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We speak to grammarian Bryan Garner about rare grammar books. One hundred books from Bryan’s collection of 1,900 books about grammar and 4,000 dictionaries are currently on display at the Grolier Club in New York. We learn how a teenage crush sparked Bryan’s love of grammar, how Noah Webster was instrumental in the spelling differences between Brit…
 
We interview Julia Cooke, who has written a book called Come Fly the World: The Jet Age Story of the Women of Pan Am. Julia’s book looks at the young women who became stewardesses with Pan Am in the 1960s and 1970s. She tells the stories of several American women who were the right height, right weight and under 26 years of age to qualify for a job…
 
They were the bestsellers of the Middle Ages. In this episode, we speak to Sandra Hindman, who runs Les Enluminures, a business dedicated to selling manuscripts and miniatures from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Sandra explains what books of hours contained, who owned them, how they were decorated and the purpose they served. Step back in tim…
 
Michael and Tom Zubal (The Book Brothers) veer from their usual path and bring on special guest renowned book collector Michael Zinman to set the record straight regarding an important 1990s rescue of tens of thousands of printed artifacts from the New York Public Library. Aside from sharing rare insight and first person experiences with The Brothe…
 
Several years ago, AbeBooks created a reading list called 100 (Fiction) Books to Read in a Lifetime. We are joined by Monica MacMillan, who is attempting to read every book on the list, which ranges from famous classics like Moby Dick and Fahrenheit 451 to contemporary fiction such as The Road and Life of Pi. Join us and learn about Monica's litera…
 
We are joined by Cheryl Alexander, a conservation photographer based in Victoria, British Columbia. Her book, Takaya Lone Wolf describes the remarkable life of a wolf that lived for 7 years on a group of small islands just off the coast of Victoria, a city of 300,000 people. We learn how Cheryl studied and photographed Takaya on numerous visits to …
 
Today, we are Flintshire in the UK, visiting the UK's only residential library. We speak with Peter Francis who is the Warden and Director of Gladstone's Library in Hawarden, which is a few miles west of Chester. William Ewart Gladstone served 4 separate terms as Britain's prime minster between in 1868 and 1894. Today his personal library is availa…
 
Today, we head to County Mayo on the west coast of the Republic of Ireland and speak to Roger Grimes, who is the co-owner of a bookshop and antiques business located in Mulranny. Vanessa Parker Rare Books and its sister business Greenway Antiques share a beautiful white-walled cottage. Vanessa does the books and Roger sells the antiques. Join us to…
 
We are joined by author and printmaker Nick Hayes, who has written a book called The Book of Trespass. Nick takes us into some of England’s grandest country estates… as a trespasser. He writes about how easy it to trespass and what he encountered while trespassing. He also writes at length about the history of trespassing in England – from the year…
 
We return to the subject of things found in used books. Our guest is Emma Smreker, a school teacher from Oklahoma City, who collects secondhand books in order to discover the forgotten things left inside. When she comes across something particularly poignant, such as a letter or a photo or a poem, she researches the item and tries to return it to t…
 
We visit the theatre and discuss Shakespearean deaths with author Kathryn Harkup, who has written a book called Death by Shakespeare. Kathryn looked at how the Bard killed off his characters and asked if these deaths were realistic. She considered science, medicine, disease, weaponry, poisons, crimes and punishments, and Elizabethan history. We dis…
 
We are joined by Julie Anne Lambert, who is the Librarian of the John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera at the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford, to discuss the Bodleian's Art of Advertising exhibition. We talk about the origins of the Johnson Collection, what ephemera tells us about history, the importance of soap, and the early advertising poster…
 
We’re discussing the American artist Jo Mora (1876-1947) with Peter Hillier from the Jo Mora Trust. Mora should be much better known than he is. He worked across many mediums, including books and maps, and dedicated much of his work to the American West and particularly California. Mora was a cartoonist, a sculptor, a painter, a photographer, an au…
 
