Rare Book Monthly

Articles - February - 2006 Issue

"A" is for Amazon!

Googles

"A" is for Amazon, according to Google Suggest


By Michael Stillman

Have you ever known someone who knew what you were thinking so well that they could finish your sentences? That can be annoying, but it can also be very helpful, particularly if you have trouble finishing them yourself. Sometimes, you may know the beginning of a phrase, an idiom, a book title, but can't remember the rest. If you have to write much, and booksellers are always writing descriptions, you could undoubtedly use a little help now and then. Well here it is, and it's brought to you by your mental twin, your better half, your partner in life, Google.

Is there anything Google doesn't do? This one is called "Google Suggest." I'm sure that somewhere on their site, there's a "Google Coffee" that will make a fresh cup of coffee and place it on my desk, if I could just find where on their site it is located. For now, I'll have to settle for a plethora of other interesting, strange concoctions that Google has brewed up for me. Google Suggest is such a feature, and for those who could use its assistance, or just want a few minutes of entertainment, we're here to tell you all about it.

Google Suggest looks just like the Google search page. However, as you type first letters, then words, in the search box, it offers you lots of suggestions to fill your thought. Where does it get these suggestions? From other people's searches. They keep track of how many times people search for everything, so letter by letter, word by word, they know what you are most likely to enter next, even if you don't.

So let's try a few phrases those of a literary mind might try. What comes after "uncle?" I can read your mind better than Google. You said "Tom's Cabin." So did Google, but only as a third choice. "Uncle Sam" got fifteen times as many searches. But Uncle Tom also got walloped by "Uncle Buck," a 1989 grade B movie with John Candy and Macaulay Culkin. So much for the intellectualism of Google searchers. Hick musician Uncle Kracker would also have beaten Uncle Tom were his vote not split between "Uncle Kracker" and "Uncle Cracker."

Here's one that will make you feel better. Enter "Huckleberry," and the winner is, you guessed it, Huckleberry Finn. The Mark Twain character beat Hanna and Barbera's Huckleberry Hound by a landslide. Tom Sawyer does not fare so well among the Toms. He doesn't make it, though screw-loose actor Tom Cruise, overpriced designer Tommy Hilfiger, gravelly-voiced singer Tom Waits, and Quarterback Tom Brady, even though he is not going back to the Super Bowl this year, qualified. So did an author, adventure writer Tom Clancy. Huckleberry Finn's friend did not qualify.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Ronald Reagan. Series of 37 letters to Senator George Murphy, and related material, 1968-90. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Chaim Weizmann. Autograph letter signed, to General Sir Gilbert Clayton, 6 September 1918. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Sir Winston Churchill. Autograph letter signed, to Pamela, Lady Lytton, 1942. £20,000 to $30,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Oscar Wilde. Five autograph letters signed, to Alsager Vian, 1887. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Napoleon I. Letter signed to Admiral Ganteaume, ordering the invasion of England, 22 August 1805. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Horatio, Viscount Nelson, and Emma Hamilton. Two autograph letter signed, to Catherine and George Matcham, 1805. £6,000 to £8,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 54. Fanciful engraving of earth's interior with magma core and errupting volcanoes (1682). $1500 to $1800.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 165. Rare state of Jefferys' influential map of New England in contemporary color (1755). $8000 to $9500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 177. Mouzon's foundation map of the Carolinas (1775). $10000 to $13000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 183. Very rare first state of De Fer's map of the Lower Mississippi Valley (1715). $20000 to $25000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 253. Scarce Scottish edition based on Ellicott's plan of Washington, D.C. (1796). $2400 to $3000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 313. Stunning view of Philadelphia by John Bachmann (1850). $3250 to $4250.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 338. Rare Civil War map based on Bucholtz map of Virginia (1862). $9500 to $12000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 667. First map to accurately show Luzon in Philippines (1590). $6000 to $7500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 682. Rare map of Shanghai International Settlement published just after WWI (1918). $7000 to $9000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 738. Coronelli's superb map of the Pacific showing the Island of California (1697) Est. $2400 - $3000
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 743. A cornerstone piece in the mapping of Australia and New Zealand (1726) Est. $6000 - $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 781. An uncommon signature during Jefferson's Governorship of Virginia (1779) Est. $9500 - $11000

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