Somewhere in Time

Here we are approaching the beautiful historic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, where the 1980 movie “Somewhere In Time” was filmed.

Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Michigan

Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Michigan

Starring Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour, and Christopher Plummer, the movie was a hauntingly beautiful time-travel romance based on the 1975 novel Bid Time Return by Richard Matheson.   Bid Time Return is a highly collectible and fairly scarce book, with a first edition in a dust jacket running $750 – $1500 in very good to fine condition, more if signed by author or any of the actors in the film.   If you are wondering where the odd book title comes from, it is derived from Shakespeare’s Richard II, “O call back yesterday, bid time return.”

Along the walkway, we passed some of the hotel’s beautiful gardens…


My husband, Ron, ascending the stairs to the hotel…



Although an overnight stay at this historic hotel is pricey (rooms are in the $400+ range in prime season), the place is available for everyone to enjoy because for a fee of $10 you can roam the hotel and grounds for the day, enjoying the porch, public sitting rooms and charming bars and restaurant.

The hotel is famous for having the longest porch in the world, at approximately 660 feet.

Longest porch in the world

      Longest porch in the world, to the left…


and to the right.

And the porch has one hundred rocking chairs that look out on these beautifully maintained grounds of the hotel and Lake Huron beyond where you can sit and enjoy the view…

Looking out over the grounds of the beautiful Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island

Looking out over the grounds of the beautiful Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island

The huge pool you see in the photo above was used by actress and champion swimmer Esther Williams as she did swimming scenes in another movie filmed at the Grand Hotel, “This Time For Keeps” which was produced in 1947 and also starred Jimmy Durante.  The pool is indeed called “The Esther Williams Pool.”


The Grand Hotel opened in 1887 as a summer retreat for vacationers who arrive by lake steamer from Chicago, Erie, Montreal, Detroit, and by rail from across the continent.

Here are a few of the areas we enjoyed…

A beautiful sitting area in the Grand Hotel

A beautiful sitting area in the Grand Hotel

A gorgeous old grandfather clock

A gorgeous old grandfather clock

View from "The Cupola Bar" at the very top of the Grand Hotel

View from “The Cupola Bar” at the very top of the Grand Hotel




One of my favorite areas inside the hotel was the Audubon Wine Bar (below).  Not only did they have a great wine list, beautiful art and furnishings, they had a sizable library as well!

Audubon Wine Bar, Grand Hotel

            Audubon Wine Bar, Grand Hotel





Later we wandered into the ballroom area, which was set up for a big band…would love to be there when the music begins!


Oh, and what’s this?


An ASH tray at the Grand Hotel

An ASH tray at the Grand Hotel (no longer in use for that purpose)


A banquet room...and its beautiful chandelier

A banquet room…and its beautiful chandeliers



We had a nice chat with the concierge…

20160714_142417  When we were finally able to tear ourselves away and head back to town, we boarded one of the horse drawn carriages that make regular runs to and from the hotel.


What a wonderful day it was!   Join us for the next post, when I will cover our visit to beautiful old Fort Mackinac.



Ann Arbor – Beautiful Book City

I’ve missed you all, and YES, we are still doing our crazy cross-country book scouting road trips.  The one we did this summer was a doozy!  I’m finally back at the keyboard and ready to share details and photos of the trip with you–along with all the fun and surprises of an American road trip (with books).

In early July we hopped in our convertible (top down, smiles on!) and headed west through a corner of Pennsylvania and Ohio, and then up north through the mitten of Michigan.  Our first book scouting stop was in the beautiful and bookish city of Ann Arbor.


In Ann Arbor, book shops are all over the place!  We visited FIVE of them, and it’s probably going to take me that many posts just to cover the fantastic time we had in this wonderful city of friendly people, great book stores and excellent food.


(Above and below: messages on the bricks of Literati Book Store, downtown Ann Arbor)




Literati Bookstore, 124 East Washington St., Ann Arbor, Michigan  48104

Literati Bookstore is full of fresh new books that will be collectible someday, and it is a beautiful store.  However, being used & rare booksellers, we headed on over to Aunt Agatha’s – a store that specializes in mysteries, detective and true crime books.   They have an inventory of about 25,000 books, both old and new.

