Monday, October 24, 2016

Mountains of Books 2016. (Book Fair)

Mountains of Books 2016. 
Saturday 29th of October 2016  To  Sunday 30th of October 2016
Time: 10am - 4pm
Ferny Creek Recreational Reserve Hall (Melways map 75 D1)
Cnr Clarkmont Rd and Hilton Road  Ferny Creek  3786

Books that i was selling last year... not this year.

Yep, I'm selling at Mountains of Books once again in the wonderful surrounds of the beautiful Ferny Creek Recreational Reserve Hall. It's a great weekend for any book lover wanting to peruse a plethora of booksellers choice items, all in the one location... and what a location. Even if you're not a book buyer, it's worth having a look at this wonderful locale and if you are a book buyer, then it's even more of a reason to come along. (Click here if you want to have a look.)

More books that i wont be bringing along this year.

I'm going to be bringing along a good mix of my usual “books of interest” of the usual Huc & Gabet high standard, as will the other wonderful booksellers selling here this year (...they were wonderful last year, so i'm assuming they will be wonderful this year).  

I hope to see you there.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Nolan on Nolan: Sidney Nolan in His Own Words by Sidney Nolan, edited by Nancy Underhill.

Nolan on Nolan: Sidney Nolan in His Own Words by Sidney Nolan, edited by Nancy Underhill.  Hardcover book published by Viking 2007, 472 pages with some colour and black and white photographs and some colour illustrations.

Sidney Nolan (1917—1992), myth maker and creator of the iconic Ned Kelly images, is one of the most significant artists Australia has produced. In this distinctive book, the artist becomes his own subject. Extracts from his notebooks, diaries, letters, interviews and poetry take us on the intellectual and emotional journeys which carried him around the world and which kept his art, and often his life, outside the comfort zone. The material from the notebooks, published here for the first time, offers unique insight into Nolan’s creative process, while the collection as a whole reveals a complex personality and an artist who resists stylistic categorisation. It expands and recasts perceptions of his views on art making, friendships, travel, music and literature, throwing new light on his work. Introduced and annotated by art historian Nancy Underhill, Nolan on Nolan represents the first compilation of the painter’s views, one which takes the reader behind Nolan’s own carefully constructed mask.

A few years back I wrote about Sidney Nolan and the epiphany I had had regarding his work (click here).  Nothing much has changed since then, with my humble opinions remaining firmly on the “now there was a genius” end of the art appreciation spectrum. This book doesn't have much art in it, but it does have Sidneys words and for anyone vaguely interested in Mr Nolan, it is an important insight into the work of a true Australian Master.

I was recently talking about Sidney Nolan with some fellow art appreciators who were not convinced by my enthusiasm. Interestingly, as soon as I mentioned his Antarctic landscapes their interest became a little more sparked and as with most people, they were unaware of this less known aspect of his work. This makes me wonder what do they and others know about the depth of Sidneys catalogue... and it's not as if i'm an expert or anything like that. Indeed, I would rate myself as an amateur ethusiast who has an amazement at having had a epiphany about someones art that up to that point in time, I had had no interest in at all.

and this is why, books by or about Sidney Nolan are available through Huc & Gabet.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. Hardcover book published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson 1961, 319 pages.

Lolita is a novel by Vladimir Nabokov, written in English and published in 1955 in Paris, in 1958 in New York City, and in 1959 in London. The novel is notable for its controversial subject: the protagonist and unreliable narrator, a middle-aged literature professor called Humbert Humbert, is obsessed with the 12-year-old Dolores Haze, with whom he becomes sexually involved after he becomes her stepfather. "Lolita" is his private nickname for Dolores.

Yep, she was 12 in the book. For the film, they raised the age of Lolita a few years but not as much as would make it acceptable that a middle-aged literature professor was lusting etc, after such a young girl. Despite this dodgy premise for a story, Lolita in both formats was and still is a success. It is considered one of the great books of the 20th century*, and it is also considered one of the books I really need to read... and yes I do have my own copy waiting in the pile.

I watched the film for the first time a few years ago and like most people, I was quite startled, amazed and gobsmacked. That doesn't mean that I didn't appreciate the film and the excellent job that Stanley did, or the excellent performances by all concerned especially Shelley Winters.

It does mean that I was a little taken aback by the subject matter and kept thinking all the way through that it was all a little bit dodgy. A great story but still dodgy. My copy of the book has been in the pile for a number of years now and a bit like a fine wine cellar, i'm waiting for the right moment to read it. Will there ever be enough time?

