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Archive for the 'Authors and Books' Category

October 31st, 2015 • Posted in Authors and Books

The Real George Orwell

June 6th, 2015 • Posted in Authors and Books

Bookstores in Soeul

A friend of mine, Michel Gauthier who is, among other things, Executive Director of the Canadian Garden Council and Vice President of the International Garden Tourism Network, is also an avid photography book collector. He’s over in Korea right now and sends us these bookstore photos from Seoul:

June 2nd, 2015 • Posted in Authors and Books

Some notable books published 100 years ago

Here are some notable books published one hundred years ago in 1915

May 13th, 2015 • Posted in Authors and Books

James Bond, incarnation of a mid-life crisis in Jamaica?

Source Wiki: Banjoman1

This from Katie Kilkenny in The Atlantic: A new book about (Ian Fleming)’s Jamaican retreat, Goldeneye, suggests an indulgent and escapist lifestyle inspired a character who embodied a stubbornly anachronistic ethos.

When MGM rebooted James Bond with the origin story Casino Royale in 2006, Bond got younger—but had never looked older. Though some of Bond’s overall fatigue was due to the casting of Daniel Craig, a 38-year-old with a rugged physique and craggy facial features, in the title role, much was the result of a storyline that explained Bond’s character with a sobering tale of childhood woeand formative romantic tragedy. Pierce Brosnan, after all, had been 42, Timothy Dalton 43, Roger Moore 46: yet none of these Bonds had ever appeared so beat-down, so weary about carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders, or, by Craig’s own admission, so serious.

But if Craig’s Bond-in-crisis diverges from the movie franchise’s campy past, it may be pretty faithful to the spirit of the original books. That’s one takeaway from Matthew Parker’s Goldeneye, Where Bond Was Born: Ian Fleming’s Jamaica, the first book to explore the north-shore estate where the author and former intelligence officer Ian Fleming spent two months each year and wrote all the Bond books. The purchase of his tropical lair…read more here.

April 27th, 2015 • Posted in Authors and Books

Looking for Mordecai

The Eastern Townships, an English-speaking enclave in Southern Quebec, is located about an hour and a half´s drive from Montreal. It´s filled with modern quaint, colourfully painted, dormer-windowed

cottages, snow dusted mountains and bountiful sugar bushes. Some say it´s Quebec´s best kept secret.

Today we´re on the trail of the great (I think greatest) Canadian (writer/columnist/scriptwriter) novelist Mordecai (January 27, 1931 – July 3, 2001)  Richler (listen to my Biblio File conversation with M.J. Vasanji about him here).

First stop, the country house that Mordecai bought for his beloved wife Florence in the 1970s.  Located on Lake Memphremagog, this


retreat is where Moses Berger, protagonist of Richler´s fine novel Solomon Gursky,  lives in a cabin doggedly writing his whiskey baron´s  biography. Speaking of biography, thanks to Charles Foran for 1) Writing his brilliant portrait of the artist and 2) helping us to track this place down.

And speaking of whiskey: dotted throughout the surrounding landscape  you´ll find many of the various pubs in which Richler used to hold forth, including,


The Thirsty Boot,

and the Owl´s Head (sadly not the dive it once was), near this

rocket. The neat thing about these places is that they´re still frequented by old friends

and acquaintances of Mordecai´s who knew, or loved, or in some cases,

served him.

If you´re lucky, you´ll even get to talk to some of them about the good ol days.

These days you can´t grab any live wire connections to say Keats or Shelley…not so Mordecai. Try it now before these direct links disappear.  Get out on the trail of Canada´s greatest novelist today! It´s lots of fun.

April 17th, 2015 • Posted in Authors and Books

The Lyell Lectures 2015

I´ll be in Charlottesville, VA next week getting a tour of the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia. Unfortunately its director Michael Suarez wont be there (had hoped to interview him again for The Biblio File). He ´s in Oxford doing this:

Proliferating Images: Diagrams of the Slave Ship Brookes (1789)

5 May 2015 5.00pm — 5.00pm

Venue: Lecture Theatre, Weston Library (Map)

Speaker(s): Prof. Michael Suarez, SJ


The Lyell Lectures 2015

Michael F. Suarez, S.J., Director, Rare Book School, University of VirginiaThe Reach of Bibliography: Looking Beyond Letterpress in Eighteenth-Century Texts

Lecture 3: ‘Proliferating Images: Diagrams of the Slave Ship Brookes (1789)’


This event is free but places are limited so please complete our booking form to reserve tickets in advance.


