A first edition of “Das Kapital,” a landmark work by Karl Marx (who, you may have heard, was not a big fan of capitalism) sold last week for $40,000.
"Where’s Spot?" author Eric Hill has died at age 86. His books about Spot the puppy, aimed at preschool-aged kids, sold more than 60 million copies internationally.
Images: Penguin Young Readers Group
Bryan Cranston is writing a book (to be published next year).
"With this book, I want to tell the stories of my life and reveal the secrets and lies that I lived with for six years shooting ‘Breaking Bad’," the actor said in a press release announcing his memoir.
Photo: Frank Ockenfels / AMC
The Concord Public Library Committee vs. Huckleberry Finn, in the pages of the L.A. Times in 1885.
This short item on Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” appeared in The Times on March 18, 1885. The book had been published in January of that year and was, of course, already causing controversy.
You don’t often hear Mark Twain described as “trashy” nowadays.
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Carol M. Highsmith is documenting America as we live now. Among her more than 25,000 photos at the Library of Congress are, luckily, lots of libraries. Here are a few. (via Remarkable libraries across America - latimes.com)
Including downtown L.A.’s Central Library, among the likes of the Peabody Library and the Library of Congress.
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“There is a place. Like no place on Earth. A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger!”
The Last Bookstore
Los Angeles, California
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As confirmed by the British Medical Journal, James Bond is a bit of a booze hound.
Escaping the city for the middle of nowhere, with tens of thousands of books
Partners for 35 years, Polly Hinds and Lynda German left Denver thirteen years ago in search of a quieter life, and they found it in isolated Sweetwater Station, Wyoming.
Not content to keep busy with the upkeep of dozens of farm animals, the two started a mammoth rare book store, with 70,000 titles up for sale.
Their hands filthy from chores, the two veteran booksellers carry armloads of hard-bound volumes, careful not to dirty the historical tomes and two Zane Grey works of fiction, “The Last Ranger” and “Last of the Great Scouts.” The words scrawled in red on a storage shed explain the contrast: “BOOKS FOR SALE.”
Thirteen years ago, the pair fled Denver following a bizarre altercation with police, looking for a quieter life. They found it here on a deserted ranch 40 miles from the nearest store…
Photos: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times
How many have you read?
Anyone have an exciting read lined up for the weekend?
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Happy birthday, Kurt Vonnegut
The legendary author, who passed away in 2007, would have turned 91 years old today. And what better way to remember him than to pick up a copy of his work, as David L. Ulin did a few years ago, to rediscover why “Slaughterhouse-Five” meant so much during his youth.
I first read the novel, after all, in this very house, when I was 12 or 13. To return to it 36 years later was to confront viscerally the central point of the book, which is that time is not a continuum but a collection of simultaneous moments, that everything we have ever done and everything we will ever do co-exists within us all at once.
Photos: Jill Krementz / Associated Press, Jennifer S. Altman / For the Times, Frank Espich / The Indianapolis Star
Happy birthday Roald Dahl! For your mean grow-up books along with all those beloved books for children.
Happy Roald Dahl Day!
We’ll forgive Roald for the the occasional nightmare or two. And of course, a shout-out for Roald isn’t complete without credit to his masterful illustrator, Quentin Blake.
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Remembering Anne Frank, who would have been 84 today
Eighty-four years ago, the celebrated diarist and tragic victim of the Holocaust Anne Frank was born in Frankfurt, Germany. During the peak of the war, when her German-Jewish family was forced into hiding in Amsterdam, she kept track of her thoughts, trials and revelations in her diary.
Eventually, her family was discovered and all save for her father Otto died in Nazi concentration camps. In 1947, Otto worked to have her diary published as a book, and since then her words have been read across the world.
Her lasting legacy may be her persistent optimism in the face of overwhelming despair. As she wrote in her diary:
It’s difficult in times like these: ideals, dreams and cherished hopes rise within us, only to be crushed by grim reality. It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical.
Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart. I simply can’t build my hopes on a foundation of confusion, misery, and death. I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that this cruelty too shall end, and that peace and tranquility will return once again.
Read more over at Jacket Copy.
Photo: Associated Press