Sunday, December 17, 2017

Christmas Week's Literary Birthdays!



December 17:




Ford Madox Ford (1873); Erskine Caldwell (1903)

December 18:




Saki (1870); Ossie Davis Centennial (1917); Michael Moorecock (1939)

December 19:



Eleanor Hodgson Porter (1868);  Henry Clay Frick (1849); Jean Genet (1910)

December 20:



Hortense Calisher (1910)

December 21:



Benjamin Disraeli (1804); Albert Payson Terhune and Rebecca West (1892); Diana Athill Centennial (1917)

December 22:



Edward Arlington Robinson (1869)

December 23:



Robert Bly (1926)



Today in 1903: the beginning of powered flight took place in North Carolina

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Today in 1903, the Wright Brothers made the flight that changed the world. It’s just one of the tales in an excellent, collector’s copy of a history of North Carolina aviation, on sale for the holidays:

Parramore, Thomas C., First to Fly: North Carolina and the Beginnings of Aviation (University of North Carolina Press, 1st ed., 1st printing, 2002). ISBN 0-8078-2676-6. A noted North Carolina historian presents the state’s role in flight, from Jules Verne’s Robur building a death zeppelin in an extinct Rutherford County volcano (Master of the World, 1904), to the major travel center Charlotte-Douglas International Airport has become. Hardcover, unclipped dust jacket, very good condition. Octavo, 372 pp. HBB price: $25.













Henry Bemis Books is one man’s attempt to bring more diversity and quality to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg market of devoted readers starved for choices. Our website is at www.henrybemisbookseller.blogspot.com. Henry Bemis Books is also happy to entertain reasonable offers on items in inventory; for pricing on this or others items, kindly private message us. Shipping is always free to US locations; local buyers are welcome to drop by and pick up their purchases at our location off Peachtree Road in Northwest Charlotte if they like.

We accept electronic payments via Facebook Messenger, powered by Stripe.

We offer 25% off to fellow dealers.

What’s your favorite social media outlet? We’re blogging at www.henrybemisbookseller.blogspot. com. We tweet as Henry Bemis Books.

You can also see Henry’s alter ego, Lindsay Thompson, on a three weekly Facebook Live programs: Gallimaufry, a Wednesday program about literary history on Henry Bemis Books’ Facebook page; Book Week, a weekly Thursday noon rare book news program on the Book Week Facebook page; LGBookT, a Monday show about LGBT literature on the LGBookT page; and Rare Book Cafe, a live 2:30-3:30 pm EDT Saturday panel show about books and collecting on the Cafe’s Facebook page. All remain posted after their live broadcasts.



#RareBooks #HenryBemisBooks #WrightBrothers #FirstToFly #ThomasParramore

Today in Trump Review of Books



Ladies and gentlemen, the Book Reviewer of the United States:

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

It's the 35th Vannaversary!

PAT: Thank you. Thank you, Jack Clark. Thank you all. I appreciate that, and welcome to Wheel of Fortune. A big day for us around here because we told you we would find our new hostess and she's been around here for a few weeks, and now, we will officially welcome her. Please do that for Vanna White. VANNA!

     -Pat Sajak, Wheel of Fortune, December 13, 1982

The first citizen of Conway, South Carolina, the most well-known for being well-known person in America, Vanna White today- December 13, 2017- celebrates 35 years as the letter-turner on Wheel of Fortune.

Henry Bemis Books- naturally!- has an autographed first edition of Vanna’s only book, Vanna Speaks, a bestseller in 1987:



White, Vanna, Vanna Speaks (Warner Books, 1st ed., 1st printing, May, 1987). ISBN 0-446-51366-0. So ubiquitous was Vanna White in American popular culture after Wheel of Fortune began in 1983, there was a bestseller called Vanna Karenina. The Oregonian newspaper did a front page redesign featuring a column running down the left side: an index to the interior. At the top of the column was a daily celebrity photo, and the first was...Vanna White. Around Portland that space in the paper became known as “the Vanna Box,” irrespective of who appeared in it. Here the turner of letters turns woman of letters. Hardcover, unclipped dustjacket, as new condition overall. Inscribed on the half title page. HBB price: $35.

