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Behind the Bookshelves
27 minutes | 11 days ago
We meet the team from The Sifter, an international, collaborative database of cookbooks designed to help people answer their food-related questions. Containing details of 8,000 authors and more than 7,000 works, The Sifter is a remarkable research tool detailing cookbooks and their contents down to the ingredients for particular recipes. We learn how the database has been years in the making and how it’s going to help scholars, researchers, cooks, scientists, and historians.
14 minutes | 24 days ago
Burnside Rare Books in Portland
We return to Portland, Oregon, and speak to Rachel Phillips and Roger Hucek from Burnside Rare Books. They specialize in 20th century literature and signed books, and they have been selling books together since 2006. We discuss their bookselling evolution, the importance of photography, book fairs and much more.
27 minutes | 2 months ago
Collecting Baseball Books
We're at the ballpark, talking baseball. Bookseller Bobby Plapinger, from Ashland in Oregon, joins us. Bobby is a specialist baseball book dealer. Babe Ruth, early baseball books, cards vs books, and the belated interest in the Negro Leagues are just some of the topics we discuss.
18 minutes | 2 months ago
Learn how John Stone, from the University of Barcelona, discovered a rare 1634 edition of Shakespeare's play The Two Noble Kinsmen, co-written with John Fletcher, in the library of a small Scottish college in Spain.
24 minutes | 2 months ago
Today, we are Flintshire in the UK, visiting the UK's only residential library. We speak with Peter Francis who is the Warden and Director of Gladstone's Library in Hawarden, which is a few miles west of Chester. William Ewart Gladstone served 4 separate terms as Britain's prime minster between in 1868 and 1894. Today his personal library is available to the public, housed in a building where you can also spend the night. Join us to learn more about this remarkable library.
12 minutes | 3 months ago
Bookselling in County Mayo
Today, we head to County Mayo on the west coast of the Republic of Ireland and speak to Roger Grimes, who is the co-owner of a bookshop and antiques business located in Mulranny. Vanessa Parker Rare Books and its sister business Greenway Antiques share a beautiful white-walled cottage. Vanessa does the books and Roger sells the antiques. Join us to hear about life and business in this beautiful part of the world.
27 minutes | 3 months ago
Book of Trespass
We are joined by author and printmaker Nick Hayes, who has written a book called The Book of Trespass. Nick takes us into some of England’s grandest country estates… as a trespasser. He writes about how easy it to trespass and what he encountered while trespassing. He also writes at length about the history of trespassing in England – from the years following the Norman Conquest to today’s campaigns over the right to roam through the British countryside. We discuss the history of land ownership and the importance of having access to the countryside.
27 minutes | 3 months ago
Bookselling in Bulgaria
We are talking about bookselling in the Balkans with Ian Dodds, who is an AbeBooks bookseller based in Bulgaria. Ian and his wife left the UK in 2007 to live and work in Bulgaria, and we hear about how they established an online bookselling business in a mountain village close to the border with Greece.
21 minutes | 3 months ago
Things Found in Books Part 2
We return to the subject of things found in used books. Our guest is Emma Smreker, a school teacher from Oklahoma City, who collects secondhand books in order to discover the forgotten things left inside. When she comes across something particularly poignant, such as a letter or a photo or a poem, she researches the item and tries to return it to the original owner. Learn about the remarkable connections that Emma is making through these forgotten objects.
24 minutes | 4 months ago
Death by Shakespeare
We visit the theatre and discuss Shakespearean deaths with author Kathryn Harkup, who has written a book called Death by Shakespeare. Kathryn looked at how the Bard killed off his characters and asked if these deaths were realistic. She considered science, medicine, disease, weaponry, poisons, crimes and punishments, and Elizabethan history. We discuss Shakespeare's bloodiest play, how he didn't always get it right, the Bard's stagecraft skills and how he probably got some assistance from his son-in-law. And also the ups and downs of being pursued by a bear.
