thorne Donnelley, and Steve and Edie Eisenstein, will cover new arrivals, miniature books, and news of the rare book world in the program’s second half.


*****


Rare Book Cafe is streamed by the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair every Saturday from 2.30 to 3.30 pm EDT. We feature interviews, panel discussion and stuff you can learn about book collecting whether you are a regular at Sotheby’s or just someone who likes books.

The program airs live on Rare Book Cafe’s Facebook page, and remain there after the show.
The program’s regular guests include Miami book dealer, appraiser and WDBFRadio.com’s Bucks on the Bookshelf radio show creator Steven Eisenstein, Thorne Donnelley of Liberty Book Store in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; Lindsay Thompson of Charlotte’s Henry Bemis Books; miniature books expert Edie Eisenstein; ephemera expert Kara Accettola; and program creator/producer T. Allan Smith.

We enjoy the support and encouragement of these booksellers: Little Sages Books in Hollywood, Florida; Liberty Books in Palm Beach Gardens; As Time Goes By, in Marion, Alabama; Quill & Brush in Dickerson, Maryland; Lighthouse Books in St. Petersburg; The Ridge Books in Calhoun, Georgia; and Henry Bemis Books in Charlotte.

Rare Book Cafe program encourages viewer participation via its interactive features and video: if you've got an interesting book, join the panel and show it to us! If you’d like to ask the team a question or join us in the virtually live studio audience for the program, write us at rarebookcafe@gmail.com.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Saturday on Rare Book Cafe: Book to Film








“Making a movie from a book is like trying to make a bouillon cube from a whole cow,” he summed up.

Sometimes one has to wonder what producers and writers thought they wanted to make a movie of, or if they even read the book. Peter Cameron and Michael Chabon’s masterful novels, The Weekend, and The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, were turned inside out by film treatment that turned their central- and gay- characters into macguffins. Both disappeared, justly, without a trace.

P.L. Travers, the Mary Poppins author, found her dealings with Walt Disney’s relentless 27-year campaign to get the film rights arduous enough, but the making of the movie so life force-draining she forbade any adaptations of any other books in the series (Disney, who found her equally trying, didn’t invite her to the premiere until she shamed him into it). Another British author, P.G. Wodehouse, moved to Hollywood in the 1930s on a studio writing contract, was given nothing to write, and spent a glorious summer alternating between lolling on the beach and cranking out several more Bertie Wooster novels.

It’s a fraught business, the book-to-film journey. This Saturday, Rare Book Cafe considers it in a variety of aspects. Co-host Thorne Donnelley, whose parents worked in Hollywood, will draw on his experiences as a kid in the colony and a bookseller; co-host Steve Eisenstein's life has mingled both stage productions and book sales. Ephemera expert Kara Accettola will roll out promo materials and other publications from the silent film era and the golden age of the thirties. And miniature books master Edie Eisenstein will have new things, both fascinating and small. Join us!



________________


Rare Book Cafe is streamed by the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair every Saturday from 2.30 to 3.30 pm EDT. We feature interviews, panel discussion and stuff you can learn about book collecting whether you are a regular at Sotheby’s or just someone who likes books.

The program airs live on Rare Book Cafe’s Facebook page, and remain there after the show.

The program’s regular guests include Miami book dealer, appraiser and WDBFRadio.com’s Bucks on the Bookshelf radio show creator Steven Eisenstein, Thorne Donnelley of Liberty Book Store in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; Lindsay Thompson of Charlotte’s Henry Bemis Books; miniature books expert Edie Eisenstein; ephemera expert Kara Accettola; and program creator/producer T. Allan Smith.




We enjoy the support and encouragement of these booksellers: Little Sages Books in Hollywood, Florida; Liberty Books in Palm Beach Gardens; As Time Goes By, in Marion, Alabama; Quill & Brush in Dickerson, Maryland; Lighthouse Books in St. Petersburg; The Ridge Books in Calhoun, Georgia; and Henry Bemis Books in Charlotte.

Rare Book Cafe program encourages viewer participation via its interactive features and video: if you've got an interesting book, join the panel and show it to us! If you’d like to ask the team a question or join us in the virtually live studio audience for the program, write us at rarebookcafe@gmail.com.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

BOOK WEEK BULLETIN: California's war on booksellers is over




California's governor signed AB 228 into law earlier today.

Because the bill contains an emergency clause, it takes effect immediately. The new law undoes the accidental inclusion of dealers in autographed books by a 2016 law intended to crack down on fake movie and sports memorabilia.

Here is the text.

The signing of the new bill has not been reported anywhere else, not even the social media pages of its sponsor, the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America.

