When Paris was Paris

December 17, 2011

The Arthaud edition of “Paris” by Andrew George, published in 1955. In French, soft cover 9 x 7 inches, beautiful photos all in dark green and white, over 200 pages of text. Not readily available. Some chipping on cover, but tight; some pages uncut. When Paris was Paris. $30.


Cuba may be a current destination, but 60 years ago, it was a different kind of destination

December 16, 2011

We have a copy of The Blue Guide To Cuba (1948 edition), telling the visitor everything he/she needs to know about the island just over sixty years ago. 287 pages of text, lavishly illustrated, pull out maps. Our copy has been well used, but is tight, complete and unmarked. We have a similar copy of The Original Havana Visitors Guide for Shopping and Entertainment from 1951 (Xavier Cougat and a “sensational monkey act” was at the Tropicana. Both can be yours for $70. Let us know if you are interested.

Roman Mosaics in Algeria

December 15, 2011

Rare. Coffee table book published in Algiers in French and Arabic. Beautiful pictures. Mosaics connected wit the sea and sea creatures, including gods and mermaids. Dust jacket. Very nice condition. No markings. $100. Let me know if you are interested.

New Books Added to Inventory

October 5, 2008

We now have for sale signed or inscribed copies of the following books:

Public & Private (photography of the presidency by Diana Walker)

Parallel Perceptions (art from India’s Woodstock School graduates)

Dome of the Rock, by Jerry Landay

March by Geraldine Brooks

The Loony Bin Trip by Kate Millett

China Diary by Charlotte Salisbury

New Books of Jewish Interest in Stock

October 3, 2008

The following books have been added to inventory today, all signed or inscribed by the author:

Beyond Hitler’s Grasp, by Michael Bar-Zohar (saving the Bulgarian Jews)

Trains, by Miriam Winter (holocaust survival story)

The War of Atonement, by Chaim Herzog (1973 war)

The Lonely Days Were Sundays, by Eli Evans (growing up in the South)

To Lose a War, by Regina Maria Shelton (life amongst righteous Gentiles in Nazi Germany)

Between Darkness and Dawn, by Abraham T’homi (by one of the founders of Irgun)

Have You Forgotten, by Christine Zamoyska-Panek (Poland, 1939-1945)

Budapest 1900, by John Lukacs

In addition, we have acquired a signed copy of God and the Villagers by Louis A Vucinich (about Montenegro)

New to the Inventory

September 29, 2008

Signed or inscribed copies of the following:

Nachman Syrkin: Socialist Zionist, by Marie Syrkin

You Can Lead a Politician to Water but You Can’t Make Him Think, by Kinky Friedman

Sleepwalking with Custer and the 7th Cavalry, by Walter C. Rodgers

Katharine Graham by Robin Gerber

Translating LA, by Peter Theroux

The Powers Girls

September 8, 2008

I am shipping an autographed copy of The Powers Girls by beauty expert John Roberts Powers, published in 1941, today.

I note the following:  May of the Powers girls have married millionaires and amen of prominence in practically all the professions.  While practically all of them look forward to marriage as the high point of their careers, they are more eager, as a rule, for a happy marriage than for a glamorous one….In the course of their work, they meet men in every field and they generally marry young business or professional men, the kind who form, after all, the backbone of the country.”

In case you were wondering what people were thinking in 1941.

Labor Day Sales

September 2, 2008

After a slow few days, we sold four signed books today, which will be mailed out tomorrow.

The Road Warrior’s Strategy for Success by Richard Marcinko  (why would anyone want this?, you ask)

The Craft of Intelligence by Allen Dulles  (hard to find signed copy of book by first CIA director)

In Our Image by Stanley Karnow (history of America’s involvement with the Philippines by respected journalist/historian)

The Hunt for Tokyo Rose by Russell Warren Howe (relatively new, small press, hard to find book)

Maybe tomorrow I’ll replenish the stock a bit.

Topkapi, Elephantine, Afghanistan and a little Yiddish Theater, to boot

August 30, 2008

The Montgomery County library system has two large “friends'” stores, one in a Rockville shopping center, and one in a large library in Wheaton.  The Rockville stores stocks mainly donated items, and the Wheaton store has both library de-accessions, and donations, generally of a lower grade.

I rarely find anything in Wheaton to buy, but on a recent trip found three softcover books, a little larger than normal size, in very good condition, that looked interesting and, it turns out, are uncommon.

“The Harem of the Topkapi Palace”, by Z. M. Durukan, published in 1973 is an illustrated 112 page book which discusses the entire history of the women’s building at Topkapi in Istanbul.  It should be both an excellent, detailed guide for the visitor, but it is also a very thorough room by room, sultan by sultan history of the Ottomon harem, which would be interesting to the academic, as well.

The second book is entitled “Elephantine: the Ancient Town”, published by the German Institute of Archeology in Cairo.  It is an equally detailed, and equally illustrated history of the Nile island with such a rich history, published in 1998.

The third is entitled “Letters from Afghanistan”, written by an American, Eloise Hanner, which is a compilation of letters written in 1971 by a Peace Corps volunteer to her mother back in Iowa.  This is Afghanistan prior to the Soviets, prior to the Taliban, and should make for interesting reading.  It was recently published, in 2003.

I also bought a hardcover book called Der Payatz, and subtitled “Around the World with Yiddish Theater”, written by the late Herman Yablokoff, actor, singer, director, producer.  Published in 1995, it is a handsome book, hard to find.  Our copy is inscribed by Yablokoff’s step daughter, Anita Willens, who owns the copywright to the material.

Handbook of Arabic Music

August 24, 2008

It is always interesting what sells.  It is often not the book signed by the famous author, but rather the hard to find, specialized book.

Tomorrow, we will ship out a copy of Handbook of Arabic Music written, and inscribed, by Afif Alvarez Bulos.  He wrote the book in 1971, in English for western readers, when he was the music critic of the Beirut Daily Star and an Associate Professor at Beirut College for Women.  He has also recorded much Lebanese folk music, including on Smithsonian Folkways records.

A couple of interesting thoughts:

“Arabic music reached a high degree of development before harmony and the present system of European notation were developed.  Arabic music developed rincipally along horizontal lines, emphasis being placed on rhythmical patterns and melodic embroidery, out of which were born the rhythmical modes.  Furthermore, Arabic music is modal music, the melody being constructed on a well-defined system of modes rather than scales.

“Except in polyphonic music, the development of European music has been mainly along vertical lines….in Arab music there is only one melodic line, layed by several instruments in unison or octaves.”

Also –

“It must be pointed also that the foundations of European music were laid, to a large extent, in the sanctity of the church, whereas Arabic music, worldly and diverting, flourished in the houses of the wealthy and the palaces of the caliphs.”