Member Blogs > Tavistock Books

  • The Brothers Fleming: Peter & Ian and a shared Bond

    Wed, 08 Jul 2015 11:35:22 Permalink
    Everyone knows the name Ian Fleming. It is not, by any means, a new name to the 20th century reading public and almost all could tell you that the great Ian Fleming was the creator of the dashing James Bond and all his escapades. However, all may not know Ian Fleming was not only the […] Read More
  • We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident… that Thomas Jefferson was the Rockstar of the Non-Digital Age

    Thu, 02 Jul 2015 11:52:14 Permalink
    On this here week of Independence, we do hereby pronounce our forefathers to have been a great many things. Determined, Intelligent, Eloquent, and… Romantic. Bear with me here – this blog will be mainly a professional, research-filled and patriotic discussion of the drafting of our Declaration of Independence and one of its main men, Thomas […] Read More
  • Find Another! A Short Summer Miscellany

    Tue, 23 Jun 2015 12:22:14 Permalink
    Announcing the upload of our newest PDF catalogue: Find Another! A Short Summer Miscellany.   In these days of internet bookselling, with thousands of booksellers listing millions of books for sale, it is said to be successful in such a competitive environment, one must routinely offer 1. the cheapest copy, or, 2. the best copy, […] Read More
  • Handel This! A Brief Biography of the Baroque Composer

    Wed, 17 Jun 2015 02:35:25 Permalink
    The year 1685 was monumental in the world of classical music. Domenico Scarlatti, Johann Sebastian Bach, and George Frederich Handel were all born within a few months of each other, and all came to be titans of the Baroque era. Unlike such composers as Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, whose stories are considerably well-known in the musical […] Read More
  • Dickens' Final Chapter: The End of His Life and His Last (Unfinished) Work, The Mystery of Edwin Drood

    Tue, 09 Jun 2015 09:14:34 Permalink
    Charles Dickens was only 58 years old when he passed away. He had long pushed himself too hard for the love of his work and his followers, and in the summer of 1870 (June 9th, to be exact) he succumbed to the exhaustion and after experiencing a fatal stroke, was laid to rest. His work, […] Read More
  • New Acquisitions at Tavistock Books

    Wed, 27 May 2015 12:03:01 Permalink
    We know we’ve been inundating you with blog topics on world class authors, illustrators, artists, and events in history. Is it too much? We thought we’d give you a bit of a reprieve from the education and simply let you read about some new acquisitions we’ve recently catalogued that we are pleased to share with […] Read More
  • A Donation to Children's Illustration: A Short Tribute to Randolph Caldecott

    Wed, 20 May 2015 12:11:41 Permalink
    Randolph Caldecott was born in March of 1846 in a city called Chester, England. He left school at the tender age of fifteen and went to work in a bank branch. In 1861 he saw published his first drawing – and despite the fact that he was to be most remembered for his humorous depictions and […] Read More
  • Two Faces of 20th Century Chinese Painting: Qi Baishi & Zhang Dagian

    Wed, 13 May 2015 11:31:02 Permalink
    These days, it seems as though you could walk into your local coffee shop, shout out names like Matisse, Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh, Pollock, Klimt, Rembrandt, Renoir, Degas, Munch, Chagall, Kahlo, Vermeer, or Dali and every single person there would know what these 14 people had in common. They are painters! They have different styles, […] Read More
  • "Words don't change their shape, they change their meaning, their function…" Marguerite Duras and the Minimal Novel

    Wed, 29 Apr 2015 05:20:53 Permalink
    Throughout history, many writers have been known to cause a stir. The Marquis de Sade was incarcerated in an insane asylum for his erotic tales. Oscar Wilde self-exiled himself to Paris for the unimaginable treatment he received for the “crime” of homosexuality. Harriet Beecher Stowe caused a flurry of activity around the anti-slavery act in the United States. […] Read More
  • "Get me the Hell 'Outta Here!" Or, a Typical Miner's Thoughts on the California Gold Rush

    Wed, 22 Apr 2015 11:19:49 Permalink
    The fact that a typical miner would probably be horrified to discuss his thoughts or feelings to anyone in close proximity to his person matters not to us, because, boy, did they ever write home about it. The California Gold Rush began on January 24th, 1848, when American carpenter and sawmill operator James W. Marshall […] Read More
  • Literature of the Dirigible… If it's all just hot air, what is there to write about?

