TEXTBLOCK | The bi-monthly newsletter of Weller Book Works | NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2019

Holiday Issue

Spiffy Gifts, Old and New
by Tony Weller
Happy Holidays good readers. You are synthesizers of culture, voices of reason and creative vectors. Let your civility and wisdom envelope your community. We are mirrors and lenses. Human experience is vast. Position the facets of reading correctly and cast joyous prisms of light.

I love old books and I am thrilled by new releases. I value inexpensive books and I am enchanted by rarities, finely made books and fetishistic augmentations. I delight at modern evolutions in physical bookmaking as writers and publishers consider and explore the object of the book, the array of possibilities and how its story is supported and augmented by proper design and choices. I move through our bookstore in a kind of fugue, stupefied by the portent of this mass of books awaiting activation by a human mind, mine or yours.

 Shaun Tan . Cicada . hardly know how to write about Shaun Tan’s juvenile picture book Cicada. It’s simple and stark and my grasping surprises me. Is it book about racism and class? Is this book about the callous soul of capitalism? Or is it a story of liberation? I cannot quit thinking about this beautiful and haunting book. You really have to see it. I am sorry and you’re welcome. $19.99

B.B. Cronin. The Lost Cousins
I enjoy the Seek & Find books by b.b. Cronin, all myself. His 2016 book The Lost House transported me back to early childhood. His 2019 title, The Lost Cousins is very exciting too. Page after page Cronin’s illustrations and surprising colors will make you smile. $19.99

Toni Morrison. The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches and Meditations 
Four decades of Nobel Prize winning, late and beloved Morrison’s musical and insightful thoughts and writings are shared in this wonderful collection. Hardcover from Knopf for $28.95. Watch also for her Measure of Our Lives: A Gathering of Wisdom which Knopf will release in December.

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes is generally cited as the first novel. The first part was published in Spain in 1605 and concluded with a second part in 1615. The handsome copy we offer was published by London’s Folio Society in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the first appearance of Don Quixote. It is bound in full orange-brown leather with pictorial décor in black and gilt. It’s playfully illustrated by Quentin Blake whose work you likely remember from books by Roald Dahl. One of 1250 copies in a red cloth clamshell box. $600

I grow increasingly fond of the Harper Perennial series’. I am presently excited by their Perennial Olive Editions of classic Mysteries, with dramatic and chilling black, red and white covers. These delightful $10 limited editions are a one-time offering from Harper. “Crime was too easy in a place like this.” If you like one, you will want three or maybe all eight. The series includes: The Blessing Way by Tony Hillerman , Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon , Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers , The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear.

Alfred Lambourne was an artist and writer, best remembered for his works about the Great Salt Lake. Plet: A Christmas Tale was published in Boston in 1895. Most copies were bound in cloth but here is a fancy edition in ¾ brown leather with marbled paper-covered boards. It is in very good condition but for a small tear in the bottom of its rear joint. $200

The writings of Swedish scientist come mystic Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) continue to fascinate and influence readers. He published broadly in scientific fields early in life but his later theological works form the foundation of his influence. In satisfying sturdy uniform purple cloth we offer high quality modern editions from The Swedenborg Foundation:
  • Heaven and Hell $40
  • The Secrets of Heaven: Genesis 1-15 in two volumes $15
  • True Christianity in two volumes $50
  • Emanuel Swedenborg: Essays for the New Century Edition on His Life, Work, and Impact with articles by numerous Swedenborgian scholars $75

Edmund Dulac (1882-1953) was one of the most beloved illustrators of his era. In 1922, Dent published an unusual item bearing his name and introduction. Christmas Pictures by Children contains 14 full color images made by children between the ages of six and 16 under the tutelage of Professor Franz Cižek, founder of the Child Art Movement in Vienna. Beautiful work. Hinges are soft and the paper on the binding is yellowed. Uncommon. $300

1st edition, first printing of L. Frank Baum’s 1902 Life and Adventures of Santa Claus . Elaborate pictorial red cloth. Soiled binding, weak hinges, and authentic contemporary fingerprints. A charming book. $175

True: The Man’s Magazine published from 1937 until 1974. In February 1961 the 25th Anniversary Issue, was delivered in a metallic silver heavy cardstock folding box. Among other contributors, the issue boasts work by Ernest Hemingway , Aldous Huxley and John Dos Passos $40

