Monday, September 30, 2013

Happy birthday, Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel

It is the birthday of writer Elie Wiesel (1928), who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for his political activism and his writing about his experiences in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Wiesel's book Night (1960) is a sparse account of his experience at Auschwitz and Buchenwald with his father. It is part of a trilogy, which also includes Dawn (1961) and Day (1962), that chronicle Wiesel's life and state of mind during and after the Holocaust. He has written 57 books.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Happy birthday, poet James Edwin Campbell

It is the birthday of black poet James Edwin Campbell (1867), whose best-known work is Echoes from the Cabin and Elsewhere (1895), a poetry collection thought to be among the finest of 19th century dialect poems. Campbell's work was first published in Chicago daily newspapers and later collected into books. Though he was celebrated for the vernacular language used in his work, he also published a collection of standard English poems, Driftings and Gleanings (1887).

Friday, September 27, 2013

We'll see you at the Georgia Book Fair

We'll be at the Georgia Fine and Collectible Book Fair on Saturday and Sunday. If you're in the area, come by to say hello. We'd love to see you. Click on the link above for all the details.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Happy birthday, poet T.S. Eliot

It is the birthday of poet T.S. Eliot (1888), who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948 for his outstanding contribution to modern poetry. Among his best known poems are The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock (1915), The Waste Land (1922), The Hollow Men (1925), Ash Wednesday (1930), and Four Quartets (1945). He also wrote seven plays, the most popular of which was Murder in the Cathedral (1935), about the assassination of Archbishop Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Happy birthday, William Faulkner

It is the birthday of writer William Faulkner (1897), who won the Nobel Prize for Literature (1949), and the Pulitzer Prize twice (1955 for A Fable and 1963 for The Reivers). Perhaps Faulkner's most celebrated novel is The Sound and the Fury (1929), the story of the decline of a formerly aristocratic Mississippi family. Though it wasn't immediately successful, it gained attention after publication of his sensationalist novel Sanctuary (1931). The Sound and the Fury is considered one of the best English language novels of the 20th century.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Happy birthday, F. Scott Fitzgerald

It is the birthday of writer F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896), whose most famous novel, The Great Gatsby (1925), was not a great success when it was published but is now considered one of the greatest novels of the 20th century. Fitzgerald's visits to parties at opulent estates on Long Island shortly after the success of his first book, This Side of Paradise (1920), inspired Gatsby, a tale of Jazz Age decadence.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Happy birthday, playwright Euripides

It is the birthday of Ancient Greek playwright Euripides (c. 480-406 BC), who is credited with developing some conventions that remain in modern theater, including tragedy, comedy and the depiction of the hero as an ordinary person. He is remembered for his tragedy Medea (431 BC), a gripping story of betrayal and revenge. Euripides also wrote the drama Electra (c. 420), and tragedies The Trojan Women (415) and Orestes (408).

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Happy birthday, sci-fi writer H.G. Wells

It is the birthday of English writer H.G. Wells (1866), who wrote the enduring science fiction novels The Time Machine (1895), The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), and The War of the Worlds (1898), which hadn't received much attention until the American actor/director Orson Welles produced a radio adaptation of it in 1938 and caused widespread panic among listeners who thought they were being invaded by space creatures. After that, sales of Wells' book increased dramatically.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Happy birthday, Upton Sinclair

It is the birthday of writer Upton Sinclair (1878), who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1943 for his novel Dragon's Teeth (1942), about the rise of Nazism in Germany in the 1930s. Sinclair is also remembered for his novel The Jungle (1906), in which he exposed the dangerous practices of the meatpacking industry after working undercover. Sinclair also took American journalism to task in The Brass Check (1919), a scathing critique of the Associated Press and the yellow journalism newspapers of William Randolph Hearst and others.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Happy birthday, writer William Golding

It is the birthday of English writer William Golding (1911), who is best remembered for his widely heralded novel Lord of the Flies (1954), the story of a group of British boys marooned on an uninhabited island. Golding won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1983. He also won the British Man Booker Prize in literature for Rites of Passage (1980), the first of his To the Ends of the Earth sea trilogy about a troubled British warship.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Happy birthday, Samuel Johnson

It is the birthday of Samuel Johnson (1709), who may be best remembered for compiling A Dictionary of the English Language (1855). It is considered among the most influential dictionaries in the history of the English language, and remained the leading British dictionary for 150 years. It took him nine years to complete and brought him widespread recognition. Johnson was a prolific writer, composing poetry, essays, literary criticism, and biographies. Nevertheless, his enduring legacy is the dictionary.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What was Kesey's group of friends called?

It is the birthday of Ken Kesey (1935), who is remembered for his novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1962), a drama set in a mental institution. It received great acclaim, and was adapted as a movie. When he had to travel from California to New York for the publication of his second book, Sometimes a Great Notion (1964), Kesey's friend, Beat writer Neal Cassidy, arranged for a cross-country trip on a psychedelic-painted school bus. Do you remember the name of the group of hangers-on who went on the trip? Who wrote a 1968 book chronicling the events of the trip, and what was the name of the book? Enter your answers below.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Do you remember reading A Separate Peace?