So iconic did Vanna become, so fast, she inspired other authors:




Before her first appearance on TV in 1980, White was a contestant in the Miss Georgia 1978 pageant. 

White's first appearance in a game show was on the June 20, 1980, episode of The Price Is Right, in which she was among the first four contestants. She did not make it onstage, but the clip of her running to Contestants' Row was rebroadcast as part of The Price Is Right 25th Anniversary Special in August 1996 and also was featured on the special broadcast Game Show Moments Gone Bananas. 

After Wheel of Fortune hostess Susan Stafford left in October 1982, White was selected as one of three substitute hostesses (along with Vicki McCarty and Summer Bartholomew) to co-host the show.

On December 13, 1982, White became the regular hostess. 

Also in 1987, she was featured in a Playboy pictorial, showing photos taken of her by her boyfriend (before her career on Wheel of Fortune) wearing see-through lingerie.

In 1988, she appeared in the NBC television film Goddess of Love, in which she played Venus; Betsy Palmer co-starred as Juno. The film was panned universally by critics, with TV Guide joking that White's acting was "wheely" bad. Film historian Leonard Maltin added that the picture was "...bottom-of-the-barrel yet, on its own terms, a must-see".


She has made cameo appearances on television shows such as L.A. Law, 227, Super Mario Bros. Super Show, Simon and Simon, The King of Queens, and Full House; and in films such as Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult (1994) and Double Dragon (1994). She also appeared as Doris in the horror movie Graduation Day in 1981.

She guest-starred on Married...With Children; in a gender-bending parody of the film Indecent Proposal, White had the Robert Redford role while Al Bundy had that of Demi Moore. She served as guest timekeeper for WrestleMania IV. 


In 1992, the Guinness Book of World Records recognized White as "television's most frequent clapper". In 1996, she was the main narrator and singer in the CD release of Leslie Bricusse's "Santa's Last Ride".

On April 20, 2006, she was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, with Pat Sajak, Merv Griffin, and Alex Trebek as key witnesses.

White lent her voice to the Canadian animated television special The Real Story of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and the American animated television series Captain Planet and the Planeteers.

White dated Playgirl centerfold/Chippendales-dancer-turned-actor John Gibson in the 1980s, and they eventually became engaged. In 1986, Gibson was killed in a plane crash. 

White married restaurant owner George Santo Pietro in December 1990. The couple divorced in November 2002.

From 2004 to 2006, she was engaged to businessman Michael Kaye, senior partner in a large leveraged buyout fund based in southern California. The two never wed.

White is a crochet and knitting enthusiast and has a line of yarns called "Vanna's Choice" through Lion Brand Yarns.

In 1993, White sued the Samsung Electronics corporation over its use of a humorous ad featuring a robot turning letters on a game show, alleging a violation of her personality rights. 

The lower court's decision in Samsung's favor was reversed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the Ninth Circuit denied a rehearing; Judge Kozinski issued a dissent. The U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari. 

White ultimately was awarded $403,000 in damages.

Comic musician "Weird Al" Yankovic penned an original song, "Stuck in a Closet with Vanna White" featured on his hit album Even Worse.

In 1987, disc jockey David Kolin, credited as Dr. Dave, released a 12-inch single of a parody called "Vanna, Pick Me a Letter" to the song "The Letter" by The Box Tops.

Henry Bemis Books is one man’s attempt to bring more diversity and quality to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg market of devoted readers starved for choices. Our website is at www.henrybemisbookseller.blogspot.com. Henry Bemis Books is also happy to entertain reasonable offers on items in inventory; for pricing on this or others items, kindly private message us. Shipping is always free to US locations; local buyers are welcome to drop by and pick up their purchases at our location off Peachtree Road in Northwest Charlotte if they like. 

We accept electronic payments via Facebook Messenger, powered by Stripe.

We offer 25% off to fellow dealers.