Dissent Pins

Creator Nick Jehlen  & illustrator Caitlin Kuhwald collaborate to create these beautiful, action-oriented pieces in an effort to help organizations doing important work receive the resources they need. 50% of all proceeds earned by Dissent Pins go to organizations fighting to keep democracy alive, such as The International Refugee Assistance Project , Sister Song: Women of Color in Reproductive Rights , ChickTech , and Planned Parenthood $12

Lit Candles

These hand-poured soy wax candles were inspired by love for books and the environments they inhabit. Each is an enticing blend of scents based on well loved books, authors, and literary environments.  $14 

Explore the Wasatch Range through the 3D glasses supplied with Steven L. and Benjamin M. Richardson ’s Wasatch 3D Atlas . Let these magical birds-eye views entice and orient you from the comfort of home.  $24.95
Our Best Weller's pick is
20% off November & December
B raiding Sweetgrass
by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Milkweed Editions
List Price: $18.00
Our Price: $14.40

Reviewed by Josh

Spiritual practices and science are often understood as diametrically opposed to one another, but Robin Wall Kimmerer proves that this is not the case in her book, Braiding Sweetgrass .

Balancing academic expertise in the botanical arts and natural sciences with Indigenous wisdom Kimmerer challenges the reader to look at the world in a new way. Her continued challenge is for us to understand our relationship with nature like any other relationship: it needs attention, time, and reciprocity to thrive. Just as the world around us offers so much that we take for granted, we need to be willing to take time to give back and protect this world we call home.

Kimmerer narrates her journey as she learns to be a parent, a caregiver of the Earth, a professor of the natural sciences, and a student in the teachings of the Potawatomi nation. This book accomplishes a great deal. Many pieces of literature are meant to teach the reader in a particular subject, and this is no exception. However, Braiding Sweetgrass is unusual because it envelopes the reader in the same passion that comes from a fervent teacher. Imagine that one class that burned itself into your memory in a positive way, not even because the subject was something you were particularly passionate about. It was the teacher’s fire and their work to share that with you. 

Kimmerer takes that same passion and makes it tangible in her written word. With each chapter the reader delves further into a love for the world around. Inevitably, after finishing this book I found myself considering my relationship to everything around me: where the contents of my lunch came from, what efforts do I take for the sake of preserving the environment, even if its possible for me to create a compost in my tiny two bedroom house. This text is a call to action, and a call to listen. A must read for tree huggers everywhere, and if you are not a self proclaimed tree hugger, pick up the book and you might reconsider.

Bookseller Holiday Picks
The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth
by Robert Graves
Farrar, Straus and Giroux 
Hardcover / $29.95
Recommended by Stephanie

The act of reading this book--its many details admittedly difficult to follow upon first read--puts me in a dream-like state of mind, akin to the idea of tapping into the collective subconscious.

The images become deeply embedded and integrated though they seem to initially confuse. Graves' thesis is something about the poetic Muse, the evolution of ancient languages as they relate to trees, the succession of the Gods and Goddesses from married singularities to fractured battlegrounds. Much how Dante presented his poetic journey as factual in order to validate it, Graves presents his erudite explorations as conclusions, though multifaceted. The stuff is just so generative, I'm willing to go along for the ride.
The Topeka School
by Ben Lerner
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Hardcover / $27.00
Recommended by Jose

If you've found the neo-millennially popular category of "Autofiction" (essentially fictionalized autobiography) to be a lame excuse for both lazy and unimaginative writing, Ben Lerner' s The Topeka School will single-handedly redeem this genre from lackluster oblivion. Lerner's book wields a compelling, insightful narrative amid writing that is both brilliant and revelatory. It is certain to be a contender for the next round of Pulitzer Prizes.

The Lady from the Black Lagoon
by Mallory O'Meara
Hanover Square Press
Hardcover / $26.99
Recommended by Frank

Mallory O’Meara is a producer and screenwriter for Dark Dunes Productions, as a teen she fell in love with T he Creature from the Black Lagoon , O’Meara was thrilled to discover that the monster costume had been designed by a woman pioneer in that genre, Milicent Patrick. Patrick designed monsters in Hollywood in an era when very few women worked in creative capacities in the Movie industry. She was the daughter of a controlling father and had to leave home to pursue a career, which estranged her from her family. She was sent on tour before the release of Creature from the Black Lagoon and became a media sensation briefly in the 1950s. When she returned home to Los Angeles her male boss fired her to try to get credit for the design. Part memoir and biography this is a fascinating true-life detective story and a celebration of a forgotten trailblazer. A well told story and perfect gift for the film buff on your list.
Wonderful Life:The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History
by Stephen Jay Gould
W. W. Norton & Company
Paperback / $17.95
Recommended by Austin

