Happy New 2009, everyone.
I don't know if this link to AbeBooks 'Most Expensive Books' list will stay put - I receive these via email, not sure where else they are filed on the Abe site once they're old news though. I will keep an eye on that. To add to that, here's a list of books with unusual bindings that are currently passing through the enormous online secondhand booksellers' hands. (There's a rubber book with a zip down the bottom...)
Down at Queenscliff last week, I saw a pretty dark orange, green and cream Spode platter that was also expensive. And prior to that, we dealt with a kitchen island bench in the rellies' holiday house that was pretty busted (and is going to be considerably more expensive).
We emptied all the crockery out after the small, late-sixties legs on the bench had withstood the cracking of the particle board base of the cabinets away from the framing base, and the subsidence of the whole seven foot long bench and cabinets straight into the floor. Three glasses were broken and that was all - fortunately no one had their toes under the cabinets at the time. The plumbing still works, though one sink will not drain properly at an angle of 15 degrees. Funny, that.
This happened at my in-laws' beach house. Moreover, on Christmas Day an entire trestle table gave way at my sister-in-law's house, covered in food in sensible plastic dishes. Nothing was lost.
A week has passed and I have no news of a third thing about to fall, though the family is large enough to be its own population sample...the balcony on the beach house has just been replaced, so at least it won't be that.
When not wrangling kitchens (including cleaning out my own prior to the holiday to make it less welcoming for bugs that like to come over when I'm not there to squash 'em), I am currently trying to read Foster's History of Ireland 1600 - 1972 - I am up to the Famine and some more familiar names, and just about ready to retire and leave the rest for later.
I have finished and found Antigone Kefala's Sydney Journals deeply refreshing, and now want to read this. I was sent two Mini Shots by Lisa Dempster, having mentioned a couple of her authors here, and thought they were terrific, and particularly liked the miniaturised format.
A Vignette Press Mini Shot looks like a story crossed with a zine, designed to high publication standards and produced with its own graphics, and neat enough to feature in cafes or slip into a bag or glovebox, to have handy in a dull moment. I don't know enough about zine culture to make judgments here, but has this been done with short fiction in other states? looks very Melburnian to me, and of course, great fiction too.
I am also lining up to read Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, on loan from eldest daughter, and really enjoying browsing this, my own Christmas present to me, purchased on the advice of the lovely Daniel at Artisan Books.
If you are ridiculously well off, then here's a link to some of the originals in a gallery. Those, I cannot afford.
The book is a beautifully produced and quite adequate substitute, for the price, and has an absorbing introductory essay about the garden at Eichstatt, the production of the florilegium and its early publishing history. And it's available from the brilliant Artisan Books in Gertrude Street, next door to Vixen (full of more things I can't afford) and just up the hill a little from Arcadia, whose incredible brekkie burgers I can afford.
Be nice to your kitchen cupboards, y'all. Unless you like cardboard boxes, that is.
Today is also incredibly special, windy and hot as it is, as I have (gasp) no more teenagers in my family. How did that happen? I blinked and there it was. Happy birthday, Pat - and many more.