We are discussing the legacy of pioneering botanist Joseph Banks with Mark James from Type & Forme, a rare bookselling firm in the UK. Banks traveled to Australia with Captain Cook on a voyage that began in 1768 and ended in 1771. Along the way, Banks and his colleagues discovered and recorded around 1,300 previously undocumented botanical species.…
 
We are joined by Christin Geall, the author of Cultivated: The Elements of Floral Style - a new book about floral design. With almost 100,000 followers on Instagram, Christin is a designer, writer, gardener, and photographer. Her book features stunning photography of arrangements and offers advice to anyone who wants to get creative with cut flower…
 
Today, we are going on a journey to Middle-Earth. We speak to John Garth, the author of The Worlds of J. R. R. Tolkien: The Places That Inspired Middle-earth. John's book identifies the real places that inspired the fictional locations of The Shire, Rivendell, Mirkwood, and Mordor. Learn about Tolkien's childhood, his WWI experiences in the trenche…
 
Our guest is Michael Vinson, the author of Bluffing Texas Style: The Arsons, Forgeries, and High Stakes Poker Capers of Rare Book Dealer Johnny Jenkins. A bookseller who blazed a trail through Texas and the rare book world, Jenkins ended up dead through a gunshot to the head as his debts and crimes spiraled out of control. Listen to our interview a…
 
They always say that you should try, try and try again. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert M Persig, has sold more than 5 million copies since being published in 1974. And yet, it was rejected by 121 publishers before finally being printed. Discover how this book became one of the most unlikely bestsellers of the 20th century.…
 
Daniel is a specialist map dealer and co-owner of Daniel Crouch Rare Books, which offers antique atlases, maps, plans, sea charts and descriptions of voyages. The business has galleries in London and New York. We discuss the importance of knowing the story behind a rare map, data visualization maps, pictorial maps, and why collectors are drawn to h…
 
Today, we are going fishing… in a podcast way. We’re joined by Jim Dixon, who is a bookseller on AbeBooks and located in Derbyshire in the UK. Jim specializes in antiquarian books about the English countryside, including the pastime of angling. He also has an exceptional collection dedicated to The Compleat Angler, the most important of all angling…
 
Conan the Barbarian was created by pulp writer Robert E Howard and we are joined by Arlene Stephenson from the Robert E Howard Museum in Cross Plains, Texas. We discuss Howard's pulp fiction writing career, the enduring popularity of Conan, the author's tragic death at just 30, and how this small museum attracts Howard fans from around world.…
 
We’re talking about law with bookseller Greg Talbot from the Lawbook Exchange. Founded in 1983, the Lawbook Exchange specializes in all aspects of law and the history of law. We learn how the business began and its international scope. Greg reveals the historical importance of law books from the Magna Carta to Napoleon and the Federalist in the US.…
 
We are joined by Sandra Hindman, the owner of Les Enluminures, a business dedicated to selling manuscripts and miniatures from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Sandra describes her transition from the academic world. She talks about her galleries in New York, Paris and Chicago, and her customers around the world. She explains why Books of Hours…
 
We speak to book collector John Blaney about famous authors who wrote for adults but yet also wrote children’s books. Examples include James Baldwin, Truman Capote, William Faulkner and Graham Greene. An exhibition at the Grolier Club in New York showcases some of John's modern first editions where he has selected 40 children’s books from his colle…
 
Sherlockian is the American term for someone who is devoted to Sherlock Holmes. We interview Denny Dobry from the Beacon Society – an organization dedicated to providing educational resources about Sherlock Holmes to schools and libraries. We discuss Sherlock’s first appearances in print, why Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories are still relevant today, a…
 
We speak to Peter Robinson from the University of Saskatchewan about how his team has just launched an app that brings us Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in the original colloquial Middle English. The free app is the first edition in a planned series. It features a 45-minute audio performance of the General Prologue from the Tales along with the digitiz…
 
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