Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy birthday, painter Jan Vermeer

It is birthday of Dutch painter Jan Vermeer (1632), who was moderately successful in his lifetime but gained much wider following in the 19th century and today is considered one of the great Dutch painters. His portraits and everyday Dutch life exhibit precise detail and lavish color. Scholars suggest that he used a camera obscura to achieve his unique effect. One of his most famous images is Girl with a Pearl Earring (1665).

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy birthday, Christopher Columbus

It is the birthday of explorer Christopher Columbus (1451), who is credited with opening up the Americas to European colonization. Here is a short video from Biography about him.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy birthday, Fanny Brice

It is the birthday of actress/singer Fanny Brice (1891), who is remembered as a star of Broadway, film and radio, where her comedy series The Baby Snooks Show began in 1944, though she had performed the character in vaudeville since 1912 and on the radio for Flo Zigfield in the 1930s. Barbra Streisand portrayed Brice in the 1964 Broadway show Funny Girl. Biographies about Brice include Funny Woman (1992) and Fanny Brice: The Original Funny Girl (1993). Here she is performing a song from the film Everybody Sing (1938). Below is a recording of The Baby Snooks Show.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Evelyn Waugh wrote Brideshead Revisited

It is the birthday of English writer Evelyn Waugh (1903), who is remembered for the satires Decline and Fall (1928) and A Handful of Dust (1934) and the novel Brideshead Revisited (1945), an examination of the phenomenon of God's grace. He was known as the nastiest-tempered man in England, a label that seems entirely appropriate in this 1953 BBC interview.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Rare Book Moment 16: Advice for collectors

Here's the 16th edition of Michael Slicker's Rare Book Moment, in which Mike offers advice for anyone building a book collection. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Happy birthday, poet John Keats

It is the birthday of English Romantic poet John Keats (1795), whose immense talent places him as a peer of the most beloved English poets, Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley. Keats died of TB in Rome at age 25. Here is a reading of Keats' famous Ode to a Grecian Urn by English book editor Hedley Grenfell-Banks.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Happy birthday, Fyodor Dostoyevsky

It is the birthday of Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821), who is remembered for his novels and short stories exploring human relationships during the spiritual, social and political upheaval of 19th century Russia. His most important works include Crime and Punishment (1866), The Idiot (1869), and The Brothers Karamazov (1880).

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Happy birthday, Doris Lessing

It is the birthday of British writer Doris Lessing (1919), who is remembered for her five-novel sequence Children of Violence (1952-1969) and her five-novel sci-fi sequence Canopus in Argos: Archives (1979-1983). Her first book, The Grass is Singing (1950) deals with race relations in South Africa. In 2007, when she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature at the age of 88, she was a bit blasé about all the fuss.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Happy birthday, Samuel Taylor Coleridge

It is the birthday of English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772), who wrote his famous Kubla Khan (1816) after waking up from an opium-induced dream. Scholars say Coleridge was influenced by material he had been reading about the Chinese emperor and by William Bartram's Travels (1791), in which Bartram describes Florida's Blue Sink, Manatee Spring and Salt Springs Run. It is not clear what influenced folk singer David Olney to record this recitation of Kubla Khan and put it on YouTube but it's worth watching. Enjoy!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Rare Book Moment 15: Is this valuable?

Here is the 15th edition of Michael Slicker's Rare Book Moment, in which Mike discusses Shakespeare's many reprints and how to tell the good ones. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Happy birthday, composer Herbert Howells

It is the birthday of English composer Herbert Howells (1892), who is best known for his music for the Anglican church. In 1935, Howells' son died from polio when he was nine years old, and Howells grieved for him the rest of his life. Howells was asked to write a composition for a memorial service for John F. Kennedy. The result, Take Him, Earth, for Cherishing (1963) links the loss of the American President with Howell's loss of his son.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Happy birthday, Oscar Wilde, Eugene O'Neill

It is the birthday of Irish playwright Oscar Wilde (1854) and Irish American playwright Eugene O'Neill (1888). Wilde wrote poems, short stories, and one novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890). His best known play is The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), a witty satire of Victorian England. O'Neill wrote poetry, newspaper stories, and some of the most enduring plays in literature, including The Emperor Jones (1920), Beyond the Horizon (1920), Anna Christie (1922), Desire Under the Elms (1924), Strange Interlude (1928) Mourning Becomes Electra (1931), Ah, Wilderness! (1933), The Iceman Cometh (1946), A Moon for the Misbegotten, and Long Day's Journey into Night (1956). He won three Pulitzer prizes (1920, 1922, and 1928) and, in 1936, the Nobel Prize for Literature. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Happy birthday, Godfather Mario Puzo

It is the birthday of writer Mario Puzo (1920), whose best known work is The Godfather (1969), the sweeping saga of a New York crime family. It was the basis of the 1972 film on which Puzo collaborated with director Francis Ford Coppola. Puzo won Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay for Godfather movies in 1972 and 1974. In this video, Puzo and Coppola discuss the making of the movie from Puzo's work.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy birthday, screen legend Lillian Gish

It is the birthday of legendary actress Lillian Gish (1893), who is remembered for her roles in The Birth of a Nation (1915), Intolerance (1916), Broken Blossoms (1919), Way Down East (1920), Orphans of the Storm (1921), The Wind (1928), Duel in the Sun (1946), and Night of the Hunter (1955). At the age of 93, she appeared in her last film, The Whales of August (1987), with Bette Davis and Vincent Price. Her autobiographies include The Movies, Mr. Griffith, and Me (1969), Dorothy and Lillian Gish (1973), and An Actor's Life For Me (1987).

