The Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde, Illustrations by Sandow Birk, Arion Press (2018)

Oscar Wilde (1854-1890) was an Irish poet/writer whose works remain immensely popular today. His best known works are The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Importance of Being Earnest, Lady Windermere’s Fan, Salome, De Profundis and The Ballad of Reading Gaol. Wilde’s wit and humor are legendary, as is the controversy surrounding his life. Wilde was born in Dublin. His parents were successful and quite intellectual in their own right (his mother a poet … Continue reading The Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde, Illustrations by Sandow Birk, Arion Press (2018)

Books & Vines Re-Launch: Private/Fine Press News for 2019

After a two year hiatus, I would like to welcome you to a re-launched Books and Vines. Plenty of articles are in the works for the coming months to highlight recent release private/fine press publications while continuing our march through some of the greatest works in private press history (see the ‘Upcoming Reviews’ section for details). Look for the first review article in the coming … Continue reading Books & Vines Re-Launch: Private/Fine Press News for 2019

The Little of our Earthly Trust, by Elizabeth Bishop, Arion Press (2016)

Elizabeth Bishop (1911 – 1979) has emerged as one of the great American poets of the twentieth century. She was Poet Laureate of the United States in 1949/1950, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1956, winner of the National Book Award in 1970, and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1976. Yet, outside of literary circles she is not extremely well known.  The Poetry Foundation remarks that she “was a respected yet … Continue reading The Little of our Earthly Trust, by Elizabeth Bishop, Arion Press (2016)

It’s the 2016 Holidays — Support the Private and Fine Press Eco-System!

{Ed. Note: This is an annual article encouraging all Books and Vines readers to keep private and fine press publishers and re-sellers in mind this holiday season as your source for unique, classy and meaningful gifts. The article has been updated with current information and the latest news from private and fine press publishers, while I sheepishly admit lifting the introduction from the holiday article of last year. … Continue reading It’s the 2016 Holidays — Support the Private and Fine Press Eco-System!

Pedro Paramo, by Juan Rulfo, Arion Press (2016)

The latest release from Arion Press is Pedro Paramo, the great Mexican novel of the twentieth century written by Juan Rulfo (1917-1986). Arion sums up the novel as being about a man named Juan Preciado who travels to his recently deceased mother’s hometown, Comala, to find his father, “only to come across a literal ghost town─populated, that is, by spectral figures.” In an aptly named article by Jim Lewis in Slate, ‘The Perfect Novel You’ve Never … Continue reading Pedro Paramo, by Juan Rulfo, Arion Press (2016)

Bouvard & Pécuchet, by Gustave Flaubert, Arion Press (2016)

Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880) was a French novelist best known for his first novel Madame Bovary (1857). He was (and is) enormously influential due to the heights of  literary realism attained in the aforementioned Madame Bovery as well as in his Sentimental Education (1869). He also wrote with a streak of Romanticism, especially in The Temptation of Saint Anthony (1874), and with Baroque styling as in … Continue reading Bouvard & Pécuchet, by Gustave Flaubert, Arion Press (2016)

The Silverado Squatters, by Robert Louis Stevenson, Arion Press (1996)

Concerning Robert Louis Stevenson‘s The Silverado Squatters I must start with a simple exhortation for you to drop what you are doing and simply read it. This is travel writing done right! Engaging, interesting and thought-provoking, it pulls you into it’s time and place as if you were there. Secondly, this edition from Arion Press is the one to read. With atmospheric photographs from the renowned photographer Michael Kenna sprinkled … Continue reading The Silverado Squatters, by Robert Louis Stevenson, Arion Press (1996)