Iliad Bookshop's February 2018 Newsletter (#13)
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Hi Gang!

How's your 2018 going so far?

January is traditionally very busy for us - even more than December - and this year's been no exception, especially as our staff has been rocked by colds and flu. But we've really enjoyed seeing so many of you redeeming your gift certificates and spending your holiday money on books, for which we're very grateful!

And we're buying like mad, too, with recent acquisitions including large collections of brand new graphic novels, a number of signed Julia Child cookbooks, and a small collection of Leo Politi's delightful illustrated volumes (see "Blogging About" below). We've also created a catalog of all the amazing books we keep in our safe (see the "What's in the Safe?" feature below).

Thanks to all of you for making 2017 our best year ever, and for getting us off to a great start in 2018.
Dan, Lisa, Morgan, Bob, Ricky, Poul, Brett, Sean, Kevin, Richard, Zeus and Apollo
Howl: Original Draft Facsimile, by Allen Ginsberg, edited by Barry Miles. First edition hardback published by Harper and Row in 1986. Both book and dust jacket are in very good condition, with minor rubbing to jacket and light wear to binding. Ginsberg has signed the title page. A seminal work of the Beat Generation. $300
More on Howl
The Disco Files 1973-78, by Vince Aletti. Published by in 1998. Trade paperback in very good condition, with light soiling and staining to wraps, corners slightly bent, and light staining to fore-edge. $200
More on The Disco Files
The Book of Tiki: The Cult of Polynesian Pop in Fifties America by Sven A. Kirsten, trade paperback published by Taschen in 2003. This is a very good copy, with light wear to stiff wraps, sticker ghosting on front cover, and bent corners. The book on Tiki culture! $100
More on The Book of Tiki
Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home, by Julia Child and Jacques Pepin, published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1999. First edition hardback in very good condition with very good dust jacket. Signed and inscribed by both authors; light wear to DJ; corners slightly bumped, previous owner's plate on front pastedown. $75
More on Julia and Jacques
Le Cabinet De Curiosites, by Thierry W. Despont, Manolo Valdes, and Claudio Bravo. Hardcover published by Assouline in 2013. Very good in very good dust jacket, with lightly rubbed jacket, and book has a very slight spine slant and minor edge wear to binding. $85
More on Le Cabinet
The Pratchett Portfolio, by Terry Pratchett. Trade paperback published by Victor Gollancz in 1996. Pratchett has signed and inscribed the title page. Condition is very good, with light wear to corners and edges, small creases along spine on front/rear covers, and previous owner's stamp on title page. $75.
More on Pratchett Portfolio
(by Ricky)

Ursula K. Le Guin, 1929 - 2018

A good friend told me a few days ago that the writer, Ursula K. Le Guin, had died. I was saddened, of course, but immediately started thinking about how hard it must be for her husband and children. She had a mind and a life-force that only the exceptionally gifted have: full of energy and passion. It's hard to imagine the huge hole that must be left in the future lives of her friends and family. I wish them well and can only say that Ursula would have probably wanted them to accept and move on (as hard as that may be).

Ursula was not just a great author to me, she was one of several of my book parents. Growing up as I did with a family who was more interested in drinking and violence, I never got guidance in how to live. Through her books, Ursula taught me that you could deal with a problem by thinking rather than fighting. She taught me that gender differences don't make one gender superior to the other. And she also helped me understand that we all have shadow parts of ourselves that we fear, but the way to cope with the shadow is to accept it with courage.

These were profound lessons for a young man who was afraid of the world. Ursula K. Le Guin made a difference in my life by giving me the courage to be myself. In A Wizard of Earthsea, I am Ged as he makes terrible mistakes but becomes his true self because of them. I am Genly Ai in Left Hand of Darkness, coming to terms with sex and gender through love and being vulnerable. Ursula, through her writings, helped me understand that perhaps religion is larger and more varied than just the Southern Baptist tradition I was brought up in.

More than anything, I feel that I have come to know Ursula through her mind. She often spoke of her works as being "thought experiments" where she tried to work out ideas she had. She chose science fiction and fantasy as her subjects because the genres "can be put to any use the craftsman has in mind – satire, extrapolation, prediction, absurdity, exactitude, exaggeration, warning, message-carrying, tale-telling, whatever you like". She referred to science fiction as a "left handed monkey wrench". She used science fiction and fantasy to tell stories that often featured women and people of color. This was a huge difference from the white hero blasting his way to fame which featured in most of the other science fiction I was reading as a young man. She literally opened my eyes to the world around me.

From her website:

Q: Do you have a writing philosophy?

A: I guess it is: Write. Revise. If possible, publish. Writing is my craft. I honor it deeply. To have a craft, to be able to work at it, is to be honored by it.