What’s your favorite social media outlet? We’re blogging at www.henrybemisbookseller.blogspot. com. We tweet as Henry Bemis Books. 

You can also see Henry’s alter ego, Lindsay Thompson, on a three weekly Facebook Live programs: Gallimaufry, a Wednesday program about literary history on Henry Bemis Books’ Facebook page; Book Week, a weekly Thursday noon rare book news program on the Book Week Facebook page; LGBookT, a Monday show about LGBT literature on the LGBookT page; and Rare Book Cafe, a live 2:30-3:30 pm EDT Saturday panel show about books and collecting on the Cafe’s Facebook page. All remain posted after their live broadcasts.

#FirstEditions #Autographs #HenryBemisBooks #Charlotte

"Celebrate what you want to see more of," Tom Peters says. And people do.

Tom Peters- the man who invented the business book industry- has won his lifetime achievement award, and Henry Bemis Books is celebrating:

Peters, Tom, Re-imagine! Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age (Dorling Kindersley, 1st ed., 1st printing, 2003). ISBN 0-7894-9647-X.  Former McKinsey consultant Peters, whose 1982 book In Search of Excellence set publishing records, has made a remarkable career explaining how things change so fast you need to disregard his last book and get the current one- until things change again and the next one comes along. Hardcover, quarto, unclipped dust jacket, autographed by Peters on the front end pages. HBB price: $24.99.


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Here's the announcement of Peters' honor:

We are thrilled to announce that The 2017 Jack Covert Award for Contribution to the Business Book Industry will be awarded to Tom Peters.

It was inevitable that an award for one’s contribution to the business book industry would eventually come back to Peters. His seminal book, In Search of Excellence—written with Bob Waterman—is not only seen by many as the best business book of all time, it is considered the genesis of the genre. The business book industry as we know it would not exist without it, and neither would our company. Our founder, Jack Covert, says of Peters:

When you look at authors who established ‘business books’ as a significant genre within publishing, Tom Peters is the stand out. Tom’s first book took business books from the dusty part of the bookstore to the window. It showed the industry that a well written, intelligent business book can sell, and it’s never stopped selling. Tom’s contribution to the genre has lasted well over three decades:

Jack was hired by our current owner and CEO Rebecca Schwartz’s father in 1984 to run the business and computer book section of the family bookshop, just two years after the release of In Search of Excellence. His first eureka moment in bookselling came when he saw a businessperson come in during their lunch hour and buy all six copies of Tom's book off the shelf. It was then that he realized business books could be sold in bulk, a spark that would eventually move the company out of the bookshop and turn it into what it is today. So, our company owes a lot to Tom Peters. Our entire industry does.

But it goes deeper than that for Jack himself. Working in the burgeoning business book industry, which Peters helped shape even after the release of Search by barnstorming around the country spreading the good news, Jack eventually got to know Peters well.

The two first met at the book industry’s biggest trade show, BEA, in the late ’80s. Jack described the scene to us recently:
We sat down on the floor, with our backs to the wall, and talked about business books … and how to market business books, and we spent an hour-and-a-half talking. And it was just this real, immediate connection—and it lasted. 
They had both served in the military, and Peters had been in government before entering McKinsey, where he would write In Search of Excellence, and Jack appreciated that background and breadth of experience, telling me how, “He did not come, just like I did not come, from this industry.”

Perhaps that is why Tom once described In Search of Excellence as “an afterthought, the runt of the McKinsey consulting litter, a hip-pocket project that was never supposed to amount to much.” That afterthought ended up fundamentally altering the way the world approached business management.

Before Search, business literature was the domain of scholars and academics, and it was heavy on bureaucracy and bean counting. Management was meant to be scientific, everything reduced to numbers and finance. Peters and Bob Waterman insisted that business management was more about people, customers, and relationships. It focused on the humanity of the organization, a shift that would prove to be revolutionary. With the rise of the digital age and Big Data, this message is as important as ever.

