Member Blogs > Tavistock Books

  • Happy Birthday, F. Scott Fitzgerald!

    Thu, 24 Sep 2015 08:36:13 Permalink
    September 24th is the anniversary of the birth of one of the most well-known Western writers of the 20th century. Notice I did not say one of the most prolific writers in history, as this novelist only published 4 titles throughout his (unfortunately brief) lifetime. However, it must be said that though these titles garnered […] Read More
  • The Dying Californian, or, Kate's 1st Book Fair!

    Wed, 16 Sep 2015 03:43:17 Permalink
     Kate Mitas, Tavistock Books’ New Right-Hand (Wo)Man, has returned from the Sacramento Antiquarian Book Fair… her first fair (as a worker-bee, that is), and reports back. Beware, readers, as what follows may be a sweetly written, if perhaps slightly disheartening tale! The Sacramento Antiquarian Book Fair was a great place for a beginner to become acquainted with […] Read More
  • Playing Hooky? We Look at the Beginnings of the School System and Some of the Earliest Textbooks

    Wed, 02 Sep 2015 11:09:57 Permalink
    Ah, September. The smell of sharpened pencils and new Jansport backpacks (those are probably not still “in” though, are they? I’m getting old) combined with a boatload of traffic going 15 miles per hour on random streets throughout town say one thing: Summer is out… school is in! We thought, given that many of our […] Read More
  • New Acquisitions at Tavistock Books

    Wed, 26 Aug 2015 01:18:15 Permalink
    Before the hectic Book Fair season begins, we thought we’d give a quick run-down of a few of our most interesting acquisitions in the recent past! Click on the pictures or follow the links to be directed to the item in question. Enjoy! Ambrotype of Mr. & Mrs. James M. Lilley of Virginia, circa 1860s: […] Read More
  • "Knowledge Comes, but Wisdom Lingers": An Inside Look at One of the Most Quoted Writers of All Time

    Wed, 19 Aug 2015 02:40:04 Permalink
    In August of 1809, a boy was born in Lincolnshire, England, who would go on to become one of Britain’s best loved poets. This boy was talented as a writer early on, and together with two of his brothers published a local book of poetry by the time he had turned 17. His family grew […] Read More
  • A Warm Welcome to Kate Mitas, Tavistock Books' Latest (and Most Valuable) Acquisition!

    Wed, 05 Aug 2015 10:42:23 Permalink
    In late July, Tavistock Books gained a new member of the team, Ms. Kate Mitas. We give you the inside scoop on this bibliophile and what made her travel across the country to Alameda, California! What drew you to rare books in the very beginning? Was it before your first ever bookstore job? I didn’t really come into […] Read More
  • An Interview with… A Record Breaking Rare Book School Attendee! (Who also Happens to be the Head of Tavistock Books)

    Wed, 29 Jul 2015 12:03:12 Permalink
    The Lord and Master of Tavistock Books recently finished his 21st consecutive year of attending courses at Rare Book School in Charlottesville, Virginia. We found out what it is like to hold the record of most RBS classes consecutively attended from our very own Vic Zoschak! So, Vic, you’ve just finished another summer at RBS! […] Read More
  • Dire Circumstances at Tavistock Books (Humorous Relief for Your Reading Pleasure)

    Wed, 22 Jul 2015 11:37:09 Permalink
    Something that has happened often enough at Tavistock Books to admit (as long as my boss does not read this blog) is the dropping of books. My first week Vic left me alone with the store (let’s not even talk about how I neglected to charge a guy spending $600 sales tax or that I […] Read More
  • 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
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