20160712_180412-1-1_resized.jpg                                    213 S. Fourth Avenue, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Here I am with owner James Agnew, standing by some paperback offerings.  The store carries both hardcover and paperback editions.20160712_152854_resized.jpg

Aunt Agatha’s won the 2014 Raven Award, presented by Mystery Writers of America!


Established in 1953, the award recognizes outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing (in this case, for being an outstanding mystery bookshop!)

The store boasts some nice mystery movie memorabilia as well…



Aunt Agatha’s always has lots of author-signed books available.  If you love mysteries, thrillers, or true crime, you really must visit this store.

If you love CHOCOLATE, you really must visit this store…Schakolad Chocolate Factory 110 East Washington St., Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Ron is peeking into the window for a very good reason…the chocolate in this place is AWESOME.  I followed him in, and YES, we did indulge!


See us back here soon to come along as we explore more book stores and fun places in Ann Arbor, Michigan and beyond.



A Walking Tour in the Shadow of Gabriel Garcia Marquez


Walking with Marelvy Peña-Hall in Cartagena

Walking with Marelvy Peña-Hall in Cartagena

As used and rare book sellers, we are frequently introduced to some very knowledgeable and well-traveled people.  One of our most delightful clients is Clem S., who recently purchased from us a first edition of Love in the Time of Cholera, a novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez which is set in Cartagena.

Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (NY: Knopf, 1988)

Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (NY: Knopf, 1988 – First Edition, First Printing) SOLD by Old Scrolls Book Shop

After that transaction we struck up a lively correspondence with Clem, and learned he had made several trips to Colombia.  He introduced us to many of the wonders of Cartagena, including the name of this amazing tour guide.

Marelvy Peña-Hall, incomparable tour guide  in Cartagena, Colombia

Marelvy Peña-Hall, our incomparable tour guide in Cartagena, Colombia (photo credit: Clem S. )

When we arranged our first visit to our son and daughter-in-law’s Cartagena home, Diana made an appointment for the four of us to walk the city with Marelvy.  It was an amazing day and a great gift for which I am ever thankful, Diana!

Marelvy and Diana in the courtyard of The University of Cartagena, Colombia

Marelvy and Diana in the courtyard of The University of Cartagena, Colombia


If you are ever lucky enough to find yourself in Cartagena, Colombia, and you want an historical tour of the city or one focusing primarily on the literary work of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, this is the lady to see.

Marelvy with Adam and Diana

Marelvy with Adam and Diana

Fluent in English, French and Spanish, her captivating personality is a mix of scholarly insight, graciousness and gentle good humor — she was truly a delightful companion and guide.  I later learned she is ranked #1 of 64 activities in Cartagena by Tripadvisor (For Tripadvisor info on Marelvy click HERE ).

We started the tour over coffee in the Santa Clara Hotel courtyard

We started the tour over coffee in the Santa Clara Hotel courtyard

We began the tour in the heart of the old city at the beautiful and luxurious Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Hotel,  a jewel of 17th century colonial architecture which is on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. Gabriel Garcia Marquez used this former convent as the setting for his novel, Of Love and Other Demons.

Of Love and Other Demons, Gabriel Garcia Marquez (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994)

Of Love and Other Demons, Gabriel Garcia Marquez (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994)

In the courtyard of the lovely Santa Clara Hotel in Cartagena, Colombia

In the courtyard of the lovely Santa Clara Hotel in Cartagena, Colombia


Marelvy and me in the crypt of the old Santa Clara Convent where the story begins in "Love and Other Demons"

Marelvy and me in the crypt of the old Santa Clara Convent (now Santa Clara Hotel).  It is where the story begins in “Love and Other Demons”

20150206_160743 During the hotel’s renovation, when crypts like this were excavated, many archeological artifacts were discovered that are now on display at the hotel.

