From February 10th through the end of this weekend, the 55th California International Antiquarian Book Fair returns to the Pasadena Convention Center and I look forward to spending part of my weekend there. (For the book-gazing, of course, but with full disclosure, my wife’s colleagues at Occidental College have an exhibit there.)
My own colleague Anissa Rivera from Pasadena Star-News wrote about the event, which will feature more than 120 exhibitors from around the world (and Southern California) showcasing first editions, collectibles and more. The exhibits highlight female bookies from Southern California; California chef Helen Brown; Ukulele literature and collecting from Sherlock Holmes.
The latter is the Occidental College exhibition, which will feature its Sherlock holdings from the Ned Guymon Collection of Mystery and Detective Fiction. I recently saw Helena de Lemos, Special Collections Librarian, give a presentation on the collection and it’s packed with cool stuff from writers like Edgar Allen Poe, Wilkie Collins, Raymond Chandler and how they will be focusing at this event , Arthur Conan Doyle (and related Holmes materials).
“The first editions are fabulous, but we also have a painting, illustrated original art from ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ by Sidney Paget, that’s beautiful,” De Lemos told Star-News.
So count me among them. I’m not a book collector – books seem to collect me – but I enjoy looking at the rare editions, calculating what they would cost, and being thankful I didn’t develop more expensive hobbies.
However, there is always time to start. wish me luck out there
Tickets range from $10 to $25, and there are free tickets for students with ID or children under 12. Visit www.abaa.org/cabookfair for more information
Book people tend to be good people, and Jhoanna Belfer is one of the best.
As the driving force behind Bel Canto Books, the women-owned bookstore and BIPOC in Long Beach, Belfer has an infectious enthusiasm for books as well as a knack for luring nerdy introverts away from their teacups and armchairs for fun book trips and events.
You may recall that Belfer and I talked about the store last year, and I took part in two of the indie bookstore field trips that she organized with her friend Christy Krumm Richard. Both times I had a lot of fun, had good conversations and came home with books. what would be better
Well, maybe that. Belfer has prepared a new Bel Canto location and now Bel Canto Books’ Bixby Knolls location is open. I spoke to Belfer last week about the store, which will be located at KUBO Long Beach, a Filipino-founded creative space whose cultural and community-building goals align with their own community awareness efforts.
“We have so many people doing so many great things; How do we work together to amplify what everyone is doing?” She says she celebrates the local Filipino community. “We are doing amazing things for Long Beach and for all of US society.”
“Your mission aligns perfectly with mine,” says Belfer of KUBO LB. “I’m just really excited.”
And she’s very busy too. I met her the day after the new store opened and she shuttled back and forth between the two.
“As we are just starting the new business, I would like to be there to train new employees and help them get to know our business and our philosophy. And then just being there to greet customers as often as possible because so many are happy that we’re coming into the neighborhood,” says Belfer, who lets out a happy, possibly weary laugh. “I have a lot planned for this month. I think I have six writer events this month.”
I mentioned earlier that Belfer, who worked in hospitality for years before opening her bookstore in 2019, knows how to make fun, and she didn’t disappoint when I asked what else was going on.
“We’re hosting our first-ever Boozy Bookfair with a taproom diagonally across from the new store called Ambitious Ales,” she says of the February 26 event. “It’s a great brewery and taproom that is also partially Filipino owned.”
As she puts it on the Eventbrite page, “Think of the Scholastic Book Fair but with adult drinks.”
I don’t even drink and that sounds hard to miss. Maybe we’ll see you there or at Bel Canto or on one of the next indie bookstore field trips.
Wherever it is, I’m sure it will be fun.
Tim Blake Nelson believes that a novel stands above all others
Tim Blake Nelson is best known for his acting roles in films such as Syriana, O Brother, Where Art Thou?. and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, and he is also an accomplished playwright and screenwriter. Michael Schaub spoke to Nelson about his debut novel, City of Blows, which was published by Los Angeles-based Unnamed Press. Nelson also responded to the Q&A about the book pages and shared what he read.
Q. Is there a book or books that you always recommend to other readers?
War and Peace, Blood Meridian, The Master and Margarita, The Brothers Karamasov, But Beautiful: A Book About Jazz, Infinite Jest, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, The Executioner’s Song, The Overstory, The Marriage Plot, American Pastoral, Ham on Rye, Tender Is the Night, The Brothers Ashkenazi, Dead Souls, A Hero of Our Time ‘, ‘The Last of the Righteous’ … I could go on like this.
Q. What is something – a fact, a bit of dialogue, or something else – that you remember from a recent reading?
From Richard Powers’ Galatea 2.2: “Our life was a box of self-assembling cards, fused into point-by-point feedback, each slice continuously rewriting itself to match the rewriting of the other layers. In this thicket existed the soul; it was this search for attractors where the system could settle. The immaterial in mortal garb, associative memory as a metaphor for one’s own confusion. Sound made syllable. The rest mass of God.”
Q. Do you listen to audio books? If so, are there any titles or narrators that you would recommend?
I don’t listen to audio books.
Q. Is there a genre or type of book that you read most – and what would you like to read more about?
I read mostly fiction, alternating between dead writers and living writers, and just literature.
Q. Do you have a favorite book or books?
I think the greatest achievement in fiction is War and Peace.
Q. What is something about your book that nobody knows?
I wrote it just to write it, not to have an end result.
Q. If you could ask your readers one thing, what would it be?
What are you going to read next?
Paul Dooley became “Movie Dad” even though his own children disappeared for a decade. CONTINUE READING
• • •
Meet Dan Smetanka, the book editor championing California writers. CONTINUE READING
• • •
Why De’Shawn Charles Winslow returned to his fictional town in Decent People. CONTINUE READING
• • •
The bestsellers of the week
The best selling books at your local independent bookstores. CONTINUE READING
What’s next on ‘Bookish’
The next free Bookish event is February 17 at 5pm when guests Kathryn Ma, Deepti Kapoor and W. Bruce Cameron discuss books with host Sandra Tsing Loh. If you missed it (or want to relive the action), you can also watch our notable episode celebrating 10 Southern California writers who published memorable books in 2022.
https://www.ocregister.com/2023/02/10/the-book-pages-the-case-of-the-sherlock-holmes-first-editions/ The Case of the Sherlock Holmes First Editions – Orange County Register