TEXTBLOCK | The e-version of our bi-monthly newsletter | NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2018
Season’s Greetings, Peace and Love to All
by Tony Weller
The holiday issue of TextBlock is among my favorites because regardless of how you believe or celebrate, this season is associated with giving, and books make magical and memorable gifts. On our shelves, Weller Book Works holds the heritage of humanity. Books can bridge temporal, geographic, and cultural divides. We activate their magic by reading and draw stories, knowledge, and dreams from within.

In our Rare Book Room hangs a small sign that reads, “Nothing one owns affects and reflects one’s personality more than one’s books.” The phrase was my attempt to encapsulate the catalytic effect of reading and the socially revelatory effect of owning a library. What isn’t said, but is recognized by any reader who has been impacted by a book, is the surge of excitement and sudden transport that occurs when simply seeing a copy of a book one loves. That effect is deepened when the copy is especially nice.

It is difficult, but fun to pick rare books that would make great holiday gifts for unknown readers. We know a well-chosen rare book gift will be valued for years. Below are several that attracted my eye. 
The 1981 Michael Hague Pop-Up Night before Christmas . Fourth printing as new with all parts untorn and working. $50
A very nice 1944 Dutton edition of Clement Moore’s Night before Christmas ,
illustrated by Roberta Paflin. In dust jacket for $50
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Picture Book . A small paperbound folio with scalloped edges and velour on Santa’s coat and hat. Whitman Publishing circa 1951. $15
In 1976, seven years after the release of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid , Grosset & Dunlap published The Outlaw Trail: A Journey through Time . The film had affected Robert Redford in an enduring way. Two years after the book, he started what was to become one of the most influential film festivals ever, naming it Sundance, after his character. Here we offer the 1978 printing of Redford’s book with his 1980 autograph for $250
A very nice signed first edition of Ivan Doig’s beloved novel, Dancing at the Rascal Fair . $35
The illustrations in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz are a sizable part of the love we feel for it. It takes great confidence for an artist to illustrate a book with images so thoroughly etched into the cultural memory. I love the 2010 Folio Society edition illustrated in a very different style by Maria Tatar. This small quarto in slipcase is available for $40
Detail of Michael Hague's Night before Christmas .
Detail of Clement Moore’s Night before Christmas .

The Tall Book of Christmas ,
1954, by Dorothy Hall Smith . $70

Old Testament Wisdom: Keys to Bible Interpretation. A solid well-made, jacketed 2 nd edition of this 1957 work by Manly P. Hall. $125

Thin folio collection of the Posters of [Alphonse] Mucha from Harmony Books. 23 poster sized colored images! $75
A fine copy of The Folio Society’s wonderful edition of Meditations and Other Writings by Rene Descartes . Illustrated by Shout. $60
Great Deal! Our Best Weller's pick is 20% off November & December
Amy & Greg Newbold
Tilbury House
List Price: $17.95
Our Price: $14.36

Reviewed by Emma Fox

"Dot upon dot upon dot, here's a snowman by Georges Seurat!" Learn about the styles of famous artists in this bright book by Amy and Greg Newbold.

The concept for If Picasso Painted a Snowman came to author Amy Newbold while visiting the Mus é e Picasso in Paris. The innovation of Picasso's Cubism inspired her to wonder how an artist like he would have painted something as simple as a snowman.

From such a kernel came a big examination of the ways of seeing. “Not all artists paint the same,” Newbold wrote, and over the next 17 illustrations done in the styles of different artists by versatile illustrator Greg Newbold, their point is proven. The familiar shape of three circles stacked atop one another with a triangle nose and black-dotted smile is deconstructed in the style of Cubism, and re-interpreted wholly in Georgia O'Keefe's famous southwest style.

