Tuesday, September 14, 2010

John James Audubon's Birds of America: World's Most Expensive Book

Now up for bids at Sotheby's,  John James Audubon's Birds of America now dubbed the world's most expensive book. Or the priciest My Big Book of Birdies that would send any birdwatcher into an orgasmic frenzy- ornithological porn anyone? :)

Note the delicate craftsmanship, the ornate engravings and the lock on the book, the tome definitely looks mysterious. 

Only 119 copies are known to have been made, each book contains 435 hand-colored prints created from engravings of John James Audubon's illustrations. The book size measures more than 3 feet by 2 feet because Audubon wanted to ilustrate an accurate depiction of the birds life size.

John James Audubon's Birds of America is expected make around $6.2 million and $9.2million. Whoa!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Agatha Christie: International Woman of Mystery

If you're a big fan of the Dame of Crime and Mystery then you'll enjoy the BBC Archive's spotlight on Agatha Christie, one of the world's most successful crime writer.

Her books are often whodunits that keep readers guessing clue after clue (or at least reading the book till the end, if you're just gnawing to know if you got your hunches right. One of her popular novels , Murder on the Orient Express features one of her long-running characters, the detective Hercule Poirot.

Her book sales totalled over an estimated 300 million books throughout her life as a detective novelist. She died in the ripe old age of 85 on January 12, 1976. Enjoy BBC interviews and features on Agatha Christie.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Paul Auster's City of Glass

I will now begin my reading spree into Paul Auster's New York Trilogy- the first novel City of Glass is not what it seems to be. Noir? Pseudo-Noir? Existentialist noir? or simply narcissistic?

A lot of self-importance is placed on finding the mystery caller named Paul Austere. Yeah, the author who turns out to be paranoid about his father. Yeah, Paul Auster has daddy issues.

Now let's see how this turns out, the first few chapters are very engaging to say the least!

The copy I got from booksale had a lot of dog-ears, proof that this is one book people can't get their hands off.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Professional 16/35mm Cameraman's Handbook

Today I found a gem, the Professional 16/35mm Cameraman's Handbook by Verne and Sylvia Carlson and it feels like a bible. Well, it is for film school and camera enthusiasts. The cover I mean has the texture of the Holy Bible and the inscription is engraved in gold.

The book has a lot of diagrams on the mechanisms of the arriflex and bolex cameras. It also has a tsep by step guide on loading on loading your roll. Yup all manual from here, nothing digital, nothing automated and that's the beauty of it. Now if only the book came with a 16mm camera. Maybe I have to check out Quiapo for that!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Tubthumping the Thumb Thing: The Best Gift for Bookworms

Just found the best invention created for bookworms. A soft plastic ring that keeps book pages open.

Whether you're on the tram, at the park, reading at an awkward angle or missing an opposable thumb, the ThumbThing is certainly handy to keep those pages at bay. 

Monday, February 22, 2010

Quirk Books: Ben H. Winters & Seth Grahame-Smith Reinvent the Classics

Wish I could get these in my neighborhood bookstore, they are to die for! How postmodern and post apocalyptic ey?

The cover for Android Karenina

If only these were out when I was in High School then the classics wouldn't have been a total bore. Silas Marner could have been Silas Mechwarrior Robot! and I could have read that in one go.

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. Winters shares a byline with Austen

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

The HuffPost talks about writers like Ben H. Winters on how he co-authors with dead people particularly Jane Austen. And how he upsets the literati and the purists. Read More

To date there are rumors of a movie deal for the books. Yeah I would like to see Elizabeth Bennet take a bite out of Mr. Darcy! A nod to the strict feminist approach

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Recluse Has Left the Building: The Death of JD Salinger

The legendary novelist whose novel Catcher in the Ryle became the signature voice for the angry and alienated youth, it was almost like reinventing adolescence.

The whole world catches its breath and mourns the hermit Salinger.

Catcher in the Rye author JD Salinger would not be caught in the public eye
Writer whose seminal work still sells 200,000 copies a year withdrew from public life in the 1960s

J.D. Salinger RIP 

The Secret History of JD Salinger
The Catcher in the Rye's voice of postwar teenage disaffection seems to me to articulate the experiences of an earlier generation

Reviewed: Dave Eggers' Remembrance of J.D. Salinger in The New Yorker

So where has he been hiding all these decades?
This Is J.D. Salinger's House 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Happy Reading this 2010!

The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.

— Alan Bennett, The History Boys