Literature and Entertainment from Waverly Books
By Michael Stillman
List 149 from Waverly Books of Santa Monica has just been released. Available are almost 300 items, though no specific topic is featured. In going through the catalogue, we find primarily literary works from the 20th century plus items connected to film and various types of entertainment. Along with film screenplays and the like there are items related to well-known actors, directors, artists, musicians and baseball players. Respected photographers also get their due within the pages. From P.G. Wodehouse to B.B. King, there is something for many types of collectors presented. Here are a few.
Item 9 is an anthology of Readings from the American Mercury published in 1926. The Mercury is best known as the vehicle for many of the writings of legendary newspaperman H. L. Mencken. Mencken is hard to pigeonhole, a man with perhaps mostly libertarian views, but one who enjoyed being controversial and shocking, readily willing to offend even those who shared many of his positions. He had a sharp tongue, or pen, for fundamentalist religion (he reported on the Scopes "Monkey Trial") and Southern culture in general. However, he could just as easily stab his pen into the hearts of groups victimized by those he most disliked, kind of an equal opportunity critic. Certainly, he was not concerned with being what we would today call "politically correct." Priced at $75.
For something a bit lighter, there is Story of the Brooklyn Dodgers, a 1949 baseball book by Ed Fitzgerald. The introduction comes from longtime Dodger announcer "Red" Barber. The Dodgers had a few good years, including '49 when they won the pennant, but were not a match for cross-town rivals the Yankees. In fact, they never won a World Series until six years later, their only such title while in Brooklyn. However, there is not a more notable event in the sport's history than the Dodgers breaking the color barrier by adding Jackie Robinson to the roster in 1947. In 1958 the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles, a few years after Barber moved over to announcing for the rival Yankees. The Brooklyn Dodgers' story is now history. Item 32. $50.
Now, equal time for Red Sox fans. Item 37 is Yaz. No Sox fan will have any trouble knowing whose biography this is. It was written by Hall of Fame outfielder Carl Yastrzemski (with Al Hirshberg). Spending his entire career with the Red Sox assured that "Yaz" got to win fewer World Series than the Brooklyn Dodgers, but he was a great one nonetheless. This copy is signed by Yastrzemski. $100.