With a vivid, well-balanced palette and sensitivity toward the details that make an artist's work special, this book is a visual treat. Young readers won't even notice they're learning about art with a charmingly chubby hamster for a guide. Each of the artists featured were extensively researched by Greg Newbold to ensure a faithful rendering, and his research shows. "Chagall's snowmen” cavort in a carnival tent that is as soft at the edges of ones' dream-memory as the artists' actual paintings of lovers flying over sleeping fields. Newbold told the Deseret News last year upon the book's release, “Every great artist has things that they do that make them unique, and it was up to me to figure out their 'handwriting' in order to successfully emulate their styles.” ( Deseret News, December 11, 2017 )

Written in punchy prose, one can't help feeling swept into the action as a Pop Art representation of Lichtenstein's paintings says, “BLAM! Roy Lichtenstein's snowman saves the day.” The book is fun, light in tone, and energetic – a rare combination in a book meant to educate.

At the end of the book is a gallery of thumbnail biographies which invites a child reader to curl up in the lap of someone they love and explore the artists one by one. I can imagine my granddaughter pointing to a biography as she reads aloud, and turning back to the painting that corresponds with it. This book inspires wonder. I call it a “snowy day book,” because it is perfect for reading together while the snow falls outside.

The Newbolds recently released a second book in the series, If Da Vinci Painted a Dinosaur , which continues to seek new ways of seeing the work of famous artists, but this time the subject is our giant reptilian predecessors. The book features art by the usual canon of great painters, but takes time to include the equally great works of artists such as Navajo painter Harrison Begay and Alma Woodsey Thomas, a Black woman who grew up in the racially segregated South. As a bonus, Dinosaur includes a short info sheet on the dinosaurs each of the artists "painted." With If Picasso Painted a Snowman our Best Weller's at 20% off, making it a pair with If Da Vinci Painted a Dinosaur is a smart and affordable gift.

Holiday Recommendations from Our Staff
Lila's Pick
Hardcover / $24.99

"This isn't only a guide to pregnancy and birth, but a data-driven yet intimate and lighthearted investigation  into the systemic and cultural struggles a pregnant person faces in the U.S. and its unique birth-care model. Ranging from the long history of 'science' being used to control the bodies of people of color and femme people to the most personal and difficult to discuss aspects of pregnancy, birth, and new parenthood,  Like a Mother  is a thorough and thoroughly enjoyable examination of birth in the U.S."
José's Pick
Godsend by John Wray
Hardcover / $26.00

"Appalled by her broken family and the soulless shallows of American culture, Aden Sawyer, an 18 year old California girl and pre-9/11 convert to Islam, flies to Pakistan with her boyfriend Decker. Seeking immersion in the madrasa of a community of absolute belief, in the tribal highlands, she is oblivious to the hazard that the lie/sin of her requisite masquerade as a young man will have on her quest and fate. The purity of author John Wray's nonjudgmental narrative is as refreshing as the chilly mountain air of the stark Pashtun borderlands of Pakistan and Afghanistan."
Emma's Pick
Sanity & Tallulah , by Molly Brooks
Paperback / $12.99

"This graphic novel is about Sanity Jones & Tallulah Vega, best friends who live on space station Wilnick. Using "spare parts" from the lab, Sanity creates an illegal but incredibly cute three-headed kitten named Princess, Sparkle, Destroyer of Worlds - who gets loose. In the space station. They are going to be in so much trouble. Recommended for smart readers ages 10 & up."
Tony's Pick
Hardcover / $28.00

"Most of what you think you know about psychedelics is wrong. Modern research supports insights promoted by Huxley, Leary and McKenna.  How to Change Your Mind   is an important book. Psychedelics are healthy! Fix silly illusory ego! Step past judgement to perception. Thank you, Michael Pollan."
Lane's Pick
by Don Coscarelli
Hardcover / $29.99

"Film Writer & Director Don Coscarelli's rollicking autobiography  True Indie  is a blast to read from moment one. An amusing and fascinating insider look at the hows and whys of movie-making, True Indie  is also an inspiring peek into the mind and life of this beloved director. Plus, Don is my friend, and I told him I'd plug the book as often as possible."
Tim's Pick
by Steven Pinker
Hardcover / $35.00

" The moral and material state of the world is better now than it has ever been. Lest one be tempted to romantize the past or draw outsized conclusions from the day's grim headlines, Pinker stages a long parade of graphs, each more astonishing than the last, depicting the manifold dimensions along which humanity has gradually improved its lot. Progress, it is argued, is the result neither of accident or fate, but is realized throught the continual application of science and reason to humanistic ends."
Mel's Pick
by John Crowley
Paperback / $16.99

