Saturday, March 30, 2013

Anna Sewell's Black Beauty was a bestseller

It is the birthday of English writer Anna Sewell (1820), who wrote Black Beauty (1877), one of the most beloved children's stories of all time. It was an immediate bestseller but the only book she ever wrote. Sewell was disabled most of her life. At age 14, as she walked home in the rain she slipped and fell, injuring both ankles. The injuries were not properly treated and she was unable to stand or walk without help the rest of her life. She became dependent on horse-drawn carriages to get around and came to admire the horses and the work they did. She wrote Black Beauty in the voice of the magnificent horse, revealing the kindness and cruelty horses received in Victorian England. Sewell died at age 58, five months after the book was published.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Happy birthday, Ernst Jünger

It is the birthday of German writer Ernst Jünger (1895), who was a towering figure in German literature for more than half a century. Jünger self-published his first book, Storm of Steel (1920) when he was in his 20s. It is a memoir of his experiences as a German officer on the Western Front during World War I. Jünger was known for his right-wing views and his belief that war created a mystical experience for the soldier. As Adolph Hitler rose to power, Jünger kept his distance from the Nazi Party, though he didn't openly criticize it. He served as an officer in Paris during the occupation, where he met such artists as Jean Cocteau and Pablo Picasso. Jünger never retracted anything he wrote but in later years he said Germany's ideology of war before and after World War I was a mistake. His writing was very popular in France, and he drew admirers from around the world, including French President François Mitterrand and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. In 1987, at age 101, Jünger converted to Catholicism. Among his best known books are The Adventurous Heart (1929), On Nationalism and the Jewish Question (1930), The Worker (1932), On the Marble Cliffs (1939), Gardens and Streets (1942), The Peace (1947), Reflections (1948), The Glass Bees (1957), Approaches (1970), and Visit to Godenholm (1952). Jünger published on into the 1980s.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Happy birthday, Budd Schulberg

It is the birthday of writer and television producer Budd Schulberg (1914), who is remembered for his novels What Make Sammy Run? (1941) and The Harder They Fall (1947), his Oscar-winning screenplay On the Waterfront (1954) and his screenplay A Face in the Crowd (1957). His father was a Hollywood producer and his mother was a talent agent. What Makes Sammy Run? depicts the harsh reality of stardom in Hollywood. With his brother Stuart, Schulberg co-produced his film Wind Across the Everglades (1958). It was directed by Nicholas Ray.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Happy birthday, Tennessee Williams

It is the birthday of writer Tennessee Williams (1911), one of the greatest  American playwrights ever. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his play A Streetcar Named Desire (1947) and another for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955). Williams also wrote The Glass Menagerie (1944), Summer and Smoke (1948), The Rose Tattoo (1951), Camino Real (1953), Orpheus Descending (1957), Suddenly, Last Summer (1958), Sweet Bird of Youth (1959), and The Night of the Iguana (1961), many of which have been adapted for film. Williams wrote two collections of poetry, two novels, and numerous one-act plays.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Happy birthday, Flannery O'Connor

It is the birthday of Southern writer Flannery O'Connor (1925), whose odd characters and themes of theology have won her a passionate following in literary circles. O'Connor was a devout Catholic surrounded by Southern Protestantism in Georgia. She wrote numerous short stories but only two novels, Wise Blood (1952) and The Violent Bear It Away (1960). Her short story collections include A Good Man Is Hard to Find (1955), Everything That Rises Must Converge (1965), and The Complete Stories (1971), which won the National Book Award. She died from lupus in 1964 at the age of 39.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Roger Martin du Gard wrote The Thibaults

It is the birthday of French writer Roger Martin du Gard (1881), who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1937. Du Gard's best known work is The World of the Thibaults, the story of two brothers from a well-to-do middle-class French family and their reactions to life in France before and after World War I. It is a multi-volume sweeping saga in the Tolstoy tradition, following the family throughout their lives and deaths.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Happy birthday, Louis L'Amour

