It’s beginning to look a lot like…

I hope your Chanukah and Thanksgiving and any other holiday to include lazing about, introspecting, eating, being with family, escaping from family, being thankful or worrying or commemorating… I hope you are well and wish you a close of the year celebrating and remembering as appropriate,  and a fresh hopeful New Year.

Eat and drink for tomorrow we die. Not really, I hope.  My  heart is with those who struggle and hurt and my joy is in my family, mi vida. And books of course.  Give generously to the charity of your choice (find out which charities use your money the way you intend at Charity Navigator) and then remember that charity, and changing the world, begin at home. Mwah.

So here are photos of three lovely books for this year. I have some wonderful Judaica as well and will share those. Please contact me at winecountrybooksnapa at gmail if one looks interesting to you. More will be listed in the coming days. Warmest wishes.

Beasley's Christmas Party Booth Tarkington

Beasley’s Christmas Party Booth Tarkington

Yes Santa, there is a Charlie Brown

Yes Santa, there is a Charlie Brown

The First Christmas

The First Christmas

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Filed under American, Antiquarian, Christmas

Yes, Santa, there is a Charlie Brown.

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This tiny book has 12 two-page spread simple vignettes of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, Sally and Schroeder experiencing the holiday and its trappings in ways true to their characters. The wry and sympathetic humor is a sweet flash of the Peanuts holiday specials many of us have come to enjoy.

How many of us have thought to ourselves, in many contexts, “I believe in you. Do you believe in me?”

Yes, Santa, there is a Charlie Brown is available on our amazon, abe, alibris and biblio online shops for $35 plus shipping.  If you would like, contact me directly and make an offer! winecountrybooksnapa at gmail dot com. We do accept paypal.

Whatever and however you celebrate – Hanukkah, Solstice, Yule, Christmas, Friendsmas-  Let- MAKE- the light lessons and spirit of this season continue with you every day, all year long.

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Filed under Christmas, ephemera, illustrated, winter

Summer Reading

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Wine Country Books in the House! We have been back East.

Much like the cobbler’s children have no shoes, the Wine Country Books family rarely gets to read for pleasure much less purchase an actual book new in the shop.  However, in the airport on our way to catch our flight, these tireless advocates for public libraries and reduced clutter were suckered into two delicious looking paperbacks to read on the plane. Sigh.

I made it about 100 pages into Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and then moved on to Summer Hours at the Robbers Library by Sue Halpern.

I loved Ishiguro’s Remains of the Day. Then there’s that Pulitzer seal on the front. This one has to be good, right? But anyone who has read Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”, Lois Lowry’s The Giver, watched The Expanse on Amazon / SYFY, or knows about Soylent Green (thinks they) can see where this is going. I am just not up for another round. I know I will have to skim or skip to the end, or read some reviews, to try and figure out whether to finish it up or just pass it on.

So I moved on to Summer Hours at the Robbers Library. This book requires slight suspension of disbelief- what are the chances this configuration of this type of outsider and loser will not just share space but actually get to know and come to care about each other? The first few pages were a slight slog, but keep going til you get to the library. The book is so far very satisfying in its plot and characters, with perfect levels of emotion and rate of reveal about each character’s past and problems.

Just my two cents. Either way, $30+ this reader will never get back. At least I have paperbacks to share with any reading friend who would like a copy.

Email me at winecountrybooksnapa at gmail and I will send you the Ishiguro free.

Click Below to get your copy of Summer Hours at the Robbers Library on Amazon.

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Filed under American, books and movies, British, contemporary fiction, England, free, reviews, Summer Reading, the public library, travel, United Kingdom, what I'm reading, Women writers

Music Alone Shall Live: Collections of American Song

 

Collectors, fans, and musicians may find these two works of interest.

I am watching a BBC documentary about earliest human history. The presenter suggests that what allowed European Homo Sapiens to outlive their more robust, better adapted cousins the European Neanderthals was – can you guess? – art and music. Art and music created cultural identity across broader geographic regions and for larger tribes and served to preserve the weaker, smaller brained Homo Sapiens.  With this perspective, the importance and influence of the arts for any culture has greater urgency than ever.

Song in America our Musical Heritage by Burl Ives (1962) collects 311 folk songs, arranged by Albert Hague. Even in our modern era the words of folk songs can vary widely from region to region, artist to artist, and decade to decade. It is good to have another reference, especially one so complete.

A Treasury of Stephen Foster (1946) includes historical notes that lend context to Foster’s work, including his use of themes from African slavery and minstrelsy. Cultural theft? A good faith attempt to strike universally recognizable sentimental notes of loss, longing, and fun in spite of it all?

“Foster composed about two hundred songs and a few instrumental pieces… a half dozen rank with the world’s greatest ballads; at least twenty-five of them have become American folksongs and more than fifty are well worthy of preservation.” Collected songs are arranged for piano by Ray Lev and Dorothy Berliner Commins.

If you are interested, please contact us at winecountrybooksnapa at gmail. Best wishes, and happy reading – or in this case, playing and singing.

nbpmome

 

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Filed under American, illustrated, Music

We still need Aesop

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photo from amazon

I did love Aesop as a kid, but there are droll modern Aesops redux that entertain and still do the job.

These Aesops are better attuned to today’s tastes. Birds of a Feather is a delight. The illustrations by Robert Rayevsky are a visual feast, witty and beautifully matched with the brief rhymed fables by Tom Paxton. We need this wisdom more than ever. If you’re sharing with a little one, they get a laugh and a lesson before they even know it.

“All vultures’ hope of dinner ends When enemies become great friends.” – Peace Breaks Out

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Filed under children's poetry, illustrated, quotable, reviews, social currents

Firsts the Book Collector’s Magazine January 1998

chtyqzeAre you a collector or book lover? You may find our back issues of Firsts The Book Collector’s Magazine, all in very good condition, helpful and interesting.

January 1998 contains articles including

Motion Picture Source Books

Collecting William Saroyan

Remembering a Friend: Leo Politi “Leo Politi was the artist of Los Angeles…”

Willie Morris an American Writer from the South

$7 includes shipping within the United states.

For shipping outside the United States, contact us at winecountrybooksnapa at gmail.

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Filed under book collecting, firsts the book collector's magazine, the book business

Firsts the Book Collector’s Magazine Back Issues February 1998 The Book Business is Changing

If you are a collector or book lover, you may find our vintage copies of Firsts the Book Collector’s Magazine interesting or helpful.

All are priced $7 with free shipping in the US. All are in very good or better condition.

For shipping outside the US please contact us at winecountrybooksnapa at gmail.

February 1998 contains articles including

Women of the New West – Kingsolver, Hogan, Erlich

The Firsts Guide to Grading Books Part 1 “Firsts begins its series on grading books with the best condition, very fine…”

Collecting Howard Norman – Northern Lights, The Bird Artist, fascinating stories, children’s books and translations of Eskimo and Northern Native American folk tales…

Book Hunting in Cyberspace

 

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Filed under American, book collecting, contemporary fiction, firsts the book collector's magazine