Archive for the 'Collectibles' Category

The Great Writers produced by the Federal Writers’ Project

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

My fellow booksellers in these parts were recently advised to research and stock books created under the auspices of the FDR-era “Federal Writers’ Project,” a tax-and-spend-and-elect outfit created in 1935 as part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration. That’s good advice as far as it goes. Writers who later became well-known, from Nelson Algren […]

The Testament of James, second excerpt

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Added to the first excerpt, the following takes us through the first 5,900 words of Vin’s new novel, “The Testament of James,” published by Mountain Media on Dec. 16, 2014. In all, six excerpts are posted on this site: Go to the subject index and click “Fiction,” or click the link at the bottom for […]

The Testament of James, first excerpt

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

The following are the first 3,600 words of Vin’s new novel, “The Testament of James,” published by Mountain Media on Dec. 16, 2014. In all, six excepts are posted at this site, taking the reader through the first 20,000 words of the mystery. Click “Fiction” in the index, or click link at bottom to read […]

It’s better to be thought a fool than to sit down at the typewriter and remove all doubt . . .

Monday, March 17th, 2014

I bought a few jazz records over the weekend, as I do whenever the opportunity arises. One was a 10-inch Mercury LP from 1950, produced by Norman Granz and titled “Charlie Parker with Strings.” The disc was a bit controversial when producer Granz brought it out. Critics wondered whether Bird Parker, who had fought the […]

Some interesting new arrivals

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

As it was never our intention to present here only “gun-related stuff,” and since a number of readers raised their hands when asked not long ago if they’d like to see more “book stuff,” herewith an update of interest primarily to those seeking interesting and hard-to-find titles. Most of you know The Brunette sells vintage […]

Often Wrong

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Perusing the memoirs of 20th century book dealers and collectors can provide some useful perspective on what’s been collected over the years, as well as an idea of the (often jaw-droppingly low) prices people used to pay for things the average person could hardly dream of stumbling on today – inscribed copies of Dickens and […]

Time again for the annual Christmas book list

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

Books make great Christmas gifts: No one ever complains they’re the wrong size or color. Great books reveal themselves when their audiences expand beyond their assigned pigeonholes. Finally asking for guidance after dividing and quartering the fiction sections for 20 minutes, I can still remember having to crawl on my hands and knees through the […]

And now, it’s illegal to possess the silver coins

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

I’m a tad too young to remember nickel Cokes, though I can remember when they were a dime. It’s tempting to say that in vending machines today “they’re now a dollar.” But in fact the four quarters you’re shoving in the slot consist mostly of copper and contain not a smidgen of silver, so your […]

The corpse that refreshes

Monday, November 15th, 2010

The Health Nazis have tried for years to discourage cigarette smoking — at the same time they greedily seize cigarette tax revenues to plug their budget gaps, of course — by placing more and more onerous warning labels on packages, forcing smokers to huddle outside in the snow, slashing magazine revenues by barring colorful ads […]

Vin sells some comic books, Part II

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

In last week’s column, I’d walked into a local comics shop with some “Silver Age” Marvel and D.C. comic books from the early 1960s, comics with 10-cent cover prices theoretically cataloguing at hundreds of dollars each, but actually in typical “fair to very good” worn condition and thus not likely to retail at more than […]