Sunday, July 26, 2015
Saturday, July 25, 2015
My recent read.
Library: An Unquiet History by Matthew Battles does give a good overview of the history of libraries cross centuries and cultures.
You will learn many different perspectives on the power of books and words. It includes discussions of attacks on books and libraries, including the notorious story of the Chinese Emperor, Qin Shi Huang who burned all books and scholars in order to establish his dynasty as the beginning of Chinese history, the attacks of the Spanish on Aztec storehouses of knowledge, the Nazi book-burnings, and the Serbian destruction of a cast Bosnian library. You will also learn there was such a Synagogue in Cairo, Egypt where thousands of ancient documents were discovered in a "book tomb", the foundations of the British Library and Houghton Library at Harvard, and explore the way that cataloging went from a means to improve popular access to books to an arcane obsession of the experts.
Following is an excerpt under chapter 5 - Book for All :
It was to be the year of his triumph, and yet for Enoch Soames 1891 proved more dreadful than ever. His new work unpublished, his first books out of print, Enoch peered out through an absinthe haze at a London reeling with backstabbers, tin ears, and nincompoops. Sensible of his friends' dismissal of his work and person, he had arrived at the inescapable conclusion that the present world held no more charm for him. His hopes lay in the future: there, he was sure, his name would loom as one of the nineteenth century's poetic prophets, rightfully eclipsing the meager lights of contemporary poseurs. In his hunger for this future, finally, he made a desperate pact, a deal with the devil: an eternity in hell for the opportunity to visit the Round Reading Room of the Britist Library one hundred years later, to find his books in the collection, his name draped in laurels. To seal the contract, he invited the devil himself to lunch at a London café, and brought along a witness--his last friend, a newspaper writer and essayist named Max.
The journalist jumped to his friend's defense. But before he could argue the case with the devil himself (less a horned imp than an oiled and weary flâneur), his friend Soames disappeared without so much as a whiff of brimstone. The journalist awaited his friend's return, dreading the results of his expedition into the future. When Soames at last reappeared, dismayed and demoralized, the journalist knew the truth before it was uttered: Soames had failed to find his name among the authors listed in the 1991 edition of the Catalogue of the British Library. Worse still, in desperation, Soames had asked the library assistant for a copy of a good book on English literature of the nineteenth century. He managed to find his name in the index--a momentory pleasure--only to discover upon turning to the page that he was listed as a minor character in a short story written by his friend the journalist! Chagrined, the writer comforted his friend, but only for a short while--in a flash the devil sidled up to the café table to claim Soames's soul.
So goes the sorry tale of Enoch Soames as told by Max Beerbohm in Seven Men, his collection of short stories. Interesting.
Started reading Field of Prey by John Sandford afterwards. Shouldn't have picked it up an hour before I intend to go to sleep, and damn it ...... I simply kept turning the pages, eager to know what will happen next, not willing to put it down till the wee hour of 4.00am, and finished it within 3 nights straight. Gosh! It is a page-turner indeed.
A serial killer has been using an old well in a remote field to dump the bodies of women he has abducted over the years and when it’s discovered the police find body parts from over 20 corpses. The media hysteria is instant and rabid over what they dub The Black Hole Murders so the political pressure being put on the police and politicians is enormous. As usual when Minnesota cops have a crime that will get people fired, they put it to their head rat catcher, Lucas Davenport.
The reader already knows fairly quickly who is responsible for these murders and it becomes a question of how many more victims will be claimed before Lucas, the BCA and the local authorities can bring him down.
The banter between Lucas and his fellow detectives are funny too.
|Worker Bees Vs Manager Bees|
Friday, July 24, 2015
Sunday, July 12, 2015
The Bookman's Tale by Charlie Lovett definitely will appeal to bibliophiles.
A mysterious portrait ignites an antiquarian bookseller’s search through time and the works of Shakespeare for his lost love.
Hay-on-Wye, 1995. Peter Byerly isn’t sure what drew him into this particular bookshop. Nine months earlier, the death of his beloved wife, Amanda, had left him shattered. The young antiquarian bookseller relocated from North Carolina to the English countryside, hoping to rediscover the joy he once took in collecting and restoring rare books. But upon opening an eighteenth-century study of Shakespeare forgeries, Peter is shocked when a portrait of Amanda tumbles out of its pages. Of course, it isn’t really her. The watercolor is clearly Victorian. Yet the resemblance is uncanny, and Peter becomes obsessed with learning the picture’s origins.
As he follows the trail back first to the Victorian era and then to Shakespeare’s time, Peter communes with Amanda’s spirit, learns the truth about his own past, and discovers a book that might definitively prove Shakespeare was, indeed, the author of all his plays.
One of the main focus of this book is the mystery behind Shakespeare’s plays, and the long standing question of whether the plays were truly written by the legendary man from Stratford-on-Avon. I am always fascinated by the speculation that Shakespeare might be a fraud. I find it is kind of romantic with some twists and turns to the facts or official beliefs of history.
It also covers book forgeries, art forgeries and certain details on authentication and restoration of old and rare books which is fascinating to me.
One day, I may as well look for books on the few famous forgers such as William Henry Ireland, John Payne Collier, and Mark Hofmann, to learn a trick or two how they do the forgeries.
J.S. Virtue & Co, Limited
19 x 27.5cm
No date, [c.1880]
12 Engraved Plates
Cat-Stronauts In Space (Graphic Novel) by Drew Brockington | 2014
In The Sounds & Seas Vol I (Graphic Novel) by Marnie Galloway | Monkey-Rope Press | 2012
In The Sounds & Seas Vol II (Graphic Novel) by Marnie Galloway | Monkey-Rope Press | 2014
The Miraculous by Raphael Rubinstein | Paper Monument | 2014
little book of BOOKMAKING by Charlotte Rivers | Potter Craft | 2014
On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt | Princeton University | 2005
Short Walks On Long Island by Rodney & Priscilla Albright | The Pequot Press | 1975 (3rd)
Unpacking My Library by Walter Benjamin | Paravion Press | 2013
Welcome The Day by Emma Giuliani | Chronicle | 2015
ToiletPaper April 1987
One of my favourite bi-annual magazine that made up solely of surreal and ambiguous images which will definitely blow your mind.
DRIFT VOLUME 2: TOKYO
Introducing Volume 2: Tokyo.
Our second issue takes us to Tokyo, as we trace the legacy of the classic kissaten, get cozy at cosplay cafes, crush cans of vending machine coffee, and meet power players behind one of the world’s most competitive coffee scenes. Volume 2 is about what it’s like to drink coffee in Tokyo, past and present, amidst a city as dynamic as the coffee it consumes.
A beautifully printed magazine about coffee culture in Tokyo.
The Sick Rose, is full of medical illustrations on skin diseases. As suggested, it surely is a fascinating Wunderkammer of a book that will enthrall artists, students, designers, scientists and the incurably curious everywhere.
Not for the faint-hearted though.