20150204_214145 As a newspaper reporter, Marquez wrote of the procedure…

” The historic convent of the Clarissan nuns, which had been turned into a hospital a century earlier, was to be sold, and a five-star hotel built in its place.  The gradual collapse of the roof had left its beautiful chapel exposed to the elements, but three generations of bishops and abbesses and other eminent personages were still buried there.  The first step was to empty the crypts, transfer the remains to anyone who claimed them, and bury the rest in a common grave.

I was surprised by the crudeness of the procedure.  Laborers opened the tombs with pickaxes and hoes, took out the rotting coffins, which broke apart with the simple act of moving them, and separated bones from the jumble of dust, shreds of clothing, and desiccated hair.  The more illustrious the dead the more arduous the labor, because the workers had to rummage through the remains and sift the debris with great care in order to retrieve precious stones and articles of gold and silver.”


20150206_161741Our walk continued through the old city’s picturesque streets, courtyards and beautiful parks…




The social standing of each dwelling's occupants were indicated by the elaborate doors and door knockers in the old city of Cartagena

In the old city, the social standing of the residents were indicated by the level of sophisticated workmanship on display upon the entrance door


Park and mansion setting (background on right) for the exchange of furtive love letters  in "Love in the Time of Cholera"

Park and mansion setting (background on right) for the exchange of furtive love letters in “Love in the Time of Cholera”20150206_165145

Gabriel Garcia Marquez (affectionately known as “Gabo” in Latin America) was a Colombian journalist and novelist whose One Hundred Years of Solitude established him as a giant of 20th-century literature.  He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.

One Hundred Years of Solitude, First American Edition, First Printing (now available at Old Scrolls Book Shop

One Hundred Years of Solitude, First American Edition, First Printing (now available at Old Scrolls Book Shop)

He was born in the small town of Aracataca, Colombia in 1927.  Early in his career he struggled, barely making a living writing for newspapers in Cartagena.  He alternated between literature and journalism for a good part of his life.

Photo portrait of Gabriel Garcia Marquez hanging in Patagonia Restaurant, Cartagena

Photo portrait of Gabriel Garcia Marquez hanging in the Patagonia Restaurant, Cartagena

Entrance to the Patagonia Restaurant

Street entrance to the Patagonia Restaurant

He maintained a home in Cartagena in his later years, and several of his novels are clearly set there, including Of Love and Other Demons and Love in the Time of Cholera (the latter was brought to film in 2007 by New Line Cinema).

This was the walled modern home of Gabriel Garcia Marquez in Cartagena

On Marelvy’s tour we viewed the walled modern home of Gabriel Garcia Marquez in Cartagena

Marquez moved to Mexico City in 1961, where he lived off and on for the rest of his life.  He was the master of the literary genre known as Magical Realism; his books are bursting with energy, romance,  and unbridled imagination.

A side street view of GGM's Cartagena home

A side street view of GGM’s Cartagena home

In his life he experienced extreme poverty and extreme success — and just about everything in-between.  To read about his life is to have some understanding as to why he was politically active and a defender of left-wing causes, as well as a friend to many famous political leaders as far-ranging as Fidel Castro and Bill Clinton.  In his later years, after achieving worldwide acclaim and financial success, he kept homes in Mexico City, Barcelona, Paris and Cartagena.  His own life is one great story.

“Gabo” died in April of 2014 at his home in Mexico City at the age of 87.

For a good brief biography and a sampling of his writing, read this New York Times article written shortly after his death.

For in-depth biographies, I suggest his 2002 memoir, Living to Tell the Tale, as well as Gabriel Garcia Marquez – A Life, by Gerald Martin.

Ron, me, Adam and Marelvy (photo credit:  Diana Zuluaga-Petruccione)

Ron, me, Adam and Marelvy in the Santa Clara Hotel  (photo credit: Diana Zuluaga-Petruccione)

More to come – hope you will follow us on the rest of our Colombian adventure!

The Gadfly – Enduring and Collectible

The Gadfly, by E. L. Voynich (NY: Henry Holt and Company, 1897)

The Gadfly, by E. L. Voynich (NY: Henry Holt and Company, 1897)

Here is a lovely first edition decorated American publisher’s binding that is also a gripping and critically acclaimed novel set in revolutionary Italy during the mid-1800’s.