Wonderful Life provides a window into our planet’s most crisply preserved fossils of the Cambrian explosion, 500 million years back. Indeed wonderful writing, worthwhile even if just for the finely stippled crustaceans.
The Triumph of Seeds
by Thor Hanson
Basic Books
Paperback / $16.99
Recommended by Tamsen

We as consumers and eaters and growers probably pay more attention to the result of seeds instead of the seeds themselves. The Triumph of Seeds changes that perspective, giving you a natural history of seeds and their evolutionary success in a clear and understandable way. This book turns a possibly mundane subject into an enticing snack.
The House of Impossible Beauties
by Joseph Cassara
Ecco Press
Paperback / $16.99
Recommended by Lila Ann

Narratives of family, love, resistance, and creation within The House of Xtravaganza-- the real, iconic first all-Latinx drag house-- are the source of inspiration for this poignant novel. Set in the 1980s Harlem drag-world, the story dances forward and back through time following the lives of the young trans women and queer folks who find family & home in the Ball Scene. This imagined dive into the lives of a few people who built the haven that Balls were for many queer folks in this era will leave you full of a grateful love, sense of self, and renewed sense of purpose in fighting for many of the same rights for which the foremothers and -fathers fictionalized here fought.
Lakota America: A New History of Indigenous Power
by Pekka Hämäläinen
Yale University Press
Hardcover / $35
Recommended by Catherine

The names Sitting Bull, Red Cloud, and Crazy Horse are iconic in America, as is the Battle of Little Bighorn. This book starts way before that, in the late 1600s, and traces the long evolution of the Lakota from a river people in the Missouri Valley to the horse mounted warriors of the plains. This sensitive and nuanced history is magisterial in its scope and a true pleasure to read.
Moby Dick
by Herman Melville
Modern Library
Hardcover / $24.00
Recommended by Tony

Moby Dick is not famous for no reason, it is an amazingly detailed examination of obsessive souls and minds. I am sympathetic to whales and critical of whaling but I was drawn so deeply into Herman Melville’s complex narrative that I almost felt as though I voyaged with him on this obsessional quest. And it’s hard to fathom better illustrations for this awesome tale than those made by Rockwell Kent for the famed 1930 Random House edition. The Modern Library edition is a nice way to own this enveloping novel with Kent’s evocative and abundant woodcuts.
Me: Elton John Official Autobiography
by Elton John
Henry Holt & Company
Hardcover / $30.00
Recommended by Lane

Elton John : 57 top 40 hits, nine of which hit number one. 35 gold and 25 platinum albums. 250 million records sold worldwide. AIDS activist. Husband. Father. Elton John has had one of the most visible and colorful lives music has ever seen. In Me , he lays it all down in his words. His one and only autobiography, this is a must for lovers of music, pop culture, and 20th/21st century history.
Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
by Douglas Hofstadter
Basic Books
Paperback / $24.99
Recommended by Otto

Douglas Hofstadter 's Godel, Escher, Bach was the most enjoyable read I have ever had. This book delves into the themes of consciousness, meaning, self-reference, and formal systems: not reading for the light of heart! Not only is Hofstadter's book piercingly perceptive, it's funny too. Read about how the meaningless symbol shunting of formal logic systems can transform inanimate matter into consciousness while you are intellectually and comedically bemused by the world's of Kurt Godel, M. C. Escher, Johann Bach, and the scintillating conversations between Achilles and a certain insightful tortoise!


Breakfast Club at The Bean Yard
Join lead new book buyer Catherine Weller for an informal chat every Tuesday, 
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM.

Craft with us every 2nd and 4th Wednesdays 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM!

Collector's Book Salon in the Rare Book Room
Meet other smart readers every final Friday of the month, January - October. Glasses are filled and socializing begins at 6:30 PM.

