Friday, October 23, 2015

The Writers Art

As usual, I have been neglecting the blog and enjoying life, recently however I purchased the estate of a local retired professor and have been readying this collection for resale. There have been many great finds in the this collection that include some kids homework, letters, bills etc. Many of which I returned to the owner before I removed the books from the house.

As I have been going through the collection though I have found some cool stuff and some mundane items too. Various bookmarks, calendars and the like that were stuck between pages along with the usual phone numbers of a friend or memo from a phone call.

I will try to update as I find more stuff from the collection and today's is more on the mundane side but still interesting.  Lodged between the pages of "The Writer's Art by James Kilpatrick was a little gift envelope and inside was a little note that read:
"All the best to a great Greek who learned english
                                       Dan Scott "

Along with a newspaper clipping about an online journal that fights for expressive English. (

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Review: Our Man in Havana

Our Man in Havana Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a wonderfully clever book by the oh so talented Graham Greene.
Our Man in Havana is as relevant today as it was when it was written, it tells the tale of a British ex-pat Vacuum cleaner salesman in Havana Cuba. Who is recruited rather unwillingly by the British secret service. As an unwilling spy he follows the guidance of a friend, who just happens to be a German ex-pat, and lies about his observations and covert operations a a Spy. This brings very unexpected results and results in some darkly humorous situations playing out.

It's a great tale and a fun read.

Highly recommended

View all my reviews

Friday, March 27, 2015

Autograph Fridays: Fabius M. Ray

This weeks signature is from a book of poetry published in 1904 titled "Translations, Imitations and a few originals" by Fabius M. Ray.

I found a small bio of Fabius M. Ray here

I cannot quite make out the text of the dedication but he signed it on Feb 4th 1911.

The book itself is quite lovely and was published by Smith & Sale of Portland Maine.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Autograph Fridays: Pamela Gien

Pamela Gien found in an autographed copy of The Syringa Tree a novel that was previously a play.

I haven't been able to find any social media accounts for Pamela Gien so if you know of any please let me know and I will add them here.

Introducing Autograph Fridays

I haven't been updating this blog as often as I'd like, figuring that if there isn't content worth adding then perhaps it's best left alone. This however is not what the "blogging experts" recommend, they suggest adding content frequently and consistently.
I probably will expand at some point to talk a little more about the books themselves but for now I really like to just focus on the little histories that are found inside the books themselves. Those little reminders of a previous life that the book itself once enjoyed.

Things are starting to pick up again and I myself am slowly emerging from a semi hibernation of sorts as I start to be less and less affected by the weather forecast for the day.
The particularly bad New England winter that we have had this year has slowed down my acquisitions but I still have a number of things that I need to get around to adding to the blog.

In the last few days I began to wonder what interesting content I could come up with for the blog and had a eureka moment a few days ago. I was sitting at my desk trying to come up with some ideas and suddenly realized that the answer was sitting right next to me.

I keep a big pile of signed/autographed books and have been ignoring this growing behemoth for sometime.

Then I thought there is something in these books that was left there by the authors/illustrators etc.. THE SIGNATURE!!!!

And so I will begin adding posts of signatures on a regular basis look for the tag "Autograph Fridays"

Hopefully it may provide some interest for readers and if nothing else it should be pretty cool.

Do you have any signed books? What's your favorite?  Is there any that you wish you had?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Bookmark Wednesday: Milton Public Library

    This weeks bookmark was found in a 1st edition of James Clavelle's Shogun.
It is a bookmark from the Milton Public Library of Milton Massachusetts. It dates from April of 1976 and was presented to the library by Milton Savings Bank.
According to the National Information Center  Milton Savings Bank had just moved to the address listed in the Bookmark. 40 Adams Street, Milton Village, and so they probably saw this method of advertising as a way to get the word out to the community.

After digging around the internet some more it seems that Milton Savings bank was acquired in 1982 by Union Warren Savings bank which in turn became part of Home Owners Savings Bank F.S.B. In 2003 Home owners Savings bank changed it's name to Boston Trust & Insurance Management Company and is now located at One Beacon Street, 33rd Floor in Boston Ma.

So I wonder if anyone still holds an account with this bank from way back in 1976.
Bookmarks can be fascinating

Milton Public Library: Website, Twitter, Facebook

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dead before his time

     Today I was sorting through some old books that I've had for a while and as I am always on the lookout for anything interesting between the pages, I was pretty thorough when looking at some particularly older books.
     As I leafed my way through a dusty 1827 copy of Hume and Smollet's Celebrated History of England, I noticed something small nestled between the pages. I almost missed it and went back. It looked like a scrap piece of paper at first but I decided to take a look. Sure enough a previous owner had inserted a notable piece from a newspaper report reporting on the health of William I King of Prussia.
    It reads:
William I.,
King of Prussia, it is reported met with a fall from his horse, lately, by which he received severe injury. As he will be seventy-one years old on the 22d of this month, such injury may be followed by serious results. His son, the Crown Prince, husband of Queen Victoria's eldest daughter, is in his thirty-seventh year. His name is William Frederick Nicholas Charles, and he was greatly distinguished in the late war against Austria, and had a leading part in winning the battle of Sadown.
 I love to find these types of things in books, it showed that the owner really had a passion for the subject of history and probably would very much appreciate the fact that their book is still in circulation and that they themselves contributed to history in a very small way.

As I rescanned the pages I found quite a few more little paragraphs all as interesting and strategically placed between the pages.

I was glad to see that this fall did not lead to the death of William I who went on to live for another decade plus.