The Gadfly was first published in 1897 (United States, June; Great Britain, September of the same year).  It has become a classic revolutionary book which has been reprinted hundreds of times in multiple languages.

Our copy of THE GADFLY bears the bookplate of Maria Rebecca Audubon (granddaughter of John James Audubon) on front fixed endpaper

Our copy of THE GADFLY bears the bookplate of Maria Rebecca Audubon (granddaughter of John James Audubon) on front fixed endpaper

There have been five theatrical adaptations; seven opera, music or ballet adaptations, and six film adaptations around the world between 1923 and 2003 of this book.  It has been a best seller in many countries – The Gadfly is estimated to have sold 2,500,000 copies in the Soviet Union alone.

A later American edition (NY: Cameron Associates)

A later American edition (NY: Cameron Associates, 1957)

The central theme of the book is man’s conflict with the two great antagonisms – intellectual independence against religious and political conformity.  The protagonist, a devout Catholic at age 19, is caught by the Italian police for illegal political activity and is then betrayed while in prison by a priest, through his confession in the Catholic Church.  Shocked and disillusioned, he flees the country for South America, leaving a suicide note for his family and few remaining friends, only to return years later in disguise to seek revenge for his betrayal and continue his passionate fight for honor and justice. An old romance is soon rekindled, and it takes awhile before the woman even realizes who the man is that she has fallen in love with again.

The Gadfly deals with the greatest of human experiences – love between a man and a woman, love for one’s fellow man, and man’s timeless struggle to relate his love of humanity to his political, spiritual and ethical decisions in life.  There is heroism, romance, adventure, great escapes and tragedy here.  The book’s theme is as relevant today as when it was published in 1897, and it is still a compelling story.

Ethel Lilian Voynich

Author E. L. Voynich was born Ethel Lilian Boole in County Cork, Ireland in 1864.  In 1902 she married Wilfrid Michael Voynich, a Polish revolutionary, antiquarian book dealer and bibliophile.  Her husband won fame for his discovery in 1915 of the mysterious Voynich Manuscript,which presently resides in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University. 

The Voynich Manuscript is an illustrated codex handwritten in an unknown writing system which has been carbon dated to the early 15th century.  It has been studied by countless cryptographers, including American and British codebreakers from both World War I and World War II, but no one has succeeded in deciphering the text. 

Voynich moved to the United States in 1920 when her husband transferred his rare book business here.  She wrote four novels, including The Gadfly, between 1897 and 1911, and translated several Russian Classics into English.  The next twenty years of her life were devoted to composing choral and choral-orchestral music.  In 1931 she translated Chopin’s letters from the Polish and French.

Ethel Lilian Voynich died on July 27, 1960 in New York City at age 96. The Gadfly remains her most important and famous work.  Her books are listed below:

     Stories from Garshin (1893)

    The Gadfly (1897)

    Jack Raymond (1901)

    Olive Latham (1904)

    An Interrupted Friendship (Russian Ovod v Izgnanii -meaning “The Gadfly in exile”) (1910)

    Put Off Thy Shoes (1945) 

The Boxer who Loved Collies

Albert Payson Terhune with his collies (photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).

Albert Payson Terhune is best known for writing Lad: A Dog (1919) and over thirty other books about the dogs of beautiful Sunnybank Farm where he lived and kept his kennel of fine collies. On this idyllic 44-acre Wayne, New Jersey estate he bred a long line of champions, and his kennel became internationally famous.

Many people aren’t aware that Terhune wrote stories and books about two-legged characters for over twenty years before publishing his first story about dogs.  He also wrote travel narratives as a result of his early journeys abroad which are highly collectible, such as Syria From the Saddle (NY: Silver, Burdett and Co., 1896) and Columbia Stories (NY: Dillingham, 1897).

Terhune was also an outstanding amateur boxer, who boxed exhibition matches with James J. Corbett, Bob Fitzsimmons and James J. Jeffries.  His book, How to Box to Win (written under the pseudonym  “John Terence McGovern”) was published in 1900 by  Rohde & Haskins, New York and later by Shrewesbury Publishing Co., Chicago, 1920 bound in decorative paper wrappers.

