Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Brilliance, On Sale

Do you know about Daedalus Books? The huge online bookstore that sells erudite books at bargain prices for bibliophiles like you and me?

I've been ordering books from them since way back in the pre-Internet age when they mailed out a monthly catalog. The prices are always fabulous (up to 90% off) and they charge only $5.95 for shipping, regardless of how many books you order.

It's inevitable that when I have a list of errands/projects that need attention absolutely immediately right this minute, I find myself sifting through their spellbinding selection of books in search of future acquisitions. Here are a few I found today when I was supposed to be doing something else:

(University of California Press)

I can never get enough of these two fabulous creatures: Jazz Age socialites and American expats who moved to the South of France in the 1920's, they palled around with Fitzgerald and Picasso, threw legendary parties, virtually created the concept of the "jet set," and oozed their own brand of Riviera style.
List price: $34.95 Sale price: $9.98

*Note: If Gerald and Sara are new to you, two books you'll want to read at once are "Everybody Was So Young" by Amanda Vaill and Calvin Tompkin's "Living Well Is The Best Revenge."

(Thames and Hudson)

Think of it as the styling secrets of a master painter. The book features period photographs that show how Matisse created the mise-en-scénes for his paintings: "perhaps an ornate Venetian chair partners with a wrought-iron table displaying a yellow pitcher and melons." Bonus: It's edited by Marie-France Boyer, Paris editor of World of Interiors magazine.
List price:$24.95 Sale Price: $5.98

(University of Yale Press)

I've had many shadowy encounters with Mary Butts; she's been a Zelig-like figure lurking in the background of countless biographies that I've read. This could be my opportunity to get to know her face-to-face. Writer, nonconformist, free spirit, she was on intimate terms with luminaries such as Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein and many more.
List price: $55.00 Sale price: $6.98

(Assouline Press)

I have picked up this book a number of times in stores; it's beautifully art-directed and filled with gorgeous photographs of her personal art collection. And I'm smitten with that glorious cover portrait of her by Alfred Courmes.
List price: $18.95 Sale price: $5.98

I'm thinking this bio will give me the inside scoop on the Divine Ms. G. An enfant terrible of the art world, she lived brazenly and fearlessly, "a cultural mover and shaker" with "legendary sexual appetites, including lovers Max Ernst, Samuel Beckett, and Marcel Duchamp." You go girl.
List Price: Import Sale price: $5.98

(Penguin Press)

The subtitle for the paperback version of this book says it all, really: "The Tragicomic, Mind-Altering Odyssey of Allen Ginsberg, a Holy Fool, a Lost Muse, a Dharma Bum, and his Prickly Bride in India."
List price: $25.95 Sale price: $5.98

(Atria Press)

From Leopold Bloom's grilled kidney breakfasts to Jay Gatsby's decadent feasts to Charles Dickens high teas to Bertie Wooster's champagne lunches, author Sean Brand details eating scenes from a multitude of favorite classics.
List price: $18.00 Sale price: $1.98

(Atlantic Books)

I've read quite a few of Julian's books over the years, and this one sounds especially funny. From the review: "In these piquant essays, Barnes wonders how big a "lump" is, or is a "slug" is larger than a "gout," and seeks gastronomic precision -- a quest that leaves him seduced by the unpretentious enthusiasm in Jane Grigson's cookbooks, infuriated by Nigel Slater's vague sense of what fits in a fry pan, and reassured by Mrs. Beeton's exacting Victorian values."
List price: Import Sale price: $4.98


Easy and Elegant Life said...

What a fine collection of books for the summer. You will love "Making It New". The exhibit was brilliant and fitting.

There is a Daedalus Books in Charlottesville and we stop whenever we're passing through.

My Dog-Eared Pages said...

Thank you for the heads-up on these wonderful book prices! It's fun reading about the Murphys... I just ordered Making it New!! ; )

donna baker said...

