The Bibliophile's Adventurers Club

Exemplars of bookish delight

Friday Field Notes 032715


Isn’t it lovely? It simply must be preserved.

I’ll admit, in recent years I’ve been a bit leery of checking books out of the library—germs and questionable stains and all that. Of course, if I had children it would be a whole other matter entirely; we’d march right back through those doors at least once a week. Why, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you: because the doors to our public library hold some of my fondest memories; I don’t want my children missing out. Which reminds me, Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Russo is set to help the struggling library of Gloversville, New York—the library he visited as a child; the library he credits with helping decide to become a writer. “I do think I have a debt to pay, and I’m happy to engage now in paying it back,” he says. If you have time to read one article, why don’t you go ahead and read this one. It’s a good reminder of what makes our libraries great—and why we shouldn’t let them down now.

And here are a few other bookish bits from the week. . .

Poet Jane Hirshfield talks poetry—specifically, How To Read Poetry And Restore ‘Amazement’ (via The Huffington Post).

Neil Gaiman reminisces about Terry Pratchett (The Guardian).

 Erik Larson explains how he wants people to be able to sink into the past (The Guardian). So that’s why his novels tend to be so intriguing.

The cover for Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman makes its debut (this links to the U.S. version, naturally).

The Berkeley Side gives us a glimpse at the first annual Bay Area Book Festival’s public art installation, to be made up of some 50,000 books. It looks and sounds pretty awesome . . .

Friday Field Notes 032015

Books to dry (01528757xA270B)

Teachers at Central School in Vanuatu, lay out books to dry.

After the devastation of Tropical Cyclone Pam, the people of the island nation of Vanuata  are left with the arduous task of cleaning up and rebuilding.  This includes rebuilding the library of the main school in Vanuatu’s capital, Port Vila. After the roof was torn off, many of the books were damaged beyond repair. Teachers and administrators put salvageable books out to dry–now they’re asking for our help.

In other bookish news . . .

Ayaan Hirsi talks books (The New York Times, By the Book).

A Bookkeeper’s tale (Central Florida Future, A Gannett Company).

There are rumblings of another Harper Lee book? The story sounds intriguing. But I don’t know; it seems as though maybe we should just let her alone.

I guess we should also leave George R.R. Martin alone as well. Word on the street is he’s skipping Comic-Con to finish his next book.

Traditional book stores in the Bronx have dropped like flies, but comic book stores seem to flourish (NY City Lens).

An aside: The Paris Review is looking for their next Writer-in-Residence. If you currently have a book under contract, it’s worth the look . . .

Friday Field Notes 030615



Yesterday was World Book Day, you know. Hopefully you caught a bit of the fun on Twitter—people of all ages and backgrounds were tweeting books. For those unfamiliar with the concept, Waterstones Oxford Street kindly posted the ‘handy spotters guide.’ Needless to say, I do believe the celebration should continue the whole weekend through.

To get us on our way, here are some bookish news items from the week:

India’s new comic book heroine fights rape.

Paul Beatty, Author of ‘The Sellout,’ on Finding Humor in Issues of Race (The New York Times).

Kazuo Ishiguro on Memory, Censorship and Why Proust is Overrated (Maddie Crum, The Huffington Post).

The Game of Thrones on Business, and other lessons from literature (The Guardian Books).  Disclaimer: I’ve not read the book. But my initial reaction: business is cutthroat enough without throwing The Game of Thrones in the mix. Egads!

Guidelines for Handling William Faulkner’s Drinking During Foreign Trips From the US State Department (1955) (Open Culture). Awesome.

The Book Thieves of London. Also awesome.

Astrid Tuttle Winegar gives us a Narnia-inspired recipe: mainly, A Faun’s Favorite Sugar Topped Cake.

There have been quite a few studies as of late that prove print books are better than eBooksThe Huffington Post kindly compiled a list.

Here’s a 1906 novel that imagined present day New York (The New Yorker).

Here’s the 2015 Scottish Children’s book award winners. Winners of the 2015 Scottish Children’s book awards have been announced.

And here’s a bargain: Ten Years in the Tub by Nick Hornby is half off, this week only (McSweeney’s).



A word from Dr. Seuss


March 2, 1904 a baby boy was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. His name: Theodor Seuss Geisel. He would grow up to be our very own Dr. Seuss. We, of course, know him most for his children’s stories. And they took off with something of a dare. You see, William Ellsworth Spaulding, the director of the education division at Houghton Mifflin, gave Dr. Seuss a list of over 300 words–words he believed every first-grader should know. The mission: whittle the list by a hundred words or so, then use those words to write “. . . a book children can’t put down.” With that, The Cat in the Hat was born. Though he never had children of his own, his words and illustrations continue to entertain and inspire children the whole world through.  His words may continue to teach us, no matter our age.

With that, a few words from the man of the hour . . .

A person’s a person, no matter how small.–Dr. Seuss

You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.–Dr. Seuss

Adults are just outdated children.–Dr. Seuss

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.–Dr. Seuss

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.–Dr. Seuss

From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.–Dr. Seuss

Step with care and great tact ,and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act.–Dr. Seuss

I’ve heard there are troubles of more than one kind; some come from ahead, and some come from behind. But I’ve brought a big bat. I’m all ready, you see; now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!–Dr. Seuss

Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened. –Dr. Seuss

Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.–Dr. Seuss

Friday Field Notes 022015


From the funnest author we ever met!

Last year was something of a pathetic reading year for me. All the worse since I have a book blog.  Needless to say, this year I have determined to do better. Even still, the question remains–which makes the list? In that regard, David Carr once explained his reading hierarchy: “Books I’d like to read, books I should read, books I should read by friends of mine and books I should read by friends of mine whom I am likely to bump into.” Except for the last bit, I can totally relate. So far, I’m an equal opportunity reader. You?

With that, here are a few bookish bits from the week (emphasis on few):

Princeton University has been bequeathed a rare book collection worth $300 million.

Dr. Seuss has a ‘new’ book coming out July, 2015. And by Dr. Seuss, I do mean Dr. Seuss.

Barnes and Noble gives us 10 reasons they’re inviting Neil Gaiman and Daniel Handler to their next dinner party (as if they need to give reasons).

The Guardian takes a look at John Updike.

Abe Books explains how movies can inspire a search for first editions and other fine books. So long as the book truly exists and it goes to a good home, it’s all good.

« Older posts