*Lolita is included on TIME magazine's list of the 100 best English-language novels published from 1923 to 2005. It is also fourth on the Modern Library's 1998 list of the 100 best novels of the 20th century, and holds a place in theBokklubben World Library, a 2002 collection of the most celebrated books in history. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Swedish Food: 200 Selected Swedish Dishes The Smorgasbord Traditional Party and Everyday Menus, edited by Sam Erik Widenfelt.

Swedish Food: 200 Selected Swedish Dishes The Smorgasbord Traditional Party and Everyday Menus, edited by Sam Erik Widenfelt. Softcover book (stiff card) with decorative front cover published by Esselte 1954, 151 pages with black and white photograph, a few colour photographs and a few black and white illustrations.

The publisher of this book believes that you will enjoy making or renewing your acquaintance with Swedish food. Besides the famous smorgasbord, with all its delicacies and appetizing tid-bits, the Swedish kitchen boasts specialties of other kinds. For in a country so far north, with a relatively severe climate, food and the preparation of food are regarded as important. Culinary imagination and skill are highly developed in Sweden, and both housewives and professional cooks, aware that good, well-prepared food is always appreciated, take pride in their handiwork. This book makes it possible for you to prepare 200 of the best Swedish dishes, breads and cookies in your own kitchen.”

So you've been reading Scandinavian noir. 
But what is Scandinavia really like? 
It can't be all dark, cold, serial killers with a moral complexity that enthralls us all. 
No, it's the Smorgasbord as well.

I wasn't thinking of Kurt Wallander when i picked up this book. I was thinking how beautiful the cover is and how wonderful these vintage photographs are.

I'm a bit of sucker for this period of vintage cookbooks. It doesn't matter where it's from as long as it has enough recipes and photographs from a by gone era.  A snapshot... in the same way that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a snapshot of Sweden as it was in 2005, this book is a snapshot of Sweden in 1954... but with more seafood.

Monday, September 12, 2016

A Manual of Acupuncture by Peter Deadman, Mazin Al-Khafaji, with Kevin Baker.

A Manual of Acupuncture by Peter Deadman, Mazin Al-Khafaji, with Kevin Baker. Hardcover book published by Journal of Chinese Medicine Publications 2007, 675 pages with black and white illustrations, and black and white with some brown illustrations.

"Established as the most complete work on the channels, collaterals and points in English, A Manual of Acupuncture has become the gold standard text for students and practitioners of acupuncture." 

I like text books. I think this 'like' and passing interest comes from my early years of bookselling way back in the 1980s when I was working in a university book shop. Large unwieldy volumes filled with stuff I didn't understand and never will understand, still get me excited (… no, not like that), despite the impenetrable wall of my personal incomprehension. It was an Australian University and it was the 1980s so there were no books dealing with Acupuncture on the shelves under my coordination. If they had of taught it there, I would have had it... They didn't, so no acupuncture. Despite my lack of bookish experience in channels, collaterals and points, I didn't hesitate in picking up this weighty tome. “Most complete work on the channels, collaterals and points in English”, is what convinced me. It is a little concerning that there is possibly a more complete text in another language(s), I guess this one will have to do for English speakers at this point in time or rather at that time (2007).

Click here to view this book for sale on ebay.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Gold at Gaffneys Creek by Brian Lloyd and Howard Combes.

Gold at Gaffneys Creek by Brian Lloyd and Howard Combes. Hardcover book published by Shoestring Bookshop 1981, 267 pages with black and white maps, illustrations and photographs.

The early goldseekers of Gaffneys Creek were tough, resolute and adventurous people typical of Victoria’s gold generation. This book is about the exploration, exploitation and settlement of that remote, inhospitable, but beautiful and rich corner of Victoria. The Gaffneys Creek goldfield was opened up by men who came across from the Buckland to the Big River in 1857, and climbed over the Mt Terrible range to the Goulburn watershed in 1859. There followed a few lawless years of rich alluvial mining before the reefers got to work, and permanent and law-abiding settlement followed. The wild speculative quartz mining boom of Gaffneys Creek and Woods Point in the 1860s was followed by decades of depression, with most of the mines closed or on tribute. The only miners to prosper were the tributers at the A.1, and even there they had to endure many years of barely subsistence earnings from the fickle reefs. The mining revival about the turn of the century saw some years of prosperity at the Dempseys and Rose of Denmark, but by World War I only the A.1. was left as a profitable mine. After the gold cut out there in the mid-twenties, more years of depression followed, until the Victory Reef was discovered in the early years of World War II. The 1940s were rich in gold and dividends for the A.1. but then, with rising costs and the price of gold fixed, the mine struggled on against mounting odds, until it finally closed in 1976.”

