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As the roaming gangs of reporters, videographers, bloggers, and other media mavens have already made abundantly clear, Larry McMurtry held a two-day book auction – maybe more accurately, he held an event – in order to clear three of the four buildings in Archer City, Texas that he has packed full of the carefully selected better used and medium rare books that he has amassed in over a half century of bookscouting. Read the rest of this entry »

Oscar Reads a Book

Oscar Reads Too - the cover of our Catalog 116, by Tom Bloom

What would a blog be without some opinions on the Academy Awards? Everywhere you look online and in print you’ll find plenty of comments on the recent ceremony and validity of the winners. And there has been a lot of worry that this annual media event, which once captured huge ratings, is becoming marginalized (bad news for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which does valuable archival and preservation work, and relies on the Oscars to raise most of their budget). But if the Academy had only looked to books this year, some of their problems might have been solved.
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First of all, I feel like a fraud writing this short blog. Young Ashley Wildes suggested the theme of writing blogs about one or another of the weird and random objects that one stumbles across in the vast storage areas here in our 15,000 square foot school building. Read the rest of this entry »

We are presenting a month-long exhibition of rare Tennessee Williams books, typescripts and assorted memorabilia in honor of the playwright’s 100th birthday at The Bookshop in Old New Castle running March 1-31. Among the notable and rare items is an original script for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof which was used during the Philadelphia tryout of the play. The copy contains a sexually charged scene between Big Daddy and his daughter-in law that was removed before its run on Broadway. Also on display is one of only a handful of known copies of the original script for A Streetcar Named Desire bearing its original title, The Poker Night. This early version includes scandalous dialogue that was cut before production, implicating Stanley Kowalski’s wife, Stella, in the sexual assault of her sister, Blanche Du Bois.
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We try to stay on top of things here at BTC but sometimes things get pushed to the side for more pressing matters. We truly meant to post a blog in honor of Jane Austen’s birthday yesterday but got sidetracked researching and before we knew it the day was over. So let’s all just pretend today is yesterday and celebrate this wonderful author who is as popular today as ever in books, films and fighting zombies.

 

Here is the two volume first American editon of Persuasion in its rare original binding.

Yesterday was also the birthday of Noel Coward, V.S. Pritchett, Margaret Mead, Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick, and George Santayana. Is it just me or is that an unusual number of well-known authors all born on the same day? Makes one wonder what was happening nine months ago…

Legendary Italian movie producer Dino De Laurentiis died this past Wednesday. He produced films for more than 60 years and became a notorious movie gambler, making films that were both spectacular successes and spectacular failures. He first came to prominence producing Federico Fellini films, including La Strada which won De Laurentiis an Oscar in 1957. The following decades he made films for the international market including several literary adaptations, such as Barabbas, Serpico, Three Days of the Condor, and the 1976 remake of King Kong. By the 1980s and 1990s, he was as well-known for his hits as his misses. For every Ragtime, The Bounty, or Conan the Barbarian (which made Arnold Schwarzenegger a movie star) there was a Flash Gordon, Dune, or Body of Evidence (which proved Madonna wasn’t). He continued to produce literary adaptations, most from Stephen King and Thomas Harris, including The Dead Zone, Firestarter, Manhunter, Red Dragon, and Hannibal. De Laurentiis was 91.

 

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