It is the birthday of writer Louis L'Amour (1908), whose tales of the American West have thrilled readers for generations. Scholars consider him one of the world's most popular writers. Though he was best known for his 89 novels and numerous short story collections, L'Amour also wrote two non-fiction works, Frontier (1984) and Education of a Wondering Man (1989), published after his death.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Happy birthday, Roman poet Ovid

It is the birthday of Roman poet Ovid (43 BC), one of the great influences on European art and literature and an important source for scholars of classical mythology. The recurring theme in Ovid's work is love and amorous pursuits, among both ordinary humans and the pantheon of Roman gods.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Henrik Ibsen wrote A Doll's House

It is the birthday of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen (1828), who is considered one of the founders of Modernism in theatre. Ibsen's play A Doll's House (1879) is the most performed play in the world, beating out even Shakespeare's works for the distinction. The three-act drama concerns a woman who is leaving her husband to discover herself. Though it has become a favorite in feminist circles, Ibsen claimed no intention to write propaganda. He described his work as a "description of humanity."

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sir Richard Burton translated Arabian Nights

It is the birthday of British explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821), who may be best remember for translating the Arabian Nights stories from Arabic and, with linguist Foster Fitzgerald Arbuthnot, the Indian love guides, the Kama Sutra (1883) and the Ananga Ranga (1895) from Sanskrit. Burton also explored East Africa and the Lake Tanganyika region and wrote Lake Regions of Equatorial Africa (1860).

Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy birthday, John Updike

 It is the birthday of novelist John Updike (1932), whose series of novels about Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom drew a picture of Protestant, middle class, small-town America. Four novels and a novella told the story of the angst-filled suburban life of a former high school basketball star in modern society. Updike won the Pulitzer Prize for each of the final two novels, Rabbit is Rich (1981) and Rabbit at Rest (1990). The others in the series were Rabbit, Run (1960), Rabbit Redux (1971), and Rabbit Remembered (2001), a novella.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

She wrote France's first historical novel

It is the birthday of French writer Madame de La Fayette (1634), who wrote France's first historical novel, La Princesse de Cléves (1678), a tale set in the court of King Henry II of France from October 1558 to November 1559. It concerns a 16-year-old heiress whose mother seeks a husband for her in the king's court. Scholars consider it to be the first psychological novel, in which the characters' inner thoughts are revealed. Many of the characters are historical figures, though the heroine is fictional. The novel presents a precise picture of life at court in the era.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Lady Gregory helped found Abbey Theatre

Lady Augusta Gregory
It is the birthday of Lady Augusta Gregory (1852), who co-founded the Irish Literary Theatre and the Abbey Theatre with William Butler Yeats and Edward Martyn, and wrote several collections of stories from Irish mythology. When she was a child, her nanny sparked her interest in Irish folk tales. Poet and playwright Martyn was a neighbor in Galway, and Lady Gregory met Yeats on a visit to Martyn's castle. The three collaborated on founding the Irish Literary Theater in 1899. It lasted only a couple of years and closed because it ran out of money. In 1904, the trio collaborated with John Millington Synge, George William Russell, and others to establish the Irish National Theatre Society, which settled in the Abbey Theatre in Dublin and still runs today. Synge's The Playboy of the Western World debuted there in 1907. Among Lady Gregory's books are The Pot of Broth (1903 (with Yeats), The Jackdaw (1902), Spreading the News (1904), The Gaol Gate (1906), The Doctor in Spite of Himself (1906), and Our Irish Theater (1913).

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Happy birthday, Max Shulman

It is the birthday of humorist Max Shulman, who wrote several best-selling novels, Broadway productions and screenplays but is best remembered for creating the character of the hapless teenager Dobie Gillis. The handsome young Gillis, who aspired to wealth, popularity, and the attention of girls, first appeared in Shulman's short stories in 1951 but also inspired a film, The Affairs of Dobie Gillis (1951). Shulman wrote about Dobie Gillis in I Was a Teen-Age Dwarf (1959) and wrote the scripts for a CBS sit-com The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1959-1963). Dwayne Hickman played Dobie Gillis on television. With Robert Paul Smith, Shulman wrote the script for the Broadway play The Tender Trap (1954). Shulman also wrote the libretto for the Broadway musical How Now, Dow Jones (1968). His books include (Barefoot Boy With Cheek (1943), The Zebra Derby (1946), Sleep Till Noon (1950), Rally Round The Flag, Boys! (1956), and Anyone Got a Match? (1964).