Gaffneys Creek? Another place of which my geographical knowledge was severely lacking in. Thanks to the interwebs, I now have a rough idea of where it is (between Matlock and Jamieson... and not close to here) and i'm fairly certain i've never been there... which is probably why I couldn't picture it's location. Besides being a local history book, this is also a book about Gold mining and the Gold Rush(s) that Victoria experienced over the years. With a few exceptions, the description above could easily be one of many towns in Victoria... including Clunes*. The dates are close to Clunes's, although mining stopped here earlier than Gaffneys Creek and it's that gold price mentioned in the blurb above that has historically hindered any further mining here in Clunes**.

Gold and Victorian local history are a good combination when it comes to books and the more obscure the book, the more desirable a publication becomes. I have another book by Brian Lloyd at the moment entitled “Gold at Harrietville”. It seems that Brian wrote a few books about mining towns in hard to get too places in Victoria as well as some other local histories, and as with the Gaffney's Creek book, the Harrietville book is also worth a few $$$. I was talking to a local history writer/customer/friend recently and mentioned these books. He knew them (… he owns them) and informed me that the author had passed away in the last few years and that it was doubtful that these books will ever be reprinted. I'm not sure how true that is, but it is possible that there will be no further copies published making these books just that little bit rarer.

So why are Victorian Gold rush histories so desirable? Apparently if your family were here in Australia pre WWI, there is a good chance that you have some connection to the gold fields. A lot of people rushed for gold and a lot of them stayed here (Australia) when the gold (or the price of gold) ran out. Family historians are always on the look out for local histories and gold is a good place to start. I have family members (my sister in law) who's family came out from Cornwall for the gold rush. Quite by chance the first place that we know they went to in Australia, was Clunes.... and yes they are listed in the town records. There is now a bit more of an interest in my place of abode within my family and i'm sure a good local history would be appreciated due to the connection.

And of course we have Gold people. Any clues or hints are eagerly sought after by weekender detectors seeking those special spots where perchance there might be that lump of gold that everyone over the last 150 years has missed. There are those little clues on obscure and less visited historical mining activity that these diggers seek and what better place than a now out of print local history on a gold mining area.

* International headquarters of Huc & Gabet: Books of interest.

** There's often been talk about new mining projects which seem to never eventuate.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Great Plague in London by Walter George Bell. Folio Society.

The Great Plague in London by Walter George Bell. Hardcover book (no dust jacket) with decorative boards with slipcase published by The Folio Society 2001, 256 pages with some black and white and colour illustrations and a few colour photographs.

The great Plague of 1665 was a last and terrible visitation before bubonic plague finally burned itself out. A direct descendant of the Black Death, it killed more than 100,000 people in London alone. Its horrors have been etched on our minds by the writings of Daniel Defoe and Samuel Pepys, yet many citizens displayed great courage and compassion. London’s Lord Mayor, Sir John Lawrence, remained at his post when almost all who could afford to had fled the city; Dr Nathaniel Hodges tended patients throughout the epidemic – never himself catching the plague. Walter Bell’s astonishingly detailed account has never been equalled. This re-edited edition of his book allows his scholarship and imaginative sympathy to shine through for a new generation of readers. Edited and introduced by Belinda Hollyer.

“The Folio Society is a privately owned London-based publisher, founded by Charles Ede in 1947 and incorporated in 1971. It produces illustrated hardback editions of classic fiction and non-fiction books, poetry and children's titles. Folio editions feature specially designed bindings and include artist-commissioned illustrations (most often in fiction titles) or researched artworks and photographs (in non-fiction titles). Many editions come with their own slipcase.” Wikipedia

A while ago I wrote about the hit and miss world (nothing to do with “Miss World” or Donald Trump) of selling Folio Society books on line (click here if you want to read what I wrote), so it might seem a bit strange that after all writing what I wrote then, that i'm now expanding my Folio Society listings on ebay. The truth is that I couldn't control my buying urges when confronted with 50 odd Folio Society titles in mostly great condition. Yep, I talked myself into it and so far i've have enough sales for it to have been worth my while. I think it has something to do with quantity of titles of these beautiful tomes as i've had more than one person buy multiple items. Maybe that has been my problem in the past as most Folio books are quite heavy and therefore postage is a bit of a bummer. With the intention of posting these heavy books in an Australia Posts 3kg satchel, I have been aggressively offering combined postage on this titles. “Aggressively” means that there's a larger bold message with the items listed indicating that I offer:

Maximum of $10 for postage on multiple items within Australia. 

This is no different to what I normally offer except that the message is a little more in your face on these ebay Folio Society listings. Maybe I need to change the way I offer this deal on postage.

… and the reason I singled out “The Great Plague in London” by Walter George Bell is that it's got a nice cover... as they all do.