Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Notes in Books thanks Karine for her tireless efforts here and abroad. Karine: you make the world a better place, one obituary at a time. And your chili is delicious!

Rudyard Kipling's Verse, Doubleday.

The spine:

 The clippings, adhered to the back inside pages:

Aside from steering The Princeton Tiger, the University's student-run humor publication, toward profitability almost two decades after F. Scott Fitzgerald helmed the editorial board, Mr. Todd Harris founded Creative Plastics Corporation and owned patent US2813349, a device that molded commercial-grade hard plastics for sundry application, including the referenced black box housing for the Nassau Hall Bicentennial U.S. Postage Stamp. Very neat.

Additional clippings:

 Eightballers? Katie, wtf is this?


English, dude. Duh!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


The Trial, by Franz Kafka.

The Spine:

The library stamp from the inside cover:

Published in 1965 and checked out four years later. That's a brief shelf life. And the book's still in good shape. I'd question the book's provenance, but hurling an unsubstantiated accusation would be too ironical for my tastes. Blah--Confess, David. Confess! We all know you did it. By "it" we mean it, and by "We" we mean not you.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

positive reinforcement

Letters To A Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke.


The note:

To Alex
at "a fortuitous point of time" with immense gratitude, your mom
April 23. 1984.
New York City

Monday, November 23, 2009

twilight pale

Slightly Like Strangers by Emily Listfield.

My vocabulary for cosmetics is awful, so this is going to come out wrong. Are the people on the cover wearing too much foundation or too much face powder:

The photo:

I wonder if this was a new marketing tactic in the late '80s: to include the author's headshot in the book. (Maybe this was an advanced reader's copy?) The same picture, but cropped, is used for the biography. While researching background on the author I came across these tips for author headshots, which include: add a statement necklace like chunky layered beads or turquoise. I'd suggest bamboo, but to each their own.

Monday, November 16, 2009

inside and out (not feist)

My brother found this note before his first college tour. They grow up so damn fast!

The Storyteller: A Novel by Mario Vargas Llosa.

The note:

[Heart] Surrounded I sit amidst erosions gift. small pebbles they really do uplift. memories are precious at times we knew there was a love for very few. Now I seek our origins name not recognized. Will we crash upon the sand, or flee this land we encroach every day. I vanish among the surf to find that wisdom of a fluid type. Sing to me, the sea whispers in my ear, dance circles until there's no rigidity. Sacred we are but seldom we do -- caught inside the rabid Muse -- Electric smells -- I can replace the power to feel that space between two cities outside of time. the race. Surrounded.

by Julia


Question: What I find intriguing is the lack of possessive apostrophes (erosions, origins) mixed with the use of a contraction (there's). What's Julia getting at?

Feist sez:

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Dem Bums

White Noise by Don DeLillo.


A Dodgers' 1991 World Series ticket! Hooray! An unused ticket for a series the Dodgers didn't play! Uh, what now?

The 1991 season was played before divisional realignment, so a team could theoretically finish the season and within a week's time start Game One of the World Series (there was no Divisional Series like today--only a best-of-four League Championship Series, which if both winning teams swept would take only five days). Thus, the net effect of such a short postseason was every team not yet mathematically eliminated from contention printed playoff tickets--even World Series tickets--to sell to eager beaver fans and scalpers before the regular season concluded. That year, three National League teams were fighting for two playoff spots heading into October: the Pittsburg Pirates (who finished 14 games ahead of the second-place St. Louis Cardinals in the NL East) and the Dodgers and Atlanta Braves over in the NL West. (Of course Atlanta played in the NL West. Duh.)

On October 1st, the Dodgers were atop their division, one game up on the Braves. But both teams were tied for first by October 3rd, setting up a critical season finale against the San Francisco Giants. (If you don't know anything about the spirited Dodger/Giant rivalry, see this photo.) The Dodgers being the Dodgers, known as "Dem Bums" while stinkin' it up in Brooklyn before moving out to Los Angeles in 1958, were eliminated October 5th by Trevor Fuckin' Wilson, who pitched a complete game shutout. (The Giants finished 19 games out of first place, but both teams have a long history of knocking one another out of the postseason.) And once Eddie Murray grounded out to second base in that ninth inning, thousands of voided Dodger playoff tickets made their way into trash bins or transmogrified into bookmarks. Handy!

What's also remarkable about this ticket is the purchase price: $40 for a Top Deck seat! A Top Deck seat in the regular season cost you $5 in 1991; $11 in 2009.

(FYI: the Minnesota Twins won the World Series, defeating the Braves in seven games. The home team won every game. Baseball fever: catch it!)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Rosetta Stone Required

Guest Post #3!

Eric found this cool note of scribblings: one English, several of unknown origin. Probably not the glyphs of an alien species, but my guess is the smooth loops of Arabic.

Eric sez:

I'm not certain what language the marginalia is in this used copy of The Buddhist Tradition. What I am sure of is that my phone takes better pictures than my camera.

The note on top:

No clue:

Yes, you are reading that correctly:

("Ben complete shenanigans")

No cover art, but here is the spine:

Thanks, Eric (aka Guest Poster #3)!