Peters’ influence goes beyond that first book, or the many that would follow. He is the most recognized and renowned management consultant of all time, and has shaped management thinking more than any other person before or since. Yes, neither Jack nor Tom came from the industry, in part because it didn’t exist until they helped build it.

And Tom isn’t finished. His new book, The Excellence Dividend: Meeting the Tech Tide with Work That Wows and Jobs That Last, is coming in April, and continues his gospel that excellence is rooted in a focus on and concern for people, and that we must put people first. That message may be his most lasting contribution.

We're so pleased to be able to put Tom himself first, and look forward to seeing Jack hand him his award in person at our annual awards party and industry celebration in January.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Sometimes, you can judge a book by its cover- and be surprised by what you find! Here's 5 Christmas finds-


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If you missed Henry Bemis Books’ video sale catalogue today, no worries- we saved it for you! Here’s the link, and here’s the five books, each with a fascinating “cover” story:

King, Alexander, Mine Enemy Grows Older (Simon & Schuster, 1st ed. 5th printing, 1958). LOC 58-13170. Austrian by birth, King (1899-1965) made his way to America, where he made a complete shambles of his life before becoming a famous regular on the Tonight Show with Jack Paar, and author of a series of memoirs.


This one recounts his thirty-year drug addiction and is probably one of the funnier works in that field. It’s also unusual for having two dust jackets: one bearing one of King’s Dali-esque paintings; the other, “a conservative cover for conservative people.”


Having spent nearly sixty years under the painting, the conservative cover is in better shape. The book’s pages have yellowed. Good condition overall. Hardcover, with two! two! dust jackets. HBB price: $35 obo.


Bonus! Here’s a rare audio clip of King with Jack Paar, from the days when a guest with nothing to plug could get seventeen minutes just by being interesting:





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Van Loon, Hendrik Willem, The Arts (Simon & Schuster, 1st ed., 1937, later printing, 1939). A Dutch-American journalist, historian, children’s book author and political activist, Van Loon (1882-1944) moved- seemingly effortlessly- between genres, producing scores of books on all kinds of topics over a thirty-year period. He covered the 1905 Russian Revolution; so alienated Adolf Hitler that the dictator banned Van Loon from entering the country; and won the first Newberry Medal, for outstanding children’s literature, in 1922. Van Loon often illustrated his books, and The Arts is no exception. In this 678 page “story of Painting and Sculpture and Architecture and Music as well as all the so-called Minor Arts from the days of the caveman until the present time,” Van Loon covers the waterfront, with illustrated end papers, many four color drawings in the text, and- most interestingly- a dust jacket that folds out- double size- into a chart of important events in the history of the arts. Some front hinge separation; otherwise, good condition. HBB price: $59.95.





Loring, John Tiffany Flora/Tiffany Fauna (Harry N. Abrams, 1st ed, 1st printing, 2003). ISBN 0-8109-4573-8. Pair of beautifully-photographed volumes illustrating Tiffany’s output of jewelry and other goods in designs drawn from nature. In a striking white slipcase with nine open circles, front and back, allowing the dust jacket illustrations to show through. Hardcover, unclipped dust jackets, fine condition. HBB price: $125.


Pericoli, Matteo, Manhattan Unfurled (Random House, 1st ed., 3rd printing 2001). ISBN 0-375-50491-5. An Italian architect and illustrator who lives in New York, Pericoli took a Circle Line boat tour around Manhattan in 1998 and was seized of the idea to draw what he had seen. Three years later, this book was the result: two, accordionized, 22-foot panels showing everything there was to be seen at the time on the East and West Sides.  In an accompanying essay, architecture critic Paul Goldberger echoes E.B. White’s concern over bomb-laden aircraft in “This Is New York,” writing, “This drawing was completed before the horrific events of September, 11, 2001, which changed everything as far as the Manhattan skyline is concerned. Chaos is no longer an aesthetic concept but a catastrophic fact of life. The skyline, which we have always thought of as changing slowly, organically, suddenly becomes capable of wrenching, instantaneous, cataclysmic change. In the Darwinian world of the Manhattan skyline the largest buildings were always the most powerful, but on September 11 the World Trade Center did not drive smaller, weaker buildings away but were taken away themselves.” A brilliant artistic achievement, and evocation of a time about to be swept away. Very good condition, in a very good slipcase. HBB price: $35.