More events in the The Lyell Lectures, 2015 series

Engraved Throughout: Pine’s Horace (1733) as a Bibliographical Object

28 April 2015

The Lyell Lectures 2015 Michael F. Suarez, S.J. , Director, Rare Book School, University of Virginia The Reach of Bibliography: Looking Beyond Letterpress in Eighteenth-Century…

True Colours: A Natural History of Louis Renard’s Poissons (1719)

30 April 2015

The Lyell Lectures 2015 Michael F. Suarez, S.J. , Director, Rare Book School, University of Virginia The Reach of Bibliography: Looking Beyond Letterpress in Eighteenth-Century…

Singular Multiples: Comprehending the General Evening Post (1754-86)

7 May 2015

The Lyell Lectures 2015 Michael F. Suarez, S.J. , Director, Rare Book School, University of Virginia The Reach of Bibliography: Looking Beyond Letterpress in Eighteenth-Century…

Naming Names: Underwriting Patronage in Tonson’s Cæsar (1712)

12 May 2015

The Lyell Lectures 2015 Michael F. Suarez, S.J. , Director, Rare Book School, University of Virginia The Reach of Bibliography: Looking Beyond Letterpress in Eighteenth-Century…

Abridging Histories: Capt. James Cook and the Voyages of Reading (1784)

14 May 2015

The Lyell Lectures 2015 Michael F. Suarez, S.J. , Director, Rare Book School, University of Virginia The Reach of Bibliography: Looking Beyond Letterpress in Eighteenth-Century…

April 16th, 2015 • Posted in Authors and Books

Eight finalists named for 2015 Chautauqua Prize

Chatauqua Institute Hall of Philosophy

This just in from:

Sherra Babcock
Vice President, Emily and Richard Smucker Chair for Education

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. — Chautauqua Institution is pleased to announce eight exceptional books as the 2015 finalists for The Chautauqua Prize:

  • The Map Thief, by Michael Blanding (Gotham/Avery)
  • Byrd, by Kim Church (Dzanc Books)
  • The Bully of Order, by Brian Hart (HarperCollins)
  • Euphoria, by Lily King (Grove Atlantic/Atlantic Monthly)
  • Redeployment, by Phil Klay (The Penguin Press)
  • All Eyes Are Upon Us, by Jason Sokol (Basic Books)
  • The Scatter Here is Too Great, by Bilal Tanweer (Harper)
  • The Witch, by Jean Thompson (Blue Rider Press)

The winning book will be selected from this shortlist and announced in mid-May.

In The Map Thief, readers are taken into the high-stakes work of map dealing, a history of cartography and the true story of a rare map dealer who made millions stealing priceless pieces of history. Readers called it a “page turner” that pulled them in from the first pages, and said that Blanding “did an terrific job of weaving together the history of cartography with a gripping story of thievery, deceit and a double life.”

A novel told in vignettes and letters, Byrd is a meditation on family, the choices we make and the ripples of consequence that spread out through the years. Readers lauded Church’s ability to take the subject of adoption and shine new light upon it, in a writing style that is “succinct; Church says a lot with few words, picking her details wisely.” It is a novel, another said, with “strength and power, and a deft and delicate touch.”

The Bully of Order, a novel depicting the lawless Pacific Coast at the turn of the 20th century, tracks the lives of a family at the mercy of violent social and historical forces. Readers said that while the story is “violent, dark and crude,” Hart’s “artistry with the language” and “exacting, loving detail,” creates a clear, dramatic narrative.

Drawing on the real-life experiences and writing of Margaret Mead as inspiration, Euphoria follows the dangerously intertwined lives of three anthropologists studying tribes in New Guinea. King, readers said, “is not one to fall prey to cheap contrivances,” deftly building suspense among the “compelling depicted characters.” All told, one reader said, “Euphoria is a gem.”

In the National Book Award-winning Redeployment, the horrors of war take center stage. As they read about characters on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan, readers called the short stories “explicit, emotional and also enlightening,” that they “cut to the marrow of the warrior. … Each skillfully constructed narrative tells a tale of emotional, physical or spiritual depths.”