Above all, Ursula K. Le Guin was a teller of tales, a master storyteller. Someone who wrote so clearly and with such profundity, she will no doubt be read by many generations in the future. In an age of hype and instant fame, Ursula K. Le Guin wrote brilliantly, but not didactically. Her ideas were always subservient to her characters and stories. In the many re-reads of Wizard of Earthsea, I found new insights and relationships that often caused me to put the book down and simply ponder her wisdom.

Farewell, Mrs. Le Guin, and thank you for making my life so much better. I am who I am because of you. Your books will always be close to me.


The first place to to find out more about Ursula K. Le Guin is her website. It's so full of interesting info on her that it would take a week to read it all. Try the bibliography and the list of tributes (I like the one by Nicola Griffith in the Seattle Times)

And if you want to start reading Ursual K. Le Guin, I'd suggest starting with Left Hand of Darkness (if science fiction is your favorite genre) and/or the Wizard of Earthsea trilogy (if Fantasy is your favorite). If you're interested in a first edition, we have a beautiful copy here.

Ursula was also a prolific writer of short stories, many of which are classics. Try The Unreal and the Real: The Selected Short Stories of Ursula K. Le Guin.

And, finally, if you are a writer, Ursula has many excellent non-fiction books on writing. Try Steering the Craft: A Twenty-First-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story to start with.

Above all read Ursula K. Le Guin. She is one of the great writers of our generation and will be read for hundreds of years in the future.

(We've been inundated with requests for Le Guin since her passing, so we don't have much in stock right now but we recommend calling back.)

Restoration by David Weinstein
Leo Politi (1908-1996) was a Los Angeles-based children's book author and illustrator whose rich, whimsical style and themes of diversity have made him very collectible well into the 21st century.

Politi's books include not just delightful stories about Latino and Asian children, but also beautifully-illustrated odes to Los Angeles parks and houses that are now long gone. Politi also created a gorgeous mural, "The Blessing of the Animals", that still stands at the south end of Olvera Street downtown, and his contributions to Los Angeles have been recognized with both a school and a plaza named after him. A 2008 centennial paid tribute to Politi with dozens of events and showings.

Aside from how lovely his books already are, Politi often signed them with detailed drawings, sometimes executed in color.

We usually have a good selection of Leo Politi books with new ones in and out all the time, so if you like Politi - and who doesn't? - it's worth checking back a few times a year.
More on Leo Politi
Have you ever noticed the big safe full of books behind Iliad's front counter? We get asked about it frequently. "Is it really old?" is a common question (the answer: no, we bought it new just a few years ago). But most customers want to know what kind of books merit storage in a safe (we think of these as the rarest of our rare books), so in this column we'll pick one book every month and tell you about it. This month's book is...
We have finally created a comprehensive catalog of everything in our safe! If you've ever wondered about all the rarities and objets d'art contained in this vault of literacy, then click the blue button below to download the up-to-date catalog in a PDF format.
Download the Safe Catalog
On January 4, a lawyer for Donald Trump attempted to halt publication of Michael Wolff's new book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by sending a cease-and-desist letter to the author and to publisher Henry Holt. Holt reacted by moving publication of the book forward by five days.

A lawyer representing Wolff and Henry Holt responded, "Though your letter provides a basic summary of New York libel law, tellingly, it stops short of identifying a single statement in the book that is factually false or defamatory. Instead, the letter appears to be designed to silence legitimate criticism. This is the antithesis of an actionable libel claim.”

Other sources called the Trump action "flagrantly unconstitutional" and "an appalling abuse of executive power."

The Iliad thanks our fellow booksellers for standing firm to protect our First Amendment rights.

(And sorry to say we don't have Fire and Fury in stock at this time - perhaps in a few more months.)
in 2016, 87 new ABA member bookstores opened for business in 32 states and the District of Columbia. That is almost a 43 percent increase over the number of store openings in 2015.
in 2016, 87 new ABA member bookstores opened for business in 32 states and the District of Columbia. That is almost a 43 percent increase over the number of store openings in 2015.
in 2016, 87 new ABA member bookstores opened for business in 32 states and the District of Columbia. That is almost a 43 percent increase over the number of store openings in 2015.
in 2016, 87 new ABA member bookstores opened for business in 32 states and the District of Columbia. That is almost a 43 percent increase over the number of store openings in 2015.
in 2016, 87 new ABA member bookstores opened for business in 32 states and the District of Columbia. That is almost a 43 percent increase over the number of store openings in 2015.
in 2016, 87 new ABA member bookstores opened for business in 32 states and the District of Columbia. That is almost a 43 percent increase over the number of store openings in 2015.
More on Fire and Fury
Do your cats love to have their butts paddled? Both of ours do, and we've got a video to prove it (click the photo to view the video).
We'd love to include your photos in our newsletter! Feel free to send to , let us know that it's okay to use the photo, and we'll include it in a future newsletter.

If you need more photos/videos of Zeus and Apollo, or any of Iliad's past felines, please visit our Pet Gallery.
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