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McBain, Ed, And All Through The Night: Christmas Eve at the 87th Precinct (Warner Books, 1st ed., 1st printing, 1984). ISBN -0-446-51845-X. Ed McBain delighted readers with over forty novels featuring the boys at the 87th precinct. In this slim volume, it’s 10.30 Christmas Eve and the precinct isn’t just quiet. It’s dead. Det. Steve Carella figures its a paperwork night. Maybe get home a little early. The things start happening. A charming retelling of the birth of Jesus as a night at the precinct. Hardcover, no dustjacket. The blazing Christmas tree on the cover is visible through a precinct window on the slipcase. 5.75 x 5.75 inches, 40 pp. Very good condition. HBB price: $25 obo.


*****


Henry Bemis Books is one man’s attempt to bring more diversity and quality to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg market of devoted readers starved for choices. Our website is at www.henrybemisbookseller.blogspot.com. Henry Bemis Books is also happy to entertain reasonable offers on items in inventory; for pricing on this or others items, kindly private message us. Shipping is always free to US locations; local buyers are welcome to drop by and pick up their purchases at our location off Peachtree Road in Northwest Charlotte if they like.


We accept electronic payments via Facebook Messenger, powered by Stripe.


We offer 25% off to fellow dealers.


What’s your favorite social media outlet? We’re blogging at www.henrybemisbookseller.blogspot. com. We tweet as Henry Bemis Books.


You can also see Henry’s alter ego, Lindsay Thompson, on a three weekly Facebook Live programs: Gallimaufry, a Wednesday program about literary history on Henry Bemis Books’ Facebook page; Book Week, a weekly Thursday noon rare book news program on the Book Week Facebook page; LGBookT, a Monday show about LGBT literature on the LGBookT page; and Rare Book Cafe, a live 2:30-3:30 pm EDT Saturday panel show about books and collecting on the Cafe’s Facebook page. All remain posted after their live broadcasts.


#FirstEditions #Autographs #HenryBemisBooks #Charlotte

Sunday, December 10, 2017

This Week's Literary Birthdays

December 10:



Emily Dickinson (1830); Melvil Dewey (1851); Mary Norton (1903)

December 11:




Alfred de Musset (1810); Nagib Mahfouz (1911); Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918); Grace Paley (1922)

December 12:

Hanukkah begins.

December 13:

Marc Connelly (1911); Ross McDonald (1915)

December 14:




Shirley Jackson (1916); Stanley Crouch (1943)

December 15:

Muriel Rukeyser (1913)

December 16:



Jane Austen (1775); Noel Coward (1899); V.S. Pritchett (1900); Arthur C. Clarke (1917); Philip L. Dick (1928)

Saturday, December 9, 2017

"Of Man's first disobedience, and the fruit Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste Brought death into the world, and all our woe, With loss of Eden..."








One of the most significant poets in English- both in the value of his work and impact over centuries was born today in 1608. John Milton's works remain in print, read and studied, and Henry Bemis Books celebrates the event with his most celebrated work in a fine 20thC edition:




Milton, John, Paradise Lost (Easton Press, The 100 Best Books Ever Written Collector’s Edition, 1st. ed., 1976). Leather bound w/22k gold accents. Attractive moire end pages with silk ribbon page marker. Smyth sewn with concealed muslin joints. Full leather with hubbed spine. Gilt edges. Fine condition. HBB price: $40 obo.

Blind, broke and out of favor, Milton sold the copyright to Paradise Lost 350 years ago. As Bible.org notes, “He signed an agreement with Samuel Simmons, a London publisher, by which he sold the copyright of Paradise Lost for five pounds, plus five pounds for the sale of each of three subsequent editions, an edition comprising 1,500 copies. Milton received a second five pounds in April 1669, making a grand total of 10 pounds to the author of England’s greatest epic. After his death, Milton’s widow Elizabeth sold all remaining rights for eight pounds to Simmons, who became perpetual copyright owner.”

