Monday, December 11, 2017

Sometimes, you can judge a book by its cover- and be surprised by what you find! Here's 5 Christmas finds-


If you missed Henry Bemis Books’ video sale catalogue today, no worries- we saved it for you! Here’s the link, and here’s the five books, each with a fascinating “cover” story:

King, Alexander, Mine Enemy Grows Older (Simon & Schuster, 1st ed. 5th printing, 1958). LOC 58-13170. Austrian by birth, King (1899-1965) made his way to America, where he made a complete shambles of his life before becoming a famous regular on the Tonight Show with Jack Paar, and author of a series of memoirs.

This one recounts his thirty-year drug addiction and is probably one of the funnier works in that field. It’s also unusual for having two dust jackets: one bearing one of King’s Dali-esque paintings; the other, “a conservative cover for conservative people.”

Having spent nearly sixty years under the painting, the conservative cover is in better shape. The book’s pages have yellowed. Good condition overall. Hardcover, with two! two! dust jackets. HBB price: $35 obo.

Bonus! Here’s a rare audio clip of King with Jack Paar, from the days when a guest with nothing to plug could get seventeen minutes just by being interesting:


Van Loon, Hendrik Willem, The Arts (Simon & Schuster, 1st ed., 1937, later printing, 1939). A Dutch-American journalist, historian, children’s book author and political activist, Van Loon (1882-1944) moved- seemingly effortlessly- between genres, producing scores of books on all kinds of topics over a thirty-year period. He covered the 1905 Russian Revolution; so alienated Adolf Hitler that the dictator banned Van Loon from entering the country; and won the first Newberry Medal, for outstanding children’s literature, in 1922. Van Loon often illustrated his books, and The Arts is no exception. In this 678 page “story of Painting and Sculpture and Architecture and Music as well as all the so-called Minor Arts from the days of the caveman until the present time,” Van Loon covers the waterfront, with illustrated end papers, many four color drawings in the text, and- most interestingly- a dust jacket that folds out- double size- into a chart of important events in the history of the arts. Some front hinge separation; otherwise, good condition. HBB price: $59.95.

Loring, John Tiffany Flora/Tiffany Fauna (Harry N. Abrams, 1st ed, 1st printing, 2003). ISBN 0-8109-4573-8. Pair of beautifully-photographed volumes illustrating Tiffany’s output of jewelry and other goods in designs drawn from nature. In a striking white slipcase with nine open circles, front and back, allowing the dust jacket illustrations to show through. Hardcover, unclipped dust jackets, fine condition. HBB price: $125.

Pericoli, Matteo, Manhattan Unfurled (Random House, 1st ed., 3rd printing 2001). ISBN 0-375-50491-5. An Italian architect and illustrator who lives in New York, Pericoli took a Circle Line boat tour around Manhattan in 1998 and was seized of the idea to draw what he had seen. Three years later, this book was the result: two, accordionized, 22-foot panels showing everything there was to be seen at the time on the East and West Sides.  In an accompanying essay, architecture critic Paul Goldberger echoes E.B. White’s concern over bomb-laden aircraft in “This Is New York,” writing, “This drawing was completed before the horrific events of September, 11, 2001, which changed everything as far as the Manhattan skyline is concerned. Chaos is no longer an aesthetic concept but a catastrophic fact of life. The skyline, which we have always thought of as changing slowly, organically, suddenly becomes capable of wrenching, instantaneous, cataclysmic change. In the Darwinian world of the Manhattan skyline the largest buildings were always the most powerful, but on September 11 the World Trade Center did not drive smaller, weaker buildings away but were taken away themselves.” A brilliant artistic achievement, and evocation of a time about to be swept away. Very good condition, in a very good slipcase. HBB price: $35.



McBain, Ed, And All Through The Night: Christmas Eve at the 87th Precinct (Warner Books, 1st ed., 1st printing, 1984). ISBN -0-446-51845-X. Ed McBain delighted readers with over forty novels featuring the boys at the 87th precinct. In this slim volume, it’s 10.30 Christmas Eve and the precinct isn’t just quiet. It’s dead. Det. Steve Carella figures its a paperwork night. Maybe get home a little early. The things start happening. A charming retelling of the birth of Jesus as a night at the precinct. Hardcover, no dustjacket. The blazing Christmas tree on the cover is visible through a precinct window on the slipcase. 5.75 x 5.75 inches, 40 pp. Very good condition. HBB price: $25 obo.


Henry Bemis Books is one man’s attempt to bring more diversity and quality to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg market of devoted readers starved for choices. Our website is at Henry Bemis Books is also happy to entertain reasonable offers on items in inventory; for pricing on this or others items, kindly private message us. Shipping is always free to US locations; local buyers are welcome to drop by and pick up their purchases at our location off Peachtree Road in Northwest Charlotte if they like.

We accept electronic payments via Facebook Messenger, powered by Stripe.

We offer 25% off to fellow dealers.

What’s your favorite social media outlet? We’re blogging at www.henrybemisbookseller.blogspot. com. We tweet as Henry Bemis Books.

You can also see Henry’s alter ego, Lindsay Thompson, on a three weekly Facebook Live programs: Gallimaufry, a Wednesday program about literary history on Henry Bemis Books’ Facebook page; Book Week, a weekly Thursday noon rare book news program on the Book Week Facebook page; LGBookT, a Monday show about LGBT literature on the LGBookT page; and Rare Book Cafe, a live 2:30-3:30 pm EDT Saturday panel show about books and collecting on the Cafe’s Facebook page. All remain posted after their live broadcasts.

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