It is the birthday of writer John Knowles (1926), who is best remembered for his coming-of-age novel A Separate Peace (1960), which was based on his years at Phillips Exeter Academy. It was his first novel, and though he wrote many others, none ever achieved the success of the first, not even the sequel, Peace Breaks Out (1982). Who remembers reading A Separate Peace? What were your first impressions?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Happy birthday, illustrator John Steptoe

It is the birthday of children's book writer and illustrator John Steptoe (1950), who is best remembered for his The Jumping Mouse (1985) and Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters (1988), both of which were named Caldecott Honor Books. He also illustrated Mother Crocodile (1988), which received the Coretta Scott King Award for illustration as did Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters. Steptoe wrote and illustrated 11 books and illustrated five others. He died in 1989 at the age of 38.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Happy birthday, writer Roald Dahl

It is the birthday of British writer Roald Dahl (1916), who is remembered for his children's books, James and the Giant Peach (1961), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964), Fantastic Mr. Fox (1970), The Twits (1980), George's Marvellous Medicine (1981), The BFG (1982), The Witches (1983), and Matilda (1988). He also wrote the screenplays for the James Bond film You Only Live Twice and for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Dahl was married to actress Patricia Neal for 30 years. After she had a stroke and then regained her health, Dahl wrote the screenplay for the film The Patricia Neal Story, which starred Glenda Jackson and Dirk Bogarde.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Happy birthday, Michael Ondaatje

It is the birthday of Canadian novelist Michael Ondaatje (1943), who is best known for his novel The English Patient (1992), a remarkable character study of a severely burned English-accented Hungarian man, his Canadian nurse, and an Indian engineer in the British Army. It is set at the end of World War II in an Italian villa. It won the British literary Man Booker Prize and was adapted for film in 1996, and won nine Academy Awards. Ondaatje was born in Sri Lanka and educated in England. He became a Canadian citizen in 1962. Ondaatje also wrote The Collected Works of Billy the Kid (1970), Coming Through Slaughter (1976), In the Skin of a Lion (1987), and numerous poetry collections.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Happy birthday, D.H. Lawrence

It is the birthday of English writer D.H. Lawrence (1885), who is best remembered for his sexually explicit books Sons and Lovers (1913), The Rainbow (1915), Women in Love (1920), and Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928). Condemned by contemporary critics, Lawrence's work is now considered visionary and imaginative. The autobiographical Sons and Lovers concerns an artist's relationships with his mother and with two women lovers. Lady Chatterley's Lover is about a wealthy young woman's strained marriage to her paralyzed and emotionally distant husband and her physical relationship to her young virile gamekeeper.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Rare Book Moment, the 13th edition

Here's the 13th edition of Michael Slicker's Rare Book Moment. You can watch the entire playlist on our YouTube channel. We hope you enjoy it. Book lovers will want to subscribe so you won't miss any future RBM postings.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Happy birthday, philosopher Robert Pirsig

It is the birthday of writer Robert M. Pirsig (1928), who is remembered for his remarkable bestseller Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values (1974). The book is based on an 18-day motorcycle trip Pirsig took with his 11-year-old son from St. Paul, Minnesota, to San Francisco in 1968. Pirsig wrote that the book is neither a study of Zen Buddhism nor very factual about motorcycle maintenance. It is, rather, a philosophical examination of western culture. It sold five million copies. Pirsig's son was later fatally stabbed in front of the San Francisco Zen Center.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Happy birthday, novelist Frank Yerby

It is the birthday of historical novelist Frank Yerby (1916), who is best remembered for his book The Dahomean (1971), the story of an African prince who is betrayed by his brother and shipped to America as a slave. Yerby was the first African-American bestselling writer and the first African-American to have a book adapted for a Hollywood film. That was The Foxes of Harrow (1946), which became a 1947 film starring Rex Harrison and Maureen O'Hara. Yerby wrote 33 novels, including Fairoaks (1956) and The Girl from Storyville (1972).

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Happy birthday, cartoonist Syd Hoff

It is the birthday of cartoonist and children's book author Syd Hoff (1912), who is best remembered for his Danny and the Dinosaur (1958) and more than 60 books in the HarperCollins beginning reader "I Can Read" series. Hoff sold his first cartoon to The New Yorker at age 18. His work also appeared in Esquire, Look magazine and other publications. Under the pseudonym A. Redfield, Hoff produced a cartoon series The Ruling Clawss for the Communist newspaper The Daily Worker in the 1930s and 1940s. He also illustrated advertising for Eveready Batteries, Jell-O, Rambler and other brands. But it was the children's books that brought him the greatest recognition.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Happy birthday, translator Naomi Lewis

It is the birthday of English writer and literary critic Naomi Lewis (1911), who is best known for translating Hans Christian Andersen stories, including The Snow Queen, The Little Mermaid, The Wild Swans, The Steadfast Tin Soldier, and Thumbelina, among many others. Lewis translated some 21 books of tales by Andersen, the Brothers Grimm, and other storytellers. She also retold Aesop fables, stories from The Arabian Nights and stories from Andersen. She was especially admired for her introductions that helped young readers understand the background behind the tales and the people who wrote them. She wrote poetry as well her last poetry book was The Mardi Gras Cat (1993). Her first book, A Visit to Mrs. Wilcox (1957) was meant for adults but she found her true calling in writing for children.

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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