Showing posts from March, 2013

Reviewing Tito

Review slips or letters from publishers often accompany review copies of new books they offer to booksellers. I usually find them tucked inside the front cover ( example here ), containing language that states the bibliographic details of the book, expected publication date, and a request to send reviews to the publisher. The American Booksellers Association refers to this as Advance Access on their Web site. And when I find them they exist as originally sent, as they are not forms to complete. Rather, they provide contact information for sending reviews. Not so the one below, which I got a kick out of because it appears the reviewer intended, for some reason,  to recycle the request itself into a review of sorts or at least a notepad for later transcription into a proper and separate review piece. This 1986 review copy of Tito's Flawed Legacy: Yugoslavia & the West Since 1939 , by Nora Beloff included a review slip from the publisher, Westview Press (Frederick A. Praeg

The Rothensteiner Collection of the Mundelein College Library

I wake up one day knowing nothing about an old, private Roman Catholic women's college in Chicago called Mundelein College . Never heard of it. Within hours, the defunct college, its library, and once-great collection of books are at the forefront of my thoughts and research. That morning, I find in a second-hand shop a beat-up, damaged copy of Pope Leo XIII's Memoir, Life of Leo XIII: From an Authentic Memoir  (1896), which introduces me to Mundelein and an interesting and benevolent bibliophile that helped shape their library. The old book's covers are detached, it's falling apart, and a rubberband holds the pieces together. Still, I must look inside for hidden treasure and I am rewarded for doing so. I find pasted on the marbled endpaper a bookplate from Mundelein College, specially designed to acknowledge the gift of a man identified as Rev. John Rothensteiner. Back home a bit later, I research Mundelein College, which no longer exists, and i