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

L. Ron Hubbard wrote fantasy, science fiction

It is the birthday of pulp fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard (1911), who wrote for sci-fi and fantasy magazines in the 1930s. Hubbard also wrote romances, westerns, adventures, travel, and mysteries. His first full-length novel was Buckskin Brigades (1937). Hubbard also wrote Slaves of Sleep (1939), The Ultimate Adventure (1939), Final Blackout (1940), Death's Deputy (1948), The Kingslayer (1949), Typewriter in the Sky (1951), and Ole Doc Methuselah (1953). His 10-volume Mission Earth series (1985-1987) tells the story of a CIA agent on the planet Voltar who exposes a plot by aliens to conquer Earth to use it as a base for invasion of the rest of the universe. The Voltar Confederacy sends a mission to Earth to prevent earthlings from destroying their own planet through pollution before it can be conquered. Hubbard also created the controversial Scientology religious movement.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Happy birthday, Jack Kerouac

It is the birthday of iconic Beat Generation poet and writer Jack Kerouac, whose best known novel, On the Road (1957), tells the story of his travels across the country in the 1940s. It is considered one of the best English-language novels of the 20th century. Kerouac also wrote The Dharma Bums (1958),  The Subterraneans (1958), Doctor Sax (1959), Big Sur (1962), and Desolation Angels (1965). Kerouac died in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1969 from internal bleeding brought on by alcohol abuse. Kerouac spent considerable time at The Flamingo bar on Martin Luther King Street in St. Petersburg. A Jack Kerouac Night at The Flamingo is planned for Saturday, March 16.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Thank you for coming to the Book Fair

We had a grand time at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair this year. Thank you to all our friends who stopped by to see us and to find great books in our booth. We also enjoyed seeing our bookdealer friends from around the country. This was a magnificent show and it was over all too quickly. We're looking forward the 2014 Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. We hope you are, too.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

See you at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair

It's the weekend we've been anticipating for a long time. We'll be at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. More than 100 dealers from around the country will be available with collectible books, ephemera, vintage photographs, prints, out-of-prints books, rare books, and more. The Book Fair opens Friday evening at 5 p.m. and runs until 9 p.m. On Saturday, we'll be there from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m until 4 p.m. We hope you'll come out and see us at the Book Fair.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Ring Lardner wrote You Know Me Al

Ring Lardner
It is the birthday of writer Ring Lardner (1885), who is remembered for his novel You Know Me Al (1916), a collection of satirical vernacular letters by a fictional bush league baseball player to his friend back home in Indiana. The series first appeared in The Saturday Evening Post in 1914. Lardner also wrote many short stories, including The Golden Honeymoon (1922), an amusing tale of a retired couple who travels by train to St. Petersburg for vacation.

For many years, Lardner wrote the nationally syndicated column In the Wake of the News for the Chicago Tribune. The column appeared in more than 100 newspapers around the country and made Lardner a household name. When the Black Sox scandal broke in 1919, Lardner felt betrayed by his beloved Chicago White Sox. Some White Sox players, it developed, had taken bribes to make sure the Sox lost to the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series that year.

Lardner was friends with F. Scott Fitzgerald and other contemporary writers. Famed editor Max Perkins worked with both of them. Perkins introduced Lardner to Ernest Hemingway, who had tried to emulate Lardner's style back in high school. However, no friendship developed between Lardner and Hemingway. English writer Virginia Woolf admired Lardner's writing, and he was considered one of the best humorists in America in his time.

Lardner collaborated with Broadway playwright George S. Kaufman to write June Moon, a comedy love story with lyrics and music by Lardner. It was a Tin Pan Alley romance based on Lardner's short story Some Like Them Cold. It was adapted for a 1937 film called Blonde Trouble. It was adapted for the live CBS television anthology program Studio One in 1949 and again, in 1974, for PBS.