If it's worth knowing, Book Week knows it first. Join us Thursdays at noon on the Rare Book Cafe's Facebook page.


Friday, October 6, 2017

October 7: Of prized books and prizes for books


Of Lakeside Press, Wikipedia says:

Lakeside Classics is a series started in 1903 that reprints neglected classic works. According to company legend, Thomas E. Donnelley, then president of the company, was impressed by a set of seven razors presented to him by one of the company's suppliers, and wanted to create a gift that would similarly represent his own company's product and could not be purchased on the open market. The company did not sell the books to the public, but gave each of the company employees a copy at Christmas, making the series valued collectors items.

Thomas Donnelley wrote in the introduction to Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, the first volume in the series, that "If, in a modest way this volume conveys the idea that machine-made books are not a crime against art, and that books may be plain but good, and good though not costly, its mission has been accomplished." Following volumes featured speeches and writings of noted Americans, then in the 1910s selections turned to first-person narratives of American history, especially those which were rare or out of print. Themes included the Civil War, the Old West, exploration and frontier life. In the 1990s, several changes were introduced. Partly to acknowledge the company's global markets, narratives by Americans abroad were included.

An early admirer wrote in 1923 that the printing, binding, and finishings were all done by the apprentice class to "illustrate the ideals of a well-made book," and that "not only are these books well made, but they contain historical works, autobiographies, and early travels unforgettable to him who loves this fair land." He concluded that the series is becoming "an institution near and dear to the collector of books of intrinsic value and beauty."

Minor design changes were made occasionally and a major redesign every quarter century. In 1995, the date line on the title page was changed from "Christmas" to "December." For the redesign in 2003, Bruce Campbell, known for his work on The Library of America, was engaged. Among other changes, the gold-framing on the cover was restored and the typeface was changed from Bulmer to Garamond

The company did not keep detailed records on how many copies were printed. The preface to the 1935 volume says that the print run for the first volume was 1,500 copies, but no further information was included in later editions. In the 1970s printings were in the tens of thousands. The hardest volume to find is the 1904 Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents, Washington to Lincoln. It is not known whether the run was smaller or whether collectors of Washington and Lincoln have kept them off the market by retaining them. The second scarcest is Fruits of Solitude, which may have been easy to lose because it had the fewest number of pages. The difficulty of finding the volume Memorable Speeches led one family member to joke that the speeches were so unmemorable that everyone threw them out. The Chicago publisher Reilly & Britton, a Chicago publisher, was given rights to reissue some of the earliest titles as “The Patriotic Classics.”

By 2016, the series included 116 volumes.

Well, anyone could stop with that. Not the Cafe: Saturday, October 7 we’re getting the Lakeside Classics story from the mouth of Buddha: co-host Thorne Donnelley will tell the story of the family’s one-a-year, can’t-buy-’em-in-a-bookstore series.

But wait! as the late-night TV announcers cry. There’s more! Miniature books expert Edie Eisenstein will be pulling new wonders from her tiny bookshelves. And the group will be musing over the Nobel Prize in Literature, awarded for the 110th time this past Thursday to Japanese/British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, including topics like who won and shouldn’t have; who didn’t win and should’ve; and whether the CIA helped decide the winner of one Cold War year’s gong.



________________


Rare Book Cafe is streamed by the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair every Saturday from 2.30 to 3.30 pm EDT. We feature interviews, panel discussion and stuff you can learn about book collecting whether you are a regular at Sotheby’s or just someone who likes books.

The program airs live on Rare Book Cafe’s Facebook page, and remain there after the show.

The program
The program’s regular guests include Miami book dealer, appraiser and WDBFRadio.com’s Bucks on the Bookshelf radio show creator Steven Eisenstein, Thorne Donnelley of Liberty Book Store in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; Lindsay Thompson of Charlotte’s Henry Bemis Books; miniature books expert Edie Eisenstein; ephemera expert Kara Accettola; and program creator/producer T. Allan Smith.



We enjoy the support and encouragement of these booksellers: Little Sages Books in Hollywood, Florida; Liberty Books in Palm Beach Gardens; As Time Goes By, in Marion, Alabama; Quill & Brush in Dickerson, Maryland; Lighthouse Books in St. Petersburg; The Ridge Books in Calhoun, Georgia; and Henry Bemis Books in Charlotte.

Rare Book Cafe program encourages viewer participation via its interactive features and video: if you've got an interesting book, join the panel and show it to us! If you’d like to ask the team a question or join us in the virtually live studio audience for the program, write us at rarebookcafe@gmail.com.