"Curiously narrated by a bird, Ka is a beautiful fantasy about the interrelationship of crows and people; how we have woven them into our stories and their dependence upon human waste and death for sustenance. Drawing from existing myths, legends, and poetry, John Crowley weaves tale within tale as only he is so eloquently capable of, culminating in a most profound closure."
Frank's pick
by Paige Williams
Hardcover / $28.00

"So, here's most of the dirt about the dark world of fossil collectors, poachers, paleontologists and where the treasures that lie under your feet belong."
Catherine's Pick
A Song for the River by Philip Connors 
Paperback / $16.95, Hardcover / $22.95

"Reading about love, loss, and redemption in the latest book by author Philip Connors ( Fire Season ) is a beautiful and healing experience. After the fire lookout's mountain burns, dear friends die, and the Gila River -- one of the last free flowing great rivers in the U.S. -- is slated to be dammed, Connors turns to what he knows best: his pen and his heart. A Song for the River is a powerful work that was just named one of the top 30 non-fiction books of the year by Publishers Weekly ."
News & Announcements
Mountains & Plains Gift Catalog
Each year, we at Weller Book Works display a selection of books recommended by the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association - stop by our store to check out the catalog and browse our selection!
Online Only Gift Code
Do you know someone who can't make it to Weller Book Works in person? Give them the gift of online purchasing. Armed with an  online-only gift code , your lucky recipient can shop our website to his, her, or their heart's content. Simply visit our site to purchase: wellerbookworks.com .
Visit our partner in audiobooks, Libro.fm . From new releases to bestsellers, they have audiobooks for every occasion and for every type of listener. Every purchase supports Weller Book Works , your local independent bookstore!
Extended Holiday Hours
As a courtesy to our shoppers, we will be open extra hours the week of December 17-22, from 10 AM - 10 PM. Sunday, December 23 we will be open regular hours, and on Christmas eve, we will open from 10 AM - 6 PM. See you soon!
Store Events
Regularly Occurring

Breakfast Club with lead new book buyer Catherine Weller is every Tuesday from 10 - 11 AM at The Coffee Connection. Join her for book news and casual conversation - no reading requirement!

Lit Knit is a crafting circle held every second and fourth Wednesday of the month from 6 - 8 PM. Crafters of all kinds are welcome to join us for crafting and friendly conversation.

Collectors' Book Salon is in recess until the new year. Please join us January 25, 2019. In the meantime, Tony and the staff of the Rare Book Department are on hand to help you find the perfect gift for your holidays. Thank you for making our Salons such vibrant gatherings this year! We look forward to many more.
Upcoming Events
Alejandro Quin, professor of Latin American literature at the University of Utah, will discuss One Hundred Years of Solitude as a novel that demands a reflective relationship with the present. At the time of its printing, few could have predicted the impact it would have on the world literary scene. One Hundred Years of Solitude brought Latin American literature to the fore internationally and remains the most translated Spanish-language literary text of the 20th-century, but what is left of this celebrated novel after its remarkable trajectory and global canonization? In our time of political and ecological crisis, this contemporary classic goes beyond the boom of magical realism and sheds light on our current condition. Join Quin for this insightful Books & Bridges discussion.

Author Andrew Lawler will discuss his book, The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke , an attempt to uncover the mystery of what happened to the fated colony.

In 1587, 115 men, women, and children arrived at Roanoke Island on the coast of North Carolina. Chartered by Queen Elizabeth I, their colony was to establish England’s first foothold in the New World. But when the colony’s leader, John White, returned to Roanoke from a resupply mission, his settlers were nowhere to be found. They left behind only a single clue–a “secret token” carved into a tree. Neither White nor any other European laid eyes on the colonists again.
Nathan Nielson, director of Books & Bridges, will speak on "How the Great Russian Writers Created Meaning from Nature" for Books & Bridges.

