Issue of May 2, 2010

May flowers are blooming all over, not least here in “BiblioBuffet-land.” Among the literary flowers we have this week are a delightful trip through an old, rather unusual book series by an Irish press that is much beloved; a correction that turned into a historical essay; a look at one book in a unique war series by a special press; an overview of important books for any sports lovers; and a letter to cats about books. All of us at BiblioBuffet wish all of you a wonderful week.

Witty Australian contributor Gillian Polack finds that when her “brain wants to browse,” there is little better than the inimitable series of books put out by Irish University Press in 1968, which she fortunately acquired when it failed to sell well in Australia and was, essentially, abandoned. Her passion for their deep-rooted and intense details is one she shares in Exploring Old Papers.

A special book series focusing on small unit military raids that are, for the most part ignored or paid little attention to by larger war history volumes, has caught David Mitchell’s interest. Here, he talks about the press as well as one book that focuses on one point in one particular mission and the men who lived it in Raiding the Pages of History.

Occasional contributor Frank X. Roberts returns because of a mistake. His essay on Edward FitzGerald, the translator of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, provides not only details on the man and his work, but introductions to various editions of a poem that despite its Persian heritage has come to be known to many as “an original English poem” in Edward FitzGerald and His Rubaiyat.

Where dreams go to die might be the title of many of the lives in professional sports. But while those lost dreams and the resultant sadness are inevitable, Pete Croatto says, there is one “useful literary byproduct”: great books. In Real Sports, he shares eight of the best that have come into his life, some intentionally, others by fortunate chance.

Cats and books have been the dual passion for many people: Edward Gorey, Ernest Hemingway, Collette, and more. As they are for Lauren Roberts. In Lauren’s home, sometimes the books suffer at the hands paws of the cats, and this week she decided to address that in Dear Cats.

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