Lardner got started as a sports reporter by stealing a job from his brother. Ring was working as a bookkeeper for a gas company in South Bend, Indiana, where his brother worked while moonlighting as a corespondent for The South Bend Times. A man from the paper came to offer the brother a staff job but Ring intercepted the message, told the man that his brother was locked in a contract he couldn't break, and offered himself as an alternative. Ring Lardner was hired and began his career in the newspaper business.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Frank Norris wrote McTeague, The Octopus

Still from Erich von Stroheim's 1924 film Greed.
It is the birthday of writer Frank Norris (1870), whose novels McTeague (1899), The Octopus (1901), and The Pit (1903) are considered by scholars to be prime examples of naturalism in American literature. Norris was heavily influenced by the work of French naturalist writer Emile Zola and by the ideas of naturalist Charles Darwin. McTeague is set in San Francisco during the Gold Rush. It was the basis of Erich von Stroheim's 1924 film Greed, a 10-hour epic that has been lost. Foreign film translator Herman Weinberg compiled and edited a book, The Complete Greed of Erich von Stroheim (1972), containing a comprehensive collection of stills from the film. The Octopus dealt with the struggle between wheat farmers and the railroad monopolies in California at the end of the 19th century. The Pit, which was published after Norris died, was about wheat speculation and the trading pits of the Chicago Board of Trade. Norris died before he finished The Wolf: A Story of Empire, the third part of a planned trilogy on wheat.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Wyss created The Swiss Family Robinson

Illustration from 1906 American edition
It is the birthday of Swiss Army chaplain Johann David Wyss, whose famous book, The Swiss Family Robinson (1812), became one of the most beloved children's novels of all time. Wyss told the stories of the shipwrecked family to his four sons when they were youngsters. He based them on Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe (1719). The boys even took turns making up their own tales. The stories were written down in long-hand and illustrated by one of the sons, Johann Emmanuel Wyss. Many years later when he was grown, another son, Johann Rudolf Wyss, edited the manuscript and had it published. In the years since, many versions of the story have appeared, and it has been adapted for television and the movies.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss!

It is the birthday of Dr. Seuss (1904), who wrote 46 children's books,  among them such bestsellers as Horton Hatches the Egg (1954), Horton Hears a Who! (1954), The Cat in the Hat (1957), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1957), One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (1960), and Green Eggs and Ham (1960). Dr. Seuss was the pseudonym of Theodor Seuss Geisel, whose birthday is now designated as National Read Across America Day by the National Education Association. Dr.Seuss first book was And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street (1937). This is an illustration from that first book.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Poet Richard Wilbur won Pulitzer twice

It is the birthday of poet Richard Wilbur (1921), who won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1957 and 1989 for his poetry collections Things of This World (1956) and New and Collected Poems (1988). Wilbur also translated works of the French playwright Moliére, including The Misanthrope, Tartuffe, and The School For Wives. Here is a reading of his poem Museum Piece, a light look at classical artists.

Our specialties

Our specialties include Floridiana (Florida History, Florida Authors, Florida Related Ephemera), American History, Literature of the South, Military History (including, but not limited to, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Korean War), Children’s Literature, Maps, Leather Bindings and Rare & Unusual items.

We also have a wide variety of general stock, including a large Landscape/Gardening section, a great selection of Christian/Church History/Bible Study titles, Beat Literature, and much more. Please browse our extensive category list.

Appraisal service

Michael F. Slicker, is one of about 450 qualified members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, Inc., and its affiliate the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.

Condition of the book, demand for it and history of comparable sales are among the factors considered in evaluating the value of a book. Other factors may apply as well.

Please contact us for more information regarding our certified appraisal services. We encourage you to visit our website, Lighthouse Books, ABAA

Florida Antiquarian Book Fair

Michael Slicker was the founding president of the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association and has served as chairman of its annual Florida Antiquarian Book Fair since its inception.

The 36th annual book fair is set for April 21-23, 2017 at The Coliseum in St. Petersburg.

The fair is the oldest and largest antiquarian book fair in the Southeast. Learn more about the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair and the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association.

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