If you live in Los Angeles, get in your car and head to 830 North Highland (between Melrose and Santa Monica) NOW. Berkelouw Books is tragically going out of business and their ENTIRE inventory is 50% off. Henry Berkelouw, the ever-so-charming owner, has amassed a wonderful and highly idiosyncratic library of antiquarian books, collectibles and sought-after tomes. I discovered it two weeks ago and have been back five times already. Below are some of my fabulous (and highly reasonable) finds:
I can't wait to dig into the Cecil Beaton one...I've read three other books by him and have become slightly obsessed with his glamorous life and bitchy commentaries about all the luminaries he encountered.
The Harold Nicolson book was an exciting find because he was married to Vita Sackville West, author of "The Edwardians" and "All Passion Spent" and one-time lover of Virginia Woolf. Their son Nigel Nicolson's marvelous account of his parents' enduring relationship, "Portrait of a Marriage" is one of my favorite biographies ever, but until now Harold has always been a bit of a cipher.
"A Hermit in the Himalayas" looks like a breezy read, and as I'm going back to northern India next month, it will feel especially relevant.
And as for "Vulgarity in Literature", what is there NOT to love?! The title, the beautifully illustrated cover, and of course, the prose of the great man himself. I consider it a capital find.
But the piece de resistance of my treasure-hunting at Berkelouw Books will have to be saved until my next post. A book so titillating, so compulsively readable, that I finished it in a single evening and haven't been able to get the authoress out of my head since....