Join us for a reading and signing with Carrie Lynn and her book Finding Fitzgerald . They met when Carrie was eleven. He was the con man and hero of The Great Brain book series, Lynn the mesmerized reader. His pranks and capers carried her through her teens and early adulthood. Later, Lynn found more books about her literary hero, John D. Fitzgerald. She fell in love all over again. Only this time, she saw differences; both sets of books had been sold as family reminiscences, yet characters had been changed. The little information Lynn found on the Internet didn’t satisfy her. She began a multi-decade hunt to learn the origins of Fitzgerald’s family-oriented books. Along the journey to find the real John D. Fitzgerald, she made friends, visited towns she had never heard of ventured out on her own, and found love she never expected.
6:30 PM

We are very pleased to welcome back Katharine Coles with her new poetry collection Wayward, and excited to welcome Matty Layne Glasgow and his new collection Deciduous Qween for a double poetry reading and signing. In her seventh book, Coles moves the reader at mind-speed through brief meditations on love, marriage, and family; the permeable boundaries of the self; death; and perception. Through the creaking of bedazzled branches and the soft rustle of jeweled leaves, Deciduous Qween explores the queer world around us—how we, like our environment, wear and shed different identities in our performance as human, as drag queen, as ancient tree. This collection reveals in the natural world those ephemeral moments which reflect our own truths and confront our fear of death, of loneliness, and of failure. 

We're delighted to host a discussion and signing for Stacy Bernal and her book The Things We Don't Talk About: A Memoir of Hardships, Healing, and Hope . Stacy wittily, poignantly shares her navigation of the rough moments in life that made her the woman she is today. From the heartbreaking moment in the hospital when she gave her son up for adoption, to the unexpected devastation of losing an ex-husband to cancer, to the sometimes-humorous and often-hard times of raising an autistic son, these stories will inspire readers to examine their own lives through different lenses.

Come meet 12 awesome authors and their books at the Weller Book Works Youth Book Fair, including Sofiya Pasternak ( Anya and the Dragon ), Crystal Smith ( Blood Leaf ), Erin Stewart ( Scars Like Wings ), Spencer Hyde ( Waiting for Fritz ),  RuthAnne Snow ( When the Truth Unravels ), and more! Find the festivities in the South Court of Trolley Square. The Fair is on Small Business Saturday...a perfect time for that holiday shopping. Bring the whole family! While you are at the fair, come visit us in the store; we have nearly everything you're looking for during the holiday season, and some unexpected treasures to be found.


Please join us for a very important event with Samantha Leonard . Leonard will discuss and sign Groomed: Shining a Light on the Unheard Narrative of Childhood . 1 in 10 children in America have experienced some form of sexual abuse, often involving the ongoing, extensive violation of trust called grooming.Throughout the book, Leonard invites us to step out of our comfort zones and listen to the all-too-common narrative of childhood sexual assault. It invites people to embrace survivors, believe them and connect with them on their journey to healing while providing tips and research on creating more supportive, loving communities.


With Christmas just around the corner, we're pleased to announce Christine Davison Page will be with us to read and sign Naughty Noel, a charming story of adventure, persistence, and love. Based on a true story, Naughty Noel is about a cat who loses everything and embarks on a year-long journey. Without Grandma, Noel is forced to leave the comfort of the little house with pink shutters in Florida. There are adventures and misadventures along the way. It’s a scary world even for the toughest cat, and at times, he wants to give up. Ultimately, Noel discovers a home and family in the spirit of Christmas. 
Weller Book Quirk
by Tony Weller
In the Eighties, certain sections of our bookstore were overcrowded but Sam Weller was nervous delegating section culling to less knowledgeable booksellers cull books. In 1989, I convinced Sam to adopt pricing codes that would enable staff know when a book had been acquired. The code is a tool that helps us manage inventory. When the alphabetical code was introduced we understood that it would repeat after 26 years.

When I noted in 2015 that we had begun reusing the codes we first used in 1989, it occurred to me that there would be a moment in my work when someone would offer to sell us a book with a 26-year-old date code matching the code in present use! Well, it took four years but it happened in September. I was in a man’s garage viewing hundreds of old books when I opened a copy of the rugged and handy Little Treasury of Modern Poetry edited by Oscar Williams and published by Scribner’s in 1952 and saw my late father’s pricing mark with the current pricing code, but his was written 26 years earlier to the month. The man in whose garage I found it was only briefly interested in this coincidence even though I jumped in the air and exclaimed. 

See something you like? Call 801-328-2586 and ask for the Rare Book department, or email rarebooks@wellerbookworks.com. We ship anywhere!
Thank you for supporting your local independent bookstore.
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Store hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 AM-8 PM | Friday-Saturday, 10 AM-9 PM | Sunday, 12 PM-5 PM