Weller Book Works
February Books and Events
Word from Weller's
February 2018  
In this Issue

Quick Links
607 Troley Square

Join Our Mailing List

Fri, February 23
6:30-9 pm
Join bibliophiles for the Collectors' Chat: Daniel Davidson and his presentation of rare books and items on ancient religious themes in Europe and the Near East. 
Light refreshments
and nerdy conversation provided.
Every last Friday
of the month.

Books to Enjoy in February 
by Catherine Weller 
The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border by Ernesto Cantú at first seems an unlikely book about an unlikely life, a memoir by a Mexican-American International Relations student who becomes a border patrol agent in the desert southwest. But it is exactly this seeming disconnect that makes The Line Becomes a River so good. At the start of his career, Cantú worked in the field apprehending undocumented migrants crossing the border, destroying caches left by smugglers and migrants, and rescuing those he found dying in the desert. After five years of teeth-grinding, nightmare inducing stress he transferred to a desk job. The desk work proved enlightening and disturbing in its own way. At one point his mother, a former state park ranger tells him, "We learn violence by watching others, by seeing it enshrined in institutions. Then, even without our choosing it, it begins to seem normal to us, it even becomes part of who we are." Cantú's attempt to understand policies and conditions, to plumb the personal as well as the political, is moving. Don't miss this intelligent and sensitive treatment of a timely and divisive topic.

Wellers' favorite Willy Vlautin, author of Lean on Pete and The Free, returns with another plainspoken and heartbreaking novel, Don't Skip Out on Me, about people gripped by hard luck no matter how hard they work, but who still hold tight to their dreams. Horace is a young half-Paiute, half-Irish man living in Tonopah Nevada struggling to find and redeem himself via a career in boxing. His guardian, Eldon Reese, is a rancher aging out of his occupation and crippled by back pain. He'd love nothing more than to give his ranch to Horace, but Horace's quest leads him elsewhere. He renames himself Hector Hidalgo and moves to Phoenix to find a trainer and hit the circuit. Horace even spends a little time in Salt Lake City for a Golden Gloves bout. Vlautin's writing will make you ache for these men while you marvel at his descriptions of life in the west. Willy Vlautin is also a member of the indie band, Richmond Fontaine, and wrote music to accompany Don't Skip Out on Me. You can hear him read from the book and play some of the music in our bookstore on Saturday, February 24th at 7:00 pm.

More Catherine's picks here.
Rare Book Selection by Tony Weller 
Despite contemporary complaints and general rejection, Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman became one of the most enduring, beloved and influential poetry books authored by an American. Until his death in 1892, Whitman expanded and edited his collection for each of nine editions, making completest collectors of Whitman somewhat crazy. The rare 1855 collection contained 12 poems and the final 1891/92 "Deathbed" edition contained nearly 400.

We just acquired two oldish, uncommon and nice editions:

A full smooth brown leather-bound copy with gilt edges and lettering; and pretty marbled endsheets. A 1931 printing from The Aventine Press in New York. Sadly, the too delicate mounted black leather labels are half chipped away from backstrip. $600

A nice 1900 printing in ¾ black leather from David McKay. Surprisingly for this late date, the book was bound with the backstrip glued to the spine, causing resultant cracking to joints. Still attractive and sturdy. $300
February Events 
Books and Bridges event: Maeera Shreiber, Professor of English and Director of Religious Studies at the University of Utah, will discuss the "Spiritual and Cultural Ideas of the Judeo-Christian Literary Border Zone." She will explore Jewish writers who engage Christianity in their work - novelists and dramatists such as Amos Oz (Judas), Sholem Asch (God of Vengeance), and Henry Roth (Call It Sleep).
Books and Bridges event:  David Bokovoy, Utah State University professor of Religious and Jewish Studies, and his presentation "The Hebrew Prophets and Social Justice."  An examination of the writings of the Old Testament prophets from the standpoint of social justice, not religious authority. These figures had a lot to say about how society should be constructed to help the disadvantaged and why it's important to speak truth to power and entrenched authority. 

Willy Vlautin will be reading and signing  Don't Skip on Me, as well as playing tracks from the soundtrack he wrote for the novel with his guitar.   Horace Hopper has spent most of his life on a Nevada sheep ranch, but dreams of something bigger. Ashamed of not only his half-Paiute, half-Irish heritage but also of the fact that his parents didn't want him, he feels as if he doesn't truly belong on the ranch, or anywhere. Knowing that he needs to make a name for himself, Horace leaves behind the only loving home he has ever known for Tucson, where he can prove his worth as a championship boxer. 
For more bookstore news and events, visit and like our Facebook .
Our new pretty website is here.