Book Curious
Discoveries, news, and entertainment chosen capriciously by rare book dealer Rebecca Romney
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Rare Book News
Announcing the 2020 Honey & Wax Prize
Woman looking at a book by Jenny Kroik
With thanks to Lit Hub for announcing, submissions are now open for the 2020 Honey & Wax Prize, which Heather O'Donnell and I founded in 2017 as a $1000 award to a woman in the United States, 30 or under, who has built an outstanding book collection. Take a look at previous winners' collections at the Paris Review - 2017, 2018, and 2019 - and submit for this year here. Thanks also to sponsors Biblio, Swann Galleries, and Ellen A. Michelson, and to Jenny Kroik for this year's artwork.
"Slavery and the Natural World"
Botanical specimen from Natural History Museum
Fresh off reading and loving Washington Black by Esi Edugyan, I was very interested to learn that London's Natural History Museum put together a project exploring the "research into how the Museum's history and collections are connected to the transatlantic slave trade." It was completed a couple years ago, but a tremendous amount of the material is available online in PDFs.
Bookish Links
High Fashion Pulp
Pulp paperbacks are having a moment: Louis Vuitton's pre-fall look book is inspired by classic covers of science fiction and horror pulps from the 1970s and '80s. The Cut has a nice rundown, and Rebecca Baumann tracked down a number of the inspirations on Twitter. At Type Punch Matrix, you may also recall we did a Classics Pulped catalogue.
(Image credit: Louis Vuitton)
"...stop talking about Fabio covers, because that was 25 years ago,
and we just want to live."
Various images combined for romance cover
I loved Jennifer Prokop's article for Kirkus Reviews about "The Making of a Harlequin Romance Cover," which tackles perhaps the single most knee-jerk judged aspect of romance publishing. If you're interested in an academic book history perspective on the subject, I also recommend "Hidden Codes of Love: The Materiality of the Category Romance Novel" by An Goris.
(Image credit: Kirkus)
What I'm Reading
Cover of Jade City
In dire need of some reading not related to work, I just finished the first book in the Green Bone Saga by Fonda Lee: Jade City. It's easy to compare this book to The Godfather, but it's not just because of the "epic story of a mob family" angle: all the main characters of the Kaul family are drawn, like Michael Corleone, with the alluring complexity of actual people. Their development manages that tightrope between remaining true to character, yet ending up somewhere quite surprising. Cinematic and simultaneously full of depth, I highly recommend it.
Rebecca Romney | Specialist in Rare Books
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