    Wed, 08 Apr 2015 11:06:45 Permalink
    I assume all here have heard the humorous (if ridiculously sincere) question, “Where have all the anvils gone?” Cartoons and period films seem to have us convinced that, at one point, anvils outnumbered humans at least 10 to 1. And in the blink of an eye, they vanished. (Spoiler Alert: Of course in reality many […] Read More
  • Sacramento Antiquarian Book Fair: Heels Not Required

    Wed, 01 Apr 2015 12:52:13 Permalink
    Do you want to know the great thing about the Sacramento Antiquarian Book Fair? (I presume you do, seeing as you are reading this blog.) The great thing about the Sacramento fair is how really and truly a laid back environment it is. The big fairs are beautiful – the sheer amount of awe-inspiring items at […] Read More
  • A Gathering in Albany: the Quarterly Meeting of the ABAA's Northern California Chapter

    Wed, 18 Mar 2015 12:17:43 Permalink
    The Solano Grill & Bar, on Solano Avenue in Albany, is now used to hoards of booksellers crowding their bar area and taking up the entire top floor for their quarterly meeting. A great gathering of ABAA booksellers and their guests, it gives booksellers a chance to talk about business, upcoming & past fairs, and […] Read More
  • Announce: A Bit of March Madness…

    Tue, 17 Mar 2015 12:56:49 Permalink
    Tavistock Books is pleased to announce its first catalogue of 2015, our Spring Miscellany… a bit of March Madness, if you will. As is our custom & wont, we list 30 items that reflect our eclectic & diverse inventory, from Jack London [in jacket] to my guy Charles, from WWI to a nice engraving of […] Read More
  • The Father of California Viticulture's Middle Child: Arpad Haraszthy & Wine Writing in California

    Wed, 11 Mar 2015 01:09:24 Permalink
    In hindsight, we know Arpad Haraszthy was born to make wine. His father, Agoston Haraszthy (also known as “The Father of California Viticulture”), founded the Buena Vista Vinicultural Society in California after the 1857 establishment of his Buena Vista vineyard in Sonoma. Hungarian-American wine maker, writer and world traveler, Agoston Haraszthy moved to the United […] Read More
  • Workings of the Antiquarian Book Trade: A Talk in Tulsa

    Thu, 05 Mar 2015 02:29:03 Permalink
    A week ago this evening saw me standing at a podium in front of 60 Friends of the University of Tulsa’s McFarlin library. I was there, for last June, Adrian Alexander, the McFarlin’s dean, and Marc Carlson, Head of McFarlin Special Collections, had invited me to speak to the group on the Workings of the […] Read More
  • Possible Effects of Prohibition on 1920s American Literature and Wit (Dorothy Parker and her Vicious Circle, in Particular)

    Wed, 25 Feb 2015 11:49:27 Permalink
    “I love to have a martini, two at the very most. Three and I’m under the table… Four and I’m under the host!” Though we don’t expect you all to know this, we recently acquired (in collaboration with The Book Shop, LLC) a large collection of Temperance-related material. We have songbooks, cookbooks, pamphlets, announcements, postcards […] Read More
  • Fair Acquisitions at Tavistock Books

    Wed, 18 Feb 2015 03:15:01 Permalink
    One of the best aspects regarding the back-to-back California Antiquarian book fairs is the shop’s New Acquisitions! In other words, items that we find at the fair hit our online database in a matter of weeks afterwards. We picked up more than a few interesting items in Pasadena and Oakland, and though they are not yet catalogued, they […] Read More
  • Be Still, My Bay-Area Book-Fair Beating Heart

    Wed, 11 Feb 2015 01:41:27 Permalink
    My boss had just about had it with people severely dissing the Oakland Book Fair (or, the 48th California International Antiquarian Book Fair, to be exact) before it ever even happened. Sure, Oakland gets a bad rep in the news – even we know that. But do you know anything about what Oakland does well? […] Read More
  • Playing Pasadena