22 minutes | 4 months ago
Art of Advertising
We are joined by Julie Anne Lambert, who is the Librarian of the John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera at the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford, to discuss the Bodleian's Art of Advertising exhibition. We talk about the origins of the Johnson Collection, what ephemera tells us about history, the importance of soap, and the early advertising posters.
34 minutes | 4 months ago
Artist Jo Mora
We’re discussing the American artist Jo Mora (1876-1947) with Peter Hillier from the Jo Mora Trust. Mora should be much better known than he is. He worked across many mediums, including books and maps, and dedicated much of his work to the American West and particularly California. Mora was a cartoonist, a sculptor, a painter, a photographer, an author and an illustrator. He traveled and lived in Arizona and California where he recorded, through his art, the lives of the Hopi and Navajo Native Americans. He grew to understand the Cowboy culture firsthand by extensively travelling through California on horseback on his own. As his career blossomed, his sculptures appeared throughout California.
23 minutes | 5 months ago
Botanist Joseph Banks
We are discussing the legacy of pioneering botanist Joseph Banks with Mark James from Type & Forme, a rare bookselling firm in the UK. Banks traveled to Australia with Captain Cook on a voyage that began in 1768 and ended in 1771. Along the way, Banks and his colleagues discovered and recorded around 1,300 previously undocumented botanical species. We learn how Banks revolutionized botany and yet failed to publish a book of his work during his lifetime.
23 minutes | 6 months ago
Cultivated Elements of Floral Style
We are joined by Christin Geall, the author of Cultivated: The Elements of Floral Style - a new book about floral design. With almost 100,000 followers on Instagram, Christin is a designer, writer, gardener, and photographer. Her book features stunning photography of arrangements and offers advice to anyone who wants to get creative with cut flowers.
28 minutes | 6 months ago
Worlds of JRR Tolkien
Today, we are going on a journey to Middle-Earth. We speak to John Garth, the author of The Worlds of J. R. R. Tolkien: The Places That Inspired Middle-earth. John's book identifies the real places that inspired the fictional locations of The Shire, Rivendell, Mirkwood, and Mordor. Learn about Tolkien's childhood, his WWI experiences in the trenches, and his dislike for Oxford traffic.
10 minutes | 6 months ago
The Book of Black Magic
The Book of Black Magic, written by mystic A.E. Waite, was first published in 1898. A prolific author, Waite was a member of a secret magical society devoted to the occult and he also co-created one of the most popular of all tarot decks. Discover the story behind Waite's Book of Black Magic.
32 minutes | 7 months ago
Capers of Bookseller Johnny Jenkins
Our guest is Michael Vinson, the author of Bluffing Texas Style: The Arsons, Forgeries, and High Stakes Poker Capers of Rare Book Dealer Johnny Jenkins. A bookseller who blazed a trail through Texas and the rare book world, Jenkins ended up dead through a gunshot to the head as his debts and crimes spiraled out of control. Listen to our interview and learn more about the capers of this poker-playing rare book dealer.
7 minutes | 7 months ago
Zen and Robert Pirsig
They always say that you should try, try and try again. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert M Persig, has sold more than 5 million copies since being published in 1974. And yet, it was rejected by 121 publishers before finally being printed. Discover how this book became one of the most unlikely bestsellers of the 20th century.
27 minutes | 7 months ago
Daniel Crouch on Rare Maps
Daniel is a specialist map dealer and co-owner of Daniel Crouch Rare Books, which offers antique atlases, maps, plans, sea charts and descriptions of voyages. The business has galleries in London and New York. We discuss the importance of knowing the story behind a rare map, data visualization maps, pictorial maps, and why collectors are drawn to historical maps and atlases.
28 minutes | 7 months ago
Today, we are going fishing… in a podcast way. We’re joined by Jim Dixon, who is a bookseller on AbeBooks and located in Derbyshire in the UK. Jim specializes in antiquarian books about the English countryside, including the pastime of angling. He also has an exceptional collection dedicated to The Compleat Angler, the most important of all angling books.
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