“And the Wolf chewed up the children and spit out their bones…But those were Foreign Children and it really didn’t matter” An early Dr. Seuss cartoon has gone viral for the second time in recent years. First used as a condemnation against international inaction regarding the crimes against humanity in Syria in 2015, the cartoon has more recently been used to oppose the detention camps on the US-Mexico border, where children are being separated from parents seeking asylum in the … Continued
Goofy and Lovable Bears are an Important Cornerstone in Children’s Literature There’s just something about bears. For an animal so potentially dangerous, they have become a staple in children’s literature. A given a quick glance over their representation in children’s books and it’s easy to understand why — they’re large, fluffy, and endearingly dopey. And for the last nearly 100 years, they have maintained a permanent presence in libraries and children’s bookshelves. We highlight some of the most well-known literary … Continued
A Career In Writing Anthony Bourdain may be best known as the television persona traveling the world and eating exotic cuisines in his hit shows on the Food Network A Cook’s Tour, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, and The Layover, along with CNN’s Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, but he is also the author of multiple best-selling books. Most of his books, both fiction and non-fiction, center around cooking and food, including his first breakout best-seller Kitchen Confidential, published in 2001. The … Continued
There are many famous authors who were also quite fond of food – there’s George R. R. Martin and his lemon cakes and roast capons, J. R. R. Tolkien and his hobbit-sized feasts, and countless other sumptuous tables described in detail throughout popular literature. Some authors take their gastronomic pleasures more seriously than others. To celebrate them, we’ve curated a list of cook books by bestselling authors for you to enjoy. 1. Maya Angelou (1928-2014) is best known for her … Continued
Andy Warhol, famous for his Pop Art renditions of Campbell’s Soup Cans and other supermarket staples, not only illustrated a popular cookbook early in his career as a commercial artist, but he also self-published his own cookbook. After completing a degree in pictorial design from the Art at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in 1949, Warhol moved to New York and began working as a freelance illustrator for magazines and trade publications. He worked as an … Continued
Craft cocktails have been making a comeback, with many bartenders and exploratory imbibers referencing vintage manuals for inspiration.
We’ve put together a guide to some of the top rare and collectible cocktail guides for holiday gift-giving and entertaining season. All of these classic titles have been reprinted in the last few years as well, offering a newer and more affordable option for recipe collectors and mixologists if the signed, first edition is out of your reach! (more…)
Feliz Dia de los Muertos!
Some people are celebrating Halloween now, but there are others who are preparing to honor their friends, family, and even authors who have passed on in order to show respect to the impressions they left on the living who remember them. October 31st, November 1st and 2nd are considered the Days of the Dead or Dias De los Muertos, a holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, although there are festivities around the world that are similar.
The holiday is considered a time of remembrance, with celebrations of our loved ones, our ancestors, that have passed on to the “other side.” There are often parties with dancing, food, parades, music, and altars–all done to honor those loved or admired who have passed from this earth.
Here in Asheville, North Carolina, there are several exciting events. A local tour bus company offers a Day of the Dead ride that goes through our Historic Riverside Cemetery (where Thomas Wolfe and O. Henry are buried) to a gathering with a beautiful ancestor altar at a local restaurant. There are dance parties in town, as well as more solemn vigils and grave decorating.
If this tradition spikes interest in the reader within you, I have taken the liberty of listing some lovely books and other items for sale at Biblio.com reflecting the beauty of this holiday. (more…)
Books and Ephemera on Death and Funeral CustomsMemento mori is a Latin phrase that means ‘Remember that you will die’ and it is meant to serve as a reminder that we all shall pass from this plane. A commonly accepted story of the origin of the phrase claims that a slave was commanded to sing “Memento Mori” as he paraded behind his master, a triumphant war hero returning to Rome, to remind him that even though one may be strong, man’s time on earth is ultimately finite.
The phrase and concept caught on with the growth of Christianity and spread throughout the world. There are chapels in Rome, Portugal, and the Czech Republic that have chandeliers, towers, sculpture and even walls made from or inlaid with hundreds of thousands of human bones. There are many ornate tombs covered in laughing skeletons and angels alike, artwork depicting the danse macabre – the dancing death – taking away poor and rich alike, and later on, complicated clocks and watches decorated with reminders that your final second is ever just around the bend.
The Victorian era was rife with dramatic funerary customs, many modeled after Queen Victoria’s intense and life-long mourning of her beloved husband, Prince Albert. It was common to clip locks of hair from the head of a deceased loved one to keep as a physical reminder of them. Some women even wove the hair into a fine mesh and made jewelry from it, or tucked it into lockets. Daguerreotypes and ambrotypes were growing more popular and many photographers specialized in post-mortem photography. Those pictures were then inserted into cards, lockets, or handmade frames crafted by the grieving women of the family who weren’t allowed to do much else during their restrictive mourning period.
We’ve found a few amazing historically significant Memento Mori broadsides spanning the centuries, as well as books, ephemera and some modern writings on the subject. Click through to see!
Allow me to point your attention towards Arkham, Massachusetts, home of the esteemed Miskatonic University. In this New England village, and nearby towns Dunwich, Kingsport and Innsmouth, we can turn our gaze over the gentle rolling hills and quiet old farms and see no trace of the ever-unfolding, gibbering horrors that originated in these thankfully fictitious places, fresh from the mind of Howard Phillips Lovecraft.
H.P. Lovecraft, father of Cthulhu, master of horror!
The American author’s tales of Cthulhu were first published in Weird Tales in 1928, but many of his other stories had been published in various periodicals since 1917. Although he achieved a small bit of cult fame among his peers and readers during his lifetime, Lovecraft’s impact lives on through his influence on modern horror, and through the publishing house named after his infamous town of Arkham. (more…)
Author Oscar Hijuelos passed away after a heart attack on Saturday at age 62 in New York.
Hijuelos was born to Cuban parents in New York and although he was often lauded as a Latino author, he did not appreciate being compartmentalized by ethnicity. Even so, the common themes in his books are cultural assimilation in the “melting pot” of the United States, and he is listed as an inspiration by many younger Latino authors.
Best known for “The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love,” a novel that won him the 1990 Pulitzer Prize, Hijuelos was the first Latino to win that book award. Hijuelos also was awarded the Ingram Merrill Foundation Award in 1983 and the Rome Prize in 1985 for his first published novel, “Our House in the Last World.”
Oscar Hijuelos wrote a memoir in 2011 that reminisced on the 1970’s in New York and his experience of being an aspiring Cuban writer, called “Thoughts without Cigarettes.”
Our condolences are extended to his wife, author and poet Lori Marie Carlson.
Collectible editions of Oscar Hijuelos work are after the jump…