    Tue, 03 Feb 2015 03:18:46 Permalink
    What words come to mind when you think of Pasadena? Is it “Roses”? Or how about “Jackie Robinson”? If you are a normal member of the human race, these words apply. If you are a bookseller, however, “Bustamante” should be the first word popping into your head. Bustamante Enterprises, Inc. puts on a fabulous Antiquarian […] Read More
  • Agatha Christie: Unrivaled, Record-Breaking Crime Novelist… And One of My Favorite Authors (Hence this Blog)

    Wed, 21 Jan 2015 12:32:50 Permalink
    Murder on the Orient Express. And Then There Were None. Murder at the Vicarage. The Body in the Library. A Murder is Announced. By the Pricking of My Thumbs. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. 4.50 From Paddington. What do all of these titles have in common? Besides great plots, inventive narratives and extremely competent character development? They were […] Read More
  • New News from Tavistock Books!

    Wed, 07 Jan 2015 12:42:14 Permalink
    First off, we’d like to wish each and every one of you a very Happy New Year from Tavistock Books! Whether you are a customer, colleague, pure bibliophile, or my mother and father, we have appreciated your attention and custom this past year and wish you all the best of luck in 2015! There are […] Read More
  • Happy Holidays from Tavistock Books!

    Wed, 24 Dec 2014 01:34:09 Permalink
    Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy Holiday Season, from all of us here at Tavistock Books. Read More
  • Saint Nicholas and the Christmas Spirit: A History of Christmas and its Child-loving, Jolly Icon

    Wed, 17 Dec 2014 03:30:15 Permalink
    The Beginnings of the Christmas Spirit Though the Christmas celebration of gift-giving and caroling falls on the same evening as the Western Church celebrations of the birth of Jesus Christ, the two are not inherently related. At first, the celebration of gift-giving as a treat for the children was celebrated on December 6th, when Saint […] Read More
  • Happy Holidays: NCC Style

    Wed, 03 Dec 2014 05:21:10 Permalink
    Almost 50 Northern California booksellers and their guests gathered last night, as we celebrated at this year’s annual ABAA Northern California Chapter (NCC) meeting/holiday party. The quarterly meeting of the NCC is a combined business meeting and social gathering, with this catered holiday dinner accompanied by a raffle to raise money for the Elisabeth Woodburn Educational […] Read More
  • Top 10 Things We Hear at Tavistock Books

    Tue, 25 Nov 2014 11:10:35 Permalink
    With an open shop since 1997 on a main mercantile street in California’s sunny Alameda, we hear some extremely interesting things from the general public who wander in, not quite sure what antiquarian books are all about… Some of the most popular questions and comments by our shop visitors are included below. Enjoy! 1. “Do you sell […] Read More
  • Recent Happenings at Tavistock Books

    Wed, 12 Nov 2014 12:34:09 Permalink
    At the Store: At Tavistock Books we are experiencing a problem that many booksellers before us have seen and many after will encounter. Space. Similar to the phrase “there is not enough time in the day,” there are not enough shelves in our store! We have filled every nook and cranny with books, with dogs, […] Read More
  • "Books of the West" Comes to Alameda

    Wed, 05 Nov 2014 01:18:43 Permalink
    At Tavistock Books, we believe in “book-education.” Not textbooks for kids in school (though those are helpful too, I suppose), but more the education of others, especially members of the trade, on Rare and Antiquarian Books. It is one reason why we hold a yearly workshop on Reference Books (see the blog on our last […] Read More
  • Double, Double, Toil and Trouble: The History of Halloween (Condensed)

    Wed, 29 Oct 2014 11:34:49 Permalink
    Halloween. There can hardly be a more interesting holiday to research, and, in honor of this coming Friday, research it we certainly have done! The deep traditions underlying “All Hallows’ Eve”, the mutations of those traditions over time, and, naturally, the literature following the course of the holiday over the past few hundred years… all of these […] Read More
  • Theatrically Speaking: Charles Dickens, his Amateur Theatricals & his Performances at the Podium

    Sat, 18 Oct 2014 03:44:46 Permalink
    No one reading a Dickens novel can deny the author’s enthusiasm for the theatrical. To see a young orphan used and abused by adults at every turn, to have to bear a young girl dying and her desolate grandfather withering away by her grave, or a miser being shown the error of his ways by […] Read More
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