Tuesday, September 09, 2008

New Discovery for Me

Given the time, I like to head out to Harvard Book Store from my job in Harvard Square. Given rain and less time, I to make due with the Harvard Co-op, now a B&N college store. It has size on its size, but it also has that special sterile corporate feel that has come to define modern chain bookstores.

Anyhow, I noticed a very cool looking book entitled A Universal History of the Destruction of Books: From Ancient Sumer to Modern-day Iraq, by Fernando Baez. I wasn't quite prepared to buy it as my TBR pile, as apparently it's known (I've noted from emails I now get as part of the Book Bloggers' Appreciation Week), is far too high just now, a bit higher after a quick trip to Brattle Book Shop on Saturday. All the same, this thick book with an odd, small trim size looks intriguing, quite fascinating actually. From the description online:
With diligence and grace, Báez mounts a compelling investigation into the motives behind the destruction of books, reading man’s violence against writing as a perverse anti-creation. “By destroying,” Báez argues, “man ratifies this ritual of permanence, purification and consecration; by destroying, man brings to the surface a behavior originating in the depth of his personality.” His findings ultimately attest to the lasting power of books as the great human repository of knowledge and memory, fragile yet vital bulwarks against the intransigence and barbarity of every age.

But I was also curious about the publisher, Atlas & Co. I didn't recognize the logo or the name. As it turns out, they are just launching a new season of very cool titles after previously, I believe, working in conjunction with other publishers, with series created presumably by James Atlas, current president. It's all explained here. I'm hopeful about their books and will definitely keep an eye out for what they're publishing. The current brand new list is briefly described:
International in scope, the list features a memoir by a former factory worker in China, a stunning collection of photographs of the 1961 Mississippi Freedom Riders, a worldwide survey on the history of book destruction, and a spirited account of one man’s journey through Kazakhstan, among others...

Bring it!

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