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Happy birthday, pulp writer Lester Dent

It is the birthday of writer Lester Dent (1904), who is remembered as the creator of Doc Savage, an iconic adventure hero of the 1930s and 1940s. Savage was a multi-talented physician and scientist who possessed near-superhuman abilities. Dent was the principal writer for the series and wrote 43 of the original 67 Doc Savage pulp novels. Though they were hugely successful, Dent took a disparaging view of his work, saying he was "churning out reams and reams of sellable crap." Dent also found success as a mystery and western writer.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Happy birthday, Elmore Leonard

It is the birthday of popular crime fiction writer Elmore Leonard (1925), who is remembered for such works as Hombre (1961), Mr. Majestyk (1974), Get Shorty (1990), Rum Punch (1992), and Out of Sight (1998). Leonard died in August. Here is an interview with him on writing at the 2008 F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference at Montgomery College in Maryland.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Happy birthday, composer Giuseppe Verdi

It is the 200th birthday of Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi (1813), who is remembered for the music found in his famous operas like Rigoletto (1851), La Traviata (1853), Aida (1871), and Otello (1887). He is considered one of the most important composers of the 19th century. Here is a selection of amazing pieces by Verdi. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Rare Book Moment 14: Terms of the trade

Here is the latest installment of Michael Slicker's Rare Book Moment. In this one, Mike talks about the origin of various terms used in the book trade. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

We're getting a new paint job! Like it?

We're getting spruced up. That's Byron Johnson of Painting Plus, Inc. giving us a brand new look, which is a whole lot like the old look, only spiffier. Byron comes highly recommended, and we're quite pleased with the results. Let us know what you think.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Happy birthday, writer Thomas Keneally

It is the birthday of Australian writer Thomas Keneally (1935), who won the British Booker Prize for his novel Schindler's Ark (1982), based on the work of German industrialist Oskar Schindler saving the lives of 1,200 Jews from extermination during World War II. The book was adapted as Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List (1993), which was named best picture and received six other Oscars. Holocaust survivor Poldek Pfefferberg, who was saved by Schindler, inspired Keneally to write the book.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Happy birthday, Stetson Kennedy

It is the birthday of writer, folklorist, and human rights activist Stetson Kennedy (1916), who exposed of the secrets of the Ku Klux Klan in his book I Rode With the Ku Klux Klan (1954). He traveled with Zora Neale Hurston gathering oral history in turpentine camps, and he supervised the editing of the WPA Guide to Florida: the Southernmost State (1939). His first book, Palmetto Country (1942), used material from the WPA days.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Happy birthday, reporter Damon Runyon

It is the birthday of legendary newspaperman Damon Runyon (1880), who is remembered for the quirky characters who populated his numerous short stories, and for the characters' colorful ways of talking. As a reporter, he covered baseball, Broadway, and Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1933 inauguration. Two of his short stories became the 1950 Broadway play, and later movie, Guys and Dolls. Twenty of his short stories were adapted for film, including Lady for a Day (1933), Little Miss Marker (1934), The Lemon Drop Kid (1934 and 1951), A Slight Case of Murder (1938), and The Big Street (1942).

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Happy birthday, novelist Thomas Wolfe

It is the birthday of writer Thomas Wolfe (1900), who is remembered for his autobiographical novel Look Homeward, Angel (1929), based on his childhood and teen years in Asheville, North Carolina. It describes his family and friends, guests at his mother's boarding house, and other residents of the town. It was originally 1,100 pages long, and was trimmed to publishable length by Scribner's famous book editor Maxwell Perkins. The book caused such an uproar in Asheville that Wolfe moved away and didn't return for eight years.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Happy birthday, novelist Graham Greene

It is the birthday of English writer Graham Green (1904), who is remembered for such popular novels as The Confidential Agent  (1939), The Third Man (1949), The Quiet American (1956), Our Man in Havana (1958), and The Human Factor (1978). He also wrote novels with Catholic religious themes such as Brighton Rock (1938), The Power and the Glory (1940), The Heart of the Matter (1948), and The End of the Affair (1951). Several of his works were adapted for film. He also wrote plays and short stories.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Happy birthday, novelist Faith Baldwin

It is the birthday of writer Faith Baldwin (1893), whose popular romance novels appealed to housewives and working girls, and made her one of the best paid women writers in the country in the 1930s. She made more than $315,000 in 1936, when three books were published and four others were adapted for film. She wrote more than 100 novels, most of which gave middle-class women a glimpse into the lives of the wealthy.

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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.

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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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