All Eyes Are Upon Us is a history of race and politics in the Northeast, a region with a long and celebrated history of racial equality and liberalism. But Sokol’s book reveals the deep-seated racism in the region, and a resulting gap between its ideals and its reality. Readers called the book “timely, important and fascinating,” and Sokol’s research “clearly presented.”

Interconnected short stories make up the novel of The Scatter Here is Too Great, a love letter to the Pakistan city of Karachi, its inhabitants and the often-violent interruptions to their daily lives. Tanweer is a “masterful writer,” a reader said, while another described the work as “a lyrical meditation and a brilliant book.”

The short stories of The Witch refreshingly reintroduce readers to classic fairy tales, told in contemporary settings while still retaining the magic and suspense of their source material. Chautauqua Prize readers called Thompson’s writing “elegant in its simplicity” and “a reader’s delight,” and commended the stories for being “gripping tales, refreshing our pleasure in storytelling as an art that warns, instructs and enthralls.”


Awarded annually since 2012, The Chautauqua Prize draws upon Chautauqua Institution’s considerable literary legacy to celebrate a book that provides a richly rewarding reading experience and to honor the author for a significant contribution to the literary arts. The author of the winning book will receive $7,500 and all travel and expenses for a one-week summer residency at Chautauqua.

With a history steeped in the literary arts, Chautauqua Institution is the home of the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle, founded in 1878, which honors at least nine outstanding books of fiction, nonfiction, essays and poetry every summer. Further literary arts programming at Chautauqua includes summer-long interaction of published and aspiring writers at the Chautauqua Writers’ Center, the intensive workshops of the nationally recognized Chautauqua Writers’ Festival, and lectures by prominent authors on the art and craft of writing.

Details on The Chautauqua Prize are online at


April 8th, 2015 • Posted in Authors and Books

Hay-on-Wye in Maharashtra, India

The Literary Tourist, Nigel Beale, in Hay-on-Wye, 2013

This from The Indian Express, and Sandeep A Ashar in Mumbai:

“At a time when traditional book stores are shutting down in the face of competition from online stores, Maharashtra is planning to promote a new “town of books” on the lines of the Welsh town of Hay-on-Wye, famous for its book stores and literary festivals.

The proposed book town in the state will be close to popular tourist destinations such as Mahabaleshwar or Ganapatipule.

The proposal, currently in its early stages, envisages identifying a town that can boast of bookstores with a vast and rich literary collection and which can attract both writers and readers.

State’s Cultural Affairs Minister Vinod Tawde, who had recently visited the Welsh town, said that for branding this initiative, the state government would host a week-long literary festival every summer. “We will invite famous …Read more here.

April 7th, 2015 • Posted in Authors and Books

Redwood Library and Athenaeum 50 per cent Off Book Sale

The Redwood’s 50% Off Book Sale!

During the month of April all books in the Redwood Bookstore will be 50% off.  The Redwood offers a large variety of books at very affordable prices. Browse the genres of history, health, fiction, mystery, religion and more. Books are located in the Redwood Bookstore, to the left of the Harrison Room, and also in the two revolving bookcases in the Rovensky Delivery Room. Your book purchases support the Redwood – thank you!

The Redwood Library and Athenaeum is a private subscription library located in Newport Rhode Island. Founded in 1747, it is the oldest community library still occupying its original building in the United States.

April 5th, 2015 • Posted in Authors and Books

W.C. Tuttle Want List

This just in: a letter from Daniel Snyder to bookseller Nels Myroyj asking about books by the western author W. C. Tuttle:


Nels Myroj
Anthill Books
6775 – 258th Street V4W 1V3
Aldergrove, BC, CAN

Hi Nels,

 My name is Daniel Snyder. I was put on to you by Bruce in Sidney with the long white braid (he told me to mention this). He informed me that you may possibly have one or more books by the western author W. C. Tuttle. I have quite a few books by Tuttle but there are quite a few that I would like to obtain if I can locate them. If you do have any Tuttle books that you would sell I would appreciate you getting back to me with titles and prices. I live in Newberg, Oregon 97132 USA so I would need the prices to include approximate shipping fees included. I will include a list of the Tuttle books that I am looking for just in case you happen to have any, you can check them by my list. It is a scan of a hand written list so hopefully it will be legible. I thank you for your time and I hope to hear back from you with some possibilities.

Kind regards,

Daniel Snyder
719 Wynooski Street
Newberg, OR 97132