Albert Payson Terhune in 1922 (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

His civil war novel, Dad (NY: W. J. Watt, 1914) was written with the help of Sinclair Lewis, who anonymously wrote chapters 21 through 23 for his friend Terhune who was having trouble meeting an urgent deadline.  It is quite a rare book, with first editions being valued in four figures for a copy in collectible condition, and is sought after by collectors of both Sinclair Lewis and Albert Payson Terhune.

Still, when I think of Albert Payson Terhune, I think of beautiful and loyal collies, don’t you?  And of the book, Lad: A Dog.  A well-worn copy was on our family bookshelf as I was growing up, as it has been on the bookshelves of millions of other households around the world.  The novel was a best seller in both the adult and children’s markets and has been reprinted over 80 times; it’s success set Terhune on his course to fame as a writer of stories about dogs that are beloved to this day.

A prolific writer of 67 books and numerous stories for magazines such as Saturday Evening Post, Ladies’ Home Journal and Atlantic Monthly, many of Terhune’s books and stories have been adapted for cinema.  See his filmography HERE.

Albert Terhune died February 18, 1942 at age 69 at Sunnybank, among the collies that won him international fame as an author.  He is buried at the Pompton Reformed Church in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey (not far from Sunnybank).  Most of Sunnybank’s land was gobbled up by developers after his wife, Anice, passed away in 1964.  Sadly, the beautiful old house and barn had fallen into disrepair and were bulldozed in 1969.  Some of the grounds were saved by dedicated citizens and exist today day as Terhune Memorial Park – Sunnybank.    Occupying a few acres between Pompton Lake and U.S. Route 202 in north Jersey, it is a public park maintained by Wayne Township.  Visitors can view the graves of many of the dogs mentioned in Terhune’s works and see a collection of Terhune’s book and dog awards at the Van Riper-Hopper Historic House Museum.   Historical and family items from the Terhune home “The Place” can be found at the Pompton Lakes Historical Museum.

View our current offering of a rather scarce book by Albert Payson Terhune.  It is a dog story, a mystery, and a romance all rolled into one…and very difficult to find even in the Grosset & Dunlap reprint edition:

Unseen, by Albert Payson Terhune (NY: Grosset & Dunlap, 1937)

Unseen, by Albert Payson Terhune (NY: Grosset & Dunlap, 1937)

View a biography and bibliography of Terhune’s books HERE.

When Byrd Was the Word (Richard E. Byrd)

Vintage Admiral Byrd Sports Apparel box

Until we stumbled upon this vintage apparel box in a nearby antique/book shop, we were unaware that there had been a clothing line named after the famous explorer Admiral Richard E. Byrd.

Sure enough, when we did an internet search, we actually found some vintage apparel from this line which is up for grabs!

Vintage Admiral Byrd leather jacket on E-Bay

Label inside Admiral Byrd leather jacket

Link to jacket offered for sale is HERE.

(Our thanks to Tynan for letting us post photos and a link to the jacket in this blog).

Not surprising, I suppose, for an American hero who was feted in not just one, but three ticker-tape parades in Manhattan during his glory days.

Famed aviator and explorer Richard E. Byrd (1888-1957) developed a passion for aviation after learning to fly during World War I.  It was the possibilities inherent in flight which captured Byrd’s imagination, and his abilities as an aviator became the means which led to his career as an eminent explorer.

A daring aviator, he was among the first to succeed in transatlantic flights.  In 1926 Byrd led an historic (and still controversial) first  flight to the North Pole.  His aviation experiences are detailed in his first book, Skyward (1928).

Skyward, Richard E. Byrd (Putnam, 1928, Second Printing, SIGNED by Byrd)

His apex of fame was reached during his first Antarctic expedition (1928-1930).  He named his base Little America and situated it on the Ross Ice Shelf, south of the Bay of Whales.  Little America established the first successful radio broadcasting from Antarctica, making regular broadcasts that could be picked up by household radio sets in the United States, more than 11,000 miles away around the Earth’s curvature.

