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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Gender in the 80's

This week we take a look at 2 books from late-20th century America.


You're Either One or the Other, by Joy Wilt (Word, Inc., Waco, TX, 1980), would certainly never pass muster in 2016, when you are not necessarily one or the other.  But the book is politically correct according to the lights of the time.


 It does not go so far as to suggest that boys can try on their mothers' clothing (see cover), but it does suggest that while some boys enjoy driving nails, others enjoy thinking about having babies (vicariously, of course).


 As for women's issues, though the drawing illustrating a girl's development shows her going from cheerleader through graduate to leather-booted shopper, she can also decide to surprise her husband by taking faulty electronics in to the repair shop.


The Assertive Librarian, by Janette S. Caputo (Oryx Press, Phoenix, AZ, 1984), also dates itself by its title.  "Assertive" would hardly be part of a job description in today's library environments.


This book is curious because it is 242 pages long, includes detailed analyses of eyebrow positions as indicators of mood, and seems like a general guide to functioning in a work setting.  And yet, every so often the word "librarian" makes its appearance, suggesting a very specific, not to say narrow, targeted reading audience. 

The author is careful to point out that assertiveness is not to be confused with aggression, and avoids using any pronouns that would assign a gender to the assertive librarian in question.

Coming up: Bodily Secretion Books, alternativley styled BS Books or TMI Books.









Friday, September 2, 2016

Tomorrow - Pistil Books' Annual Outdoor Book Sale


We just had a deluge, but the forecast for tomorrow only shows a 20% chance of rain. And now the sun is peeping through the clouds... So most likely our annual book sale is happening tomorrow.

Pistil Books' Annual Outdoor Book Sale (Capitol Hill)

Saturday, Sept. 3

1415 E. Union, 98122

10 am to 4 pm 

Hundreds of books in all categories, including fiction, art, science, history, biography, do-it-yourself, crafts, philosophy, and more. Many like new.

Paperbacks $1
Hardbacks $2

Come on by and say hello. Free lemonade!

We will re-schedule in the event of rain.   You can check our website for an update if the sale is canceled. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The 70s in Graphic Form (Museum of Weird Books)

This entry your intrepid correspondent takes you to the decade of disco.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, then these book illustrations say it all.

Ralph Nader: Voice of the People is part of the Creative Education Close-Ups series, published in 1974.  My own suggestion for an alternate title-- Pretty in Pink: the People's Politician.


Even the Corvair is pink.  Along with the television.  "He doesn't own a car.  He doesn't have a T.V. set... He doesn't smoke.  He doesn't drink."  I hope at least he went dancing when he wasn't speaking truth to power!


Remember when children's books could be political and pictorial at one and the same time?  It's a good guess that the eventual  Donald Trump: Housecleaner of the Grand Old Party will lack the visual panache of this classic manual.


 Everything you need to know about Nader right up until 1974, when he turned 40.  High time for a sequel, say we.


Self-Protection: Guidebook for Girls and Women (or Dance Moves that Will Leave Your Partner Gasping) is another classic of the era, though photographs can't match original drawings.


But as a record of what predators looked like the 70s it is engaging.  Because it is for Girls first, the senstive area chart glosses over the more obvious choices.


We'll never be this innocent again.


Friday, May 20, 2016

IOBA Scholarship for Book Collectors

The Independent Online Booksellers Association is offering a $750 scholarship for book collectors to go to a book seminar.  Details can be found here.  You do not need to be a bookseller or be a member of any organization to apply.

I have attended CABS and Rare Book School and recommend both.

http://www.biblio.com/_couchcms_/uploads/image/header-images/valuing_book_collection.jpg.pagespeed.ce.JKd3wmi9cq.jpg

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Moomin Madness

Moomins are not as well-known in the United States as they are in Europe, but the albino trolls are stepping up their world-wide quest for domination of the child mind-- and the alternative adult mind too.  Moomins are the invention of Swedish-speaking Finnish authoress and artist Tove Jansson (1914-2001).  To your correspondent they look like unarticulated relatives of the Michelin Man (1894), or bestial cousins to the Pillsbury Doughboy (1965).  Others have compared them to upright hippopotami. 


Moomins came to fruition in 1945 when they appeared in the first of the Moomin books, The Moomins and the Great Flood.  You know you've arrived when you have your own theme park, and Moomin World is giving Disney a run for its money in Finland, with a satellite slated to open next year in Japan, where Moomins are wildly popular.  Hello Kitty, watch your back!

Jansson was the child of artists and led a bohemian life even by Scandinavian standards of her time, eventually partnering with another woman, artist Tuulikki Pietilä.  The moomins share Jansson's predilection for living close to nature and prizing tolerance as a virtue.


There are nine moomin books, the last having been published in 1970.  Original editions with their charming illustrations are now prized by collectors.  Get yours while they last.  Tie-in merchandise sold separately.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Ludwig Bemelmans--Dipping Deeper than Madeline

Ludwig Bemelmans (1898-1962) was an Austrian-born writer and illustrator, naturalized in the United States in 1918.  He led a colorful life, working in hotels and restaurants, consorting with gangsters, and joining the US army, as a non-combatant. 

Though famous for his children's books featuring Madeline, Bemelmans was exceedingly prolific and wrote numerous books for adult readers, both fiction and non-fiction. 

His books are collectable on account of their charming illustrations done in a naive style reminiscent of the work of Raoul Dufy (disclaimer: not that there is anything naive about Dufy's art).
He travelled widely between the wars, and his books also furnish interesting accounts of daily life in the countries of Europe, written by a sympathetic exile.


Above illustrations from The Blue Danube (New York, Viking Press, 1945).