USED AND RARE

TRAVELS IN THE BOOK WORLD

The Goldstones (Lawrence: Rights, 1992; Nancy: Mommy and the Murder, 1995; etc.) offer a sprightly paced travelogue that records their education in literary connoisseurship. Their interest in rare books began innocently enough when they challenged themselves to limit spending on birthday gifts for each other. Nancy walked into a Lenox, Mass., bookstore in search of a hardcover copy of War and Peace and discovered instead the large, arcane world of out-of-print books. With the discovery in Boston, weeks later, of a $40 first-edition of B. Traven's novel The Night Visitor, they were hooked. At a book fair the Goldstones are stunned to encounter a $50,000 1914 first edition Tarzan, by Edgar Rice Burroughs. ``Fifty thousand dollars for Tarzan? Could it be that somehow Tarzan was great literature and we didn't know it?'' Through visiting all the best stores, attending fairs and auctions, and perusing catalogues, the Goldstones learn to read the dealers' idiosyncrasies and the terminology of the trade, and gain a perspective on the idea that the business of rare books is, after all, a business: Demand drives prices, and (as with antiques and other collectibles) what has value is whatever collectors want. (Soon they plop down several hundreds for a two-volume first edition of Bleak House.) In the manner of good travel writing, the authors' descriptions are evocative, their storytelling compassionate—and frequently hilarious. (``How did you find us?'' complains a midtown Manhattan rare-book dealer when the Goldstones arrive on his doorstep. ``We control our advertising very carefully.'') And to their bedazzlement, they encounter some real gems, the ``one of a kind,'' the ``utterly and completely irreplaceable.'' In the end, the authors concede, there is satisfaction to be found in more mundane discoveries, too. A sort of Year in Provence for book lovers: an entertaining armchair introduction to an esoteric but captivating subject.

Pub Date: May 15, 1997

ISBN: 0-312-15682-0

Page Count: 211

Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1997

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

Did you like this book?

WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

Did you like this book?

more