Book sale

Yesterday I ended up at a couple of bookstores, and while I don’t usually blog about buying books, yesterday was just too much fun to keep to myself.

So here’s the list of what I scored:

Ruth Rendell, An Unkindness of Ravens (thanks, m-l)
Sara Paretsky, Bleeding Kansas
Dorothy Sayers, The Complete Stories
Roger Dixon and Stefan Muthesius, Victorian Architecture
Emil Kaufman, Architecture in the Age of Reason: Baroque and Post-Baroque in England, Italy, and France
Eight issues of The Tuilieries Brochures from 1931 and 1932 with outstanding photography:

French Architecture as Source Material
Provincial Architecture of Northern Franc
Some Small Houses from French Villages
Formal Design in Minor French Buildings (see Amazon listing)
Dijon–Capital of Burgundy
Saulieu of the Morvan
An Architect Revisits France
Falaise–The Heart of Normandy

L.C. Kalff, Creative Light
Arnold Lewis, American Victorian Architecture
The book division of the National Geographic Society, The Builders: Marvels of Engineering (1992 with the World Trade Center on the cover)

A little heavy on the architecture, yes.  I love looking at architecture books, but that’s not usually something I’m willing to spend money on.  But they all came from the dollar table at the Antiquarian’s book sale, and were 25% off to boot. How could I resist?

A nice assortment.  The first thing I started reading was the Rendell whodunit (or whydunit as the case may be).  From page two: “Joy Williams took him into the front room that she called the lounge.  There were no books.”  Somehow, you know this is not going to end well.

[The rest of the photos are clickable.]

Moving on to The Builders (1992), which I picked up because it had photos of pyramids, and bridges and cathedrals, on the front cover is a photo of the World Trade Center, with another inside.  These photos give me an odd moiré pattern when I look at them with various browsers, but are very nice viewed with zoom. And yes, I know they load slow, but they also have high resolution.

The cover photo is supposed to be “framed by an Alexander Calder sculpture”. Maybe World Trade Center Stabile (Bent Propeller)?–here are before and after pictures of the Calder sculpture.

[Note: the link is no longer working, but I will leave it up in case someone can find it in google cache–I have had no luck–or the wayback machine after a suitable amount of time has passed. In the meantime, no more Ms. Nice Guy with polite links to images of unknown copyright status.  Here are some images of the statue, if you see your image here leave a message and I will credit you.]

Creative Light is out of print.  This page demonstrates how light principles work in a church sanctuary.

And here is le Corbusier’s 1937 “brises soleil”  invention–facade of screens for protection from the sun (Ministry of Works, Rio de Janeiro).

Corb’s “Chapel of Ronchamp” uses semi-cylindrical towers to channel the light to the wall behind the altar.

His monastery at La Tourette uses “light cannons” to direct light.

The “Tulierries” pamphlet series has striking architectural photographs of various areas in France.  (And except for one or two issues, these are totally out of print and unobtainable.) This page is from Provincial Architecture of Northern France:

From Formal Design in Minor French Buildings:

Why again should we take French architecture of this particular period rather than that of an earlier time?  Precisely because the charm of the French Formal style depends upon intrinsic excellence of design rather than upon the charm of softening line and surface texture resulting ;from the decay of age as in the farmhouse type.  It is the spacing and  balance of the windows and their relation to the wall surface texture resulting from the decay of age as in the farmhouse typel  It is the spacing and balance of the wqindows and their relation to the wall surfaces that pleases us, not the irregularities of hand work.  The wall surfaces are as true as the machine-minded American workmen could make them; the lines of the ridge and the eave do not sag despondently.

In the last analysis is not this fad of living in imitation primitive farmhouses, surrounded carefully by all modern conveniences, a little ridiculous?”

Um, no.

But the photos are still incredible.

This one is from Some Small Houses From French Villages:

This type of photography simply doesn’t exist any more. Typically this type of photo was done with a 4X5 large format camera. In these days when the SLR has suddenly been replaced by the digital camera, who knows what the future of this type of photography will be.

As for the buildings, give me the key and I’ll be ready to move into any one of them.

5 Responses to “Book sale”

  1. מוטו דיפו Says:

    ידיות גומי חצי ופל תוסף דלק לניקוי מערכת דלק קטנועים מגן ספוג לכידון שטח מסנן אויר רב פעמי עצרי בסיס משקולות לדגמים חדשים מסנן אויר רב פעמי מניפה פולי קידמי

    Oh my stars, Israeli spam. First time I’ve seen that–usually it’s Russian. Google Translate says the spammer is “Motto deep” (I’ve neutered the link). The message (from a motorcycle supply company) is:

    Half waffle rubber handles fuel additive to clean fuel system and sponge handlebar scooters Shield Air Filter Space-time multi-weights based Stop new models of air filter Foley repeatedly Front Fan

  2. Falaise Says:

    hi there,

    i am not sure, but your name is Nijma? hello. i found your block via search “Falaise and French chateaux, manors.” i was really happily surprised to see these excellent pamphlets, Tuileries, focused on early French architecture.

    i am researching this material to prepare for a project to reclaim and resurrect a book published prior to 1923, Small French Buildings, by Polhemus & Coffin, AIA NYC.

    i have two motivations for my project;1) Lewis A Coffin, Jr was my grandfather, and 2) this book—in addition to others they’ve published—became victim to Google Books scrapers and print-on-demand scavengers.

    Small French Buildings actually has a considerable architecturally historic significance given the lack of prior documentation, research and analysis of actual specimens featuring this unique architectural vernacular. oh, and the photos are way cool not unlike these. really cool stuff!

    i would love it if you’d take a look at my project site and maybe consider writing a blog post? i think you’ll find the history of the firm quite interesting, quite a few of their designs held true to what they learned, and keenly interpreted their research in France thorough much of their body of work. [eg: Falaise Mansion @ Guggenheim Estate, Port Washington, NY]

    please let me know what you think. i am happy to provide some of the photo facsimiles form their trip if you’d like to see.

    -tristram coffin

    BTW: Arabish (only the medjool date flavor) is delicious

  3. Nijma Says:

    Sorry, I don’t have time, but best of luck with your project.

    The quality of the scanned photographs on Google Books is appalling, but Open Library is better.

    And have you seen the original book on Ebay “The two signature might be the Authors’ Signature”. Maybe this has your grandfather’s signature.

    What on earth is Arabish?

  4. Falaise Says:


    i do appreciate you taking the time to respond, and thoughtful comments. i’ll send a note when the book is complete, maybe you’ll have some time to take a look.

    and in closing: Arabish is-

  5. Nijma Says:

    Ha, ha, fractured English then, in medjool date flavor. I will look for it in the ESL aliment department.

Comments are closed.