During the 1934-35 expedition, many souvenir letters were sent from Little America, using a commemorative postage stamp issued by the U.S. government. On his second expedition, in 1934, Byrd spent five winter months by himself operating a meteorlogical station, Advance Base, where he narrowly escaped with his life after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning from use of a stove with inadequate ventilation.  This expedition is described by Byrd in his autobiography Alone.

Alone, Richard E. Byrd (NY: Putnam's, 1938, First Edition)

A film record of Admiral Richard Byrd’s 1928 expedition to the South Pole was entitled    With Byrd at the South Pole: The Story of Little America (1930).  The film was shot silent but was narrated by journalist Floyd Gibbons.  Here is a New York Times review of the film.

By the time of Byrd’s death, he had received twenty-two citations and special commendations, nine for bravery and two for extraordinary heroism in saving the lives of others. He received the Medal of Honor, the Lifesaving Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Navy Cross.  The Polar Research Center at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio was named in honor of Admiral Byrd in 1984.  Lunar crater Byrd is named after him, not to mention numerous ships, schools and libraries.

Richard E. Byrd is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

An extensive biography of Byrd is presented HERE.

Several books by or about Richard E. Byrd are available here at Old Scrolls Book Shop.

Winifred Holtby’s “South Riding” comes to PBS

Tonight PBS is featuring the first of a three-part series called South Riding, based on the novel of the same title by author Winifred Holtby.   The story’s setting is the fictional South Riding of Yorkshire (based on the actual East Riding of Yorkshire) in the 1930’s.  A plucky and idealistic young woman arrives in a small coastal town to serve as headmistress in the local girls school, and as a result, life takes interesting turns for everyone, including the married country squire with whom she falls in love.

It will air Sunday, May 1, 8, and 15 at 9pm Eastern and Pacific; 8pm Central and Mountain in most areas ( check local listings to verify times).

The book is beautifully written,  full of passion and humor.  The first edition, (Collins, London, 1936) has become fairly scarce and in the current market is going for up to $500 or more in fine condition in like jacket.   Finished just before the author’s death of kidney failure at 37 years of age, it is a book that deserves to be better known.   It was published posthumously in 1936, and is considered the author’s finest work. The book won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for 1936.    It was also adapted for a 1938 film starring Edna Best  as Sarah Burton,  Ralph Richardson as Robert Carne and  Edmund Gwenn as Alfred Huggins.

Read more about the current adaptation of the novel for PBS by the talented screenwriter Andrew Davies in his own words here.

Holtby wrote quite a number of books, but none attained the success of this, her last one.

Selected works of Winifred Holtby:

  • My Garden & Other Poems, 1911
  • Anderby Wold, 1923
  • The Crowded Street, 1924
  • The Land of Green Ginger: A Romance, 1927
  • Eutychus; or, the Future of the Pulpit, 1928
  • A New Voter’s Guide to Party Programmes: Political Dialogues, 1929
  • Poor Caroline, 1931
  • Virginia Woolf: a Portrait, 1932
  • The Astonishing Island, 1933
  • Mandoa, Mandoa! A Comedy of Irrelevance, 1933
  • Truth is Not Sober and Other Stories, 1934
  • Women and a Changing Civilization, 1934
  • The Frozen Earth and Other Poems, 1935 (ed. Vera Brittain)
  • South Riding: An English Landscape, 1936 (in U.S.: South Riding: A Novel [with] “Ave atque Vale, an Epitaph by Vera Brittain”)
  • Pavements at Anderby, 1937 (ed. V. Brittain, H.S. Reid)
  • Take Back Your Freedom, 1939 (with N. Ginsburg)
  • Letters to a Friend, 1937 (ed. A. Holtby and J. McWilliam)
  • Selected Letters of Winifred Holtby and Vera Brittain 1920-1930, 1960 (ed. V. Brittain and G. Handley-Taylor)
  • Testament of a Generation: the Journalism of Vera Brittain and Winifred Holtby, 1985 (ed. P. Berry and A. Bishop)
  • Remember, Remember! The Selected Stories of Winifred Holtby, 1997 (ed. Paul Berry & Marion Shaw)
Published in: on 05/01/2011 at 3:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,
%d bloggers like this: