Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Quilters' Kaleidoscope: How to Design and Create Individual Interpretations of Favourite Quilts by Dianne Finnegan.

The Quilters' Kaleidoscope: How to Design and Create Individual Interpretations of Favourite Quilts by Dianne Finnegan. Hardcover book published by Simon & Schuster 1992, 182 pages with colour photographs (of quilts) and black and white illustrations.

Besides not being able to speak Esperanto, dance with penguins or cause a riot, I am also unable to quilt. Yes, another skill sadly lacking from my repertoire. I'm sure i'm not alone in this one and that is why people like Dianne Finnegan write books such as this. Sadly though, I am not tempted, but there are many who practice the craft of Quilting or are keen to learn the art, in all its glorious forms and it is for them that this book was written. Personally I am more tempted by dancing with penguins.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Essential Esperanto by William Alfred Gething.

Essential Esperanto by William Alfred Gething. Hardcover book published by W. Foulsham 1959, 128 pages. Book also has 2 small booklets (“A Key to Esperanto” and “English – Esperanto Vocabulary”), a typed letter with corrections in pen in Esperanto and 2 typed pages of Esperanto with penciled additions.

This book about Esperanto, the international language, appeals to the intellect as well as the imagination. It’s author, in his introduction, explains how he came to learn Esperanto and how great a difference it has made to his life. “My experience as an Esperantist heightened my sense of being significant in society,” he says, and ESSENTIAL ESPERANTO is his effort to pass on to others the benefits of this fascinating language.”

I just can't leave the old Esperanto thing alone. Yes, it is old, and by the reaction and information I received the last time I wrote about it (here)... albeit a little condescendingly... it is vibrant, alive and significant. I've been looking around for anything Esperanto and have found nenio until I found this title. I figure with the indicated growth and interest that there is in the subject/language, this title would have to be a surefire seller. (See comments on the other blog entry)

More importantly though, I recently read this article. I was impressed. It's great to see that there's an active community here in Victoria (… and I thought it was dead and buried).

And here is a picture of all the Esperanto books I haven't found.

"Uk 2008 libroservo" by Ziko - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

And where are all the Volap√ľk books?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane by P. L. Travers

Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane by P. L. Travers, illustrated by Mary Shepard. Hardcover book with pictorial boards published by Delacorte Press 1982, 91 pages with some black and white illustrations.

Like many children of the 1960s, I was subjected to a viewing of Walt's shiny adaption of P.L. Travers fantastical story about a nanny with magical and mischievous powers. I do remember Dick Van Dyke singing and dancing and Julie Andrews chortling through a number of tunes, but what I mostly remember was the truly amazing combination of animation and real life. This had a massive impact on me as a young boy. Up to that point of my brief existence I had understood animation (it wasn't real) and I had understood real (it was real) and then Mary Poppins comes along and stuffs the whole thing up leaving a very young me to deal with this existential crisis.

This book was published many years after Disney's eye popping,  philosophical romp through bourgeois, penguin dancing, Edwardian London. I wasn't aware that Travers had continued writing and publishing as late as this title which was the penultimate one in the series. It was only when finding this book and doing a bit of interwebs research that I learned the truth. Unlike Harry Potter and a lot like The Wizard of Oz, Disney only made the one film despite there being material for many more. I'm looking at this as being a good thing. One childhood existential crisis is enough. Eight would have been a catastrophe.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Rite of Spring: Le Sacre du Printemps: Pictures from pagan Russia in two parts by Igor Stravinsky and Nicolas Roerich.

The Rite of Spring: Le Sacre du Printemps: Pictures from pagan Russia in two parts by Igor Stravinsky and Nicolas Roerich. Paperback book published by Boosey and Hawkes (no date, re-engraved edition 1967), 153 pages with music notation throughout.

I've only ever heard Le Sacre du Printemps performed live the once and that was many many years ago. About half way through that particular performance... or a quarter of the way through... it may have been near the beginning... I had a bit of an epiphany. This is not the sort of thing that happens to me all that often, particularly with a piece of music that I am already fairly familiar with.  Now whenever I hear or read about... or find the score of.... Igor's wonderful work, I am reminded of this revelation.

I'd managed to drag my mother along to see this “modern” masterpiece (it wasn't quite a hundred years old at the time... the music, not my mother) at the Arts Centre in Melbourne. The orchestra was Australian and the programme for the evening wasn't that exciting except for The Rite of Spring which is why we were there. I'll cut to the chase as I don't remember anything else about the concert except that during Le Sacre du Printemps I had a sudden realization that this classical performance had rather briefly morphed into and then out of Jazz. I'd heard/read about the influence Stravinsky had on various Jazz musicians over the years and always thought that it was on the level of an enthusiastic appreciation for his work and then I hear Jazz in the middle of a performance. It was amazing and deeply affected me at the time. My mother... she didn't get it... and then she told me that she would rather not go to any more “modern” music concerts, preferring more traditional forms of classical music.

When The Rite of Spring was first performed in 1913 it caused a bit of furore with some describing the audience reaction as a riot. (I'm sure my mother would have rioted if she could of.) The night I partook, no one rioted. I personally felt the exact opposite to riotus and to this day, I still love this piece of music. The weird thing though is that despite many listens to various recordings, i've never heard what I heard that night all those years ago. I know it was/is there, i've just never been able to find it. If you've never heard Le Sacre du Printemps, I suggest you do... and if by chance you would like to perform it, i've got the score.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Cookery the Australian Way

Cookery the Australian Way by Shirley Cameron, Suzanne Russell and Winifred Williams. Hardcover book with pictorial boards published by Macmillan 1990, 408 pages with black and white illustrations and a few colour photographs and illustrations.

Here, at last, is a hardcover edition of the well-loved and much-used cookbook that has already sold 450,000 copies. For over twenty years, Cookery the Australian Way has been important to every person who loves to cook and wants to learn more about food and its preparation. It is an ideal first cookbook for beginners and young people starting out on their own.”

Cookery the Australian Way is aptly described above as being well-loved and much-used. Most of the copies I find are certainly in this condition... that is when I can find them. Considering there were 450,000 of this book in 1990, I've got to wonder where they all are now or is just a matter of them being so well-loved and much-used that they have finally disintegrated into oblivion. Finding this copy, slightly used and not without some blemishes was a lucky find. That it was a hardcover was an added bonus.
A few years back I had a friend ask me if I could track her down a copy of this fine title. It took me nearly a month before I landed one and yep, it had been slightly well-loved and much-used but not as well-loved and much-used as her original copy which was something that she had from her school days at least 30 years previously. She showed me this well-loved and much-used copy explaining in the process that it was the cookbook she pretty much used all the time. Stains, rips, marks, wear and many loose pages were all there, as was an elastic band holding the whole thing together. Well-loved and much-used this copy had certainly been. The big question was whether she would discard the old volume and embrace the new and the answer was that she was too emotionally attached to her original copy and would never be able to part with this the most sacred of relics.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Lure Of The Golden West: Experiences and Adventures in a Bush Brotherhood of Western Australia by Thomas Sidney Groser.

The Lure Of The Golden West: Experiences and Adventures in a Bush Brotherhood of Western Australia: Early Problems and Conquests: All about Group Settlements of the West: The Land of Sunshine and Opportunity by Thomas Sidney Groser.  Hardcover book (no dust jacket) published by Alexander-Ouseley Limited (no date, probably 1920s), 287 pages with a few extra pages of advertising.

The Lure Of The Golden West. Recently i've been keeping my eyes open for Western fiction. Yes, that's right, books about cowboys. It's a subject I know very little about... actually... I know absolutely nothing about it. So I guess my keeping my eyes open is more about trying to learn something and to give some of it a go. The reason I want to “give it a go”, is that I often get inquiries about the genre and when potential customers are confronted by the three old and tired titles I currently have in stock, they tend to loose interest very quickly. So the idea of finding something that someone may want is quite appealing particularly when there is $ involved, and it is this thought and the picture of a man on a horse on the cover, that attracted me to this title.

...except this book has nothing to do with Western fiction.

It has everything to do with the history of Western Australia particularly with something called the Bush Brotherhood. So what is the Bush Brotherhood? From what I can gather it had (or has?) something to do with religious personnel and activities in remote parts of Australia.

1897 - Nathaniel Dawes establishes the Bush Brotherhood (Church of England) with preachers on horseback providing ministry to those living in rural and remote areas”

also this article has some information

I quickly realised my error re this books lack of cowboy contents after reading the subtitle. The words “Western Australia”, “Group Settlements” and “Land of Sunshine and Opportunity” are possibly the best indicator that the book does not contain any shoot outs, campfire yarns or dodgy Indian stories and one can only hope that as with “Westerns”, there are some horses and big hats involved in this history of Western Australia. The words Bush Brotherhood on the other hand escaped my notice at the time of purchase which is not a bad thing, but is something I should possibly have noticed at the time.