Today the 18 pounds Paradise Lost fetched would equal US$3873.92.

Parliament abolished the notion of perpetual copyright in the Statute of Anne (1710), which provided for a 14-year copyright period with a right of renewal for fourteen more. It also rested copyright with authors, not their publishers.

*****

Henry Bemis Books is one man’s attempt to bring more diversity and quality to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg market of devoted readers starved for choices. Our website is at www.henrybemisbookseller.blogspot.com. Henry Bemis Books is also happy to entertain reasonable offers on items in inventory; for pricing on this or others items, kindly private message us. Shipping is always free to US locations; local buyers are welcome to drop by and pick up their purchases at our location off Peachtree Road in Northwest Charlotte if they like.

We accept electronic payments via Facebook Messenger, powered by Stripe.

We offer 25% off to fellow dealers.

What’s your favorite social media outlet? We’re blogging at www.henrybemisbookseller.blogspot. com. We tweet as Henry Bemis Books.

You can also see Henry’s alter ego, Lindsay Thompson, on a three weekly Facebook Live programs: Gallimaufry, a Wednesday program about literary history on Henry Bemis Books’ Facebook page; Book Week, a weekly Thursday noon rare book news program on the Book Week Facebook page; LGBookT, a Friday show about LGBT literature on the LGBookT page; and Rare Book Cafe, a live 2:30-3:30 pm EDT Saturday panel show about books and collecting on the Cafe’s Facebook page. All remain posted after their live broadcasts.

#FirstEditions #Autographs #HenryBemisBooks #Charlotte

In the heyday of the American auto industry, outside the box thinking didn't last long, or fare well.



Today in Today in Literature:

On this day in 1955, American poet Marianne Moore submitted the last of the names that she had contracted to provide to the Ford Motor Company for the new car they were about to launch. This labor had begun six weeks earlier, at the behest of David Wallace, the sociology Ph.D. who had been hired by Ford to conduct the search, and who had written to Moore with his despair:

Over the past few weeks this office has confected a list of three hundred-odd candidates which, it pains me to relate, are characterized by an embarrassing pedestrianism. We are miles short of our ambition. And so we are seeking the help of one who knows more about this sort of magic than we....

Moore was almost a cult figure in America during the 50s and 60s, known as much for her love of baseball (sometimes throwing the first pitch) and prize fights (sometimes dining with Cassius Clay), as for her Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry. What Ford wanted was a car name that "flashes a dramatically desirable picture in people's minds," from a woman who seemed to know mainstream America. What they got was "Anticipator," "Thunder Crester," "Pastelogram," "Intelligent Whale," "The Resilient Bullet," "Mongoose Civique," "Andante con Moto," "Varsity Stroke" and then, as her very last try for the name magic, "Utopian Turtletop."

The Mooremobile was not to be, and Ford returned to its old, pedestrian route. Every day the appointed panel of executives would assemble in the appointed projection room to review some of the 18,000 names forwarded by the appointed ad agency. Each contender flashed across the screen in six-inch high letters, to oblivion unless someone shouted, "Stop!" and gave reasons for their enthusiasm. This got the list to 6,000 and then 400 and then 16, though perhaps more quickly than it should have: Wallace was so suspicious after several sessions had gone by without a single "Stop!" that he had BUICK flashed across the screen, again to no response, and turned on the lights to see most people dozing.

None of the final contenders, neither "Corsair" nor "Citation" nor "Ranger" nor "Pacer," made the grade in the end, and Ford returned to its better, much earlier idea: the Edsel.

Moore returned to poetry, and baseball -- though "Baseball & Writing," one poetic homage to the sport, seems at times to speak to the ad-man's game:

... Pitching is a large subject.
Your arm, too true at first, can learn to
catch your corners....

For the complete- and delightful- list Moore sent Ford- and a bio of her life, which in included writing the liner notes for Muhammed Ali's spoken word record album, "I Am The Greatest," click here.