That inspiration aside, Warmly Inscribed doesn’t amount to much.

WARMLY INSCRIBED

THE NEW ENGLAND FORGER AND OTHER BOOK TALES

Miscellaneous adventures in the book trade, some exciting, most not.

The Goldstones, husband-and-wife antiquarian booksellers well known for writing books about books (Slightly Chipped, 1999, etc.), have apparently never experienced a book-related incident that has somehow not made it into the pages of one or another of their memoirs. This collection includes, for instance, anecdotes about a chipped tooth and the wonders of super glue, sparsely attended book signings, the long memory of Southerners when it comes to the Civil War, the perils of buying books online, the contents of Thomas Jefferson’s personal library and of the Library of Congress’s Rare Books Room, and the notations on highly collectible novelist Michael Ondaatje’s 1974 wall calendar. A few of these anecdotes are meaningful and of interest to bibliophiles and literary scholars alike; most, however, are not—especially when they’re seasoned with such pabulum as “when your book is rejected, so is a piece of your soul.” A sad failure of storytelling comes with their longish account of the strange career of one Ken Anderson, who transformed an autodidact’s love for the literary modernists into a briefly thriving career manufacturing and selling the forged autographs of Ernest Hemingway, William Butler Yeats, T.S. Eliot, and Ezra Pound—a story that could have taken wings if written by the likes of Nicholas Basbanes or Alberto Manguel, but falls flat on the page in the Goldstones’ hands. The best moments come sporadically, in the form of data that will send collectors scurrying to their libraries to see whether they have a first American edition of Cold Mountain (worth a few hundred dollars) or a first UK edition of the inaugural volume in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series (worth something like $30,000).

That inspiration aside, Warmly Inscribed doesn’t amount to much.

Pub Date: June 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-312-26268-X

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2001

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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

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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

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