Russian optimism runs deeper than you think. Nathan Nielson, director of Books & Bridges, will explore the creative alchemy between the great Russian writers and the natural world. Tolstoy, Akhmatova, Lermontov, Pasternak, Dostoyevsky, and Tarkovsky transformed tragedy into poetry. When Russian literature is mentioned, we think of stark questions of good and evil, or of plunges in the cold waters of suffering and redemption, but when we stand back from these cosmic, historical dramas we see the earth’s small things. We see trees. We see sticky little leaves and bushes. The Russian masters sanctified the environment around them and translated the pain of reality into monuments of human striving.
Author John Keahey will read from his book, Sicilian Splendors: Discovering the Secret Places that Speak to the Heart , which explores the history, politics, food, Mafia, and people whom he encountered during his travels in Sicily.
Genealogy and history researcher Kathy Kirkpatrick works to document and recover the lost history of prisoner of war camps in America. Due to censures on talking about war activities at the time - "loose lips sink ships" - the history of German and Italian POWs who were housed and cared for by local communities in every state except Vermont is nearly lost to us. Come hear Kathy read from her book, American Prisoners of War in Southern California to learn about the lives of the prisoners, how they were treated under the Geneva Convention, and to preserve this facet of our history.
To walk through the Salt Lake City Cemetery’s 120 acres is to trace a path through Utah history and experience a mosaic of the diverse and fascinating individuals who have shaped it: politicians, pioneers, artists, inventors, outlaws, educators, activists, and currently 12 presidents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This book highlights these influential figures and many more. It also serves as a guide for navigating the cemetery grounds in person, with grave locations accompanying most captions. Join the authors, Sexton Mark E. Smith, Corey Rushton, and Annastasia Hirt for a reading & signing of Salt Lake City Cemetery .
Thanks to a chance DNA test, author Julie MacNeil learned she has a rare genetic liver-lung disease which, if left untreated, could be life-threatening. Doctors encouraged her to reach out to family members because of their likelihood to have this genetic disease, but MacNeil had been adopted. The 50 Year Secret chronicles her journey to find her biological parents in the aftermath of her diagnosis.
Former Salt Lake Tribune columnist Eileen Hallet Stone will read from her story of the Jewish immigrants who founded Auerbach's, a store that would go on to dress the "Ladies of Aristocracy" in their finest clothes. From a perilous sea journey and an arduous trek west, the story of Auerbach's is one of tenacity and triumph over adversity. Join Ms. Stone for a reading and signing of Auerbach's: The Store That Performs What It Promises .
Beautiful Rare Gifts
Near fine 1 st edition Truman Capote’s 1980 Music for Chameleons. $40

The Celestial Gallery is smaller than the sky but much larger than most books, standing two feet high. 25 brilliant poster-sized images by Romio Shrestha with accompanying text by Ian A. Baker and Forward by Deepak Chopra . $80
The Hermetic Museum contains 22 celebrated chemical tracts. These were first gathered by Arthur Edward Waite in 1893. The edition here is the 4 th Weiser printing from 1974. Two volumes in rubbed dust jackets. Former owner’s name and bookplates and light and brief occasional pencil notes. $175
Only adults might be given the three volume slipcased set of Lost Girls , Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie’s erotic pastiche stories in graphic novel form. Pretty, Prosey, Sexy. $70
Not many books achieve the durable status Dale Carnegie’s inspirational 1936 classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People. First editions are very rare and old presentable copies are scarce. Consider our bright jacketed 1948 printing for $100
Sheet music for Harry McClintock’s Big Rock Candy Mountain , first recorded in 1928 and reflected later in Wallace Stegner’s novel and the film , Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou? $150

My Turn on Earth , Carol Lynn Pearson’s 1977 juvenile storybook illustrated by Cam Clarke. Rather hard to find today. Our copy has a bumped corner. $70

Beautiful two volume set of The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ within You. These attractive 2004 volumes by Paramahansa Yoga-nanda number some 1600 pages. There’s a short tear in the bottom of the front joint of volume II. Housed in a slipcase with a split edge. $45
Thank you for supporting your local independent bookstore.
Weller Book Works | 801-328-2586 | books@wellerbookworks.com | wellerbookworks.com
Store hours: Monday-Thursday, 11 AM-8 PM | Friday-Saturday, 10 AM-9 PM | Sunday, 12 PM-5 PM