Ahh, such eclectic tastes. Makes life interesting doesn't it?

Thomas Hogglestock said...

Daedalus has a warehouse outlet about 45 minutes from DC that makes for a very fun trip. Nonsuch Book and Shelf Love and I are making a field trip of it on the 25th.

Caroline said...

Lisa - I love your blog - so interesting and visually beautiful. Have you read Mary S. Lovell's A Scandalous Life ? It is about a 19th Century aristocratic Englishwoman who has led a rather adventurous life. She ends up married to a Bedouin sheik. Lovell also wrote the unputdownable book The Mitford Sisters.

Laura said...

Oh dear, I'm afraid it is quite dangerous that I know about this website now! I loved Everybody Was So Young, I'll have to pick up Making It New...

Anne said...

Thanks to you I just completed some early holiday shopping! Fantastic find - that I want to selfishly keep to myself - so friends/ family don't discover my secret.

Unknown said...

Crazy cause I read blogs mostly when I am supposed to be doing something else, which landed me here...and now going there...these books look and sound terrific. Thanks!!!

Hels said...

Lisa, perfect timing! I will be thinking about Mary Butts' era over the next semester and would love to read her journals.

Isn't it great what we find in the nooks and crannies of the blogging world :)

Unknown said...

Absolutely greatful for that new piece of information on the book end....I had not heard of them yet!
See, not been raised in this country leaves so many vacant spaces, but with you I get my education completed!!!


Denise said...

I swear I was thinking of Guggenheim's museum in Venice last night, and wondering how she ended up there, and why haven't I read a bio of her, and now your post. And at first I though your Gerald was the one in love with Carrington, Gerald Brennan, but I see it's Gerald Davis whom I know nothing about. What incredible prices on these!

Bart Boehlert said...

Wow, Daedulus is new to me. I have "Making it New" on my shelf - I love all things Murphys. The Matisse book sounds great. Thanks for the tip.

Megan Taylor said...

Have you Tilda-ed yet?

24 Corners said...

Procastination, especially when very important tasks are at hand, can open up so many new and interesting doors (or books in this case)....where would we be without it?!
The Matisse book and Literary Feasts seem to be speaking to me...this is now officially one of those rabbit hole posts!

Thank you! :)

La Petite Gallery said...

Thank you so very much. T am happy I found you, I think I heard of you from " Renee tells all. "


Maria Speidel said...

Thanks for the reminder about Daedalus. I used to get the mailer, too, but had forgotten about them. I had lusted after Murphy book when it first came out, now it can be mine for a song! My book club is doing Anything and Everything Fitzgerald for the summer, so it will fit in w/ the theme.

Vava (aka Virginia) said...

Another great tip from you, Daedulus, will be a GREAT source of joy for me!

Julie Anne Rhodes said...

Oh no, not another hemorrhaging (even at 90% off) weakness. The Matisse book ia an absolute MUST have, and I'm sure once I log on, I will be in deep credit card doo doo.

Emily said...

Thank you so much! You always have the best book recommendations. Gotta check out that website too!

ADG said...

Damn. I'm already going broke buying books from alibris and abebooks. There are two books on your post that I've gotta have and I've gotta have them right now.


Liska said...

I'm going to have to check out Daedalus Books! That place sounds awesome :)

Laura Clayton Baker said...

I'm so happy to have come across your friend Lydia sent me the link. Great book selection! I have a picture on one of my posts of the Murphy's at the beach: and the Matisse Villa Reve book is a favorite of mine. I used a picture of one of his chairs from that book in another post, and was so excited when I saw the chair in person recently at the Matisse Museum in Nice. I'm going to have to check out "Slow Love" now. I'll be looking forward to seeing more and reading more on your blog...thank you!

Hausfrau said...

I absolutely love Daedalus; too bad I'm on a spending hiatus at the moment, as I'd love to check and see if a few of these titles you've mentioned are still available!

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