Friday, December 31, 2004

Canalboat vacation

My idea of a perfect vacation is to rent a barge in Troy and cruise either the Champlain or the Erie Canal. You can bring food and cook all the meals you want, and just eat out as an event, not a necessity. That means just unpack once for the week (2 weeks - in my dreams!) and putter away. I envision bringing along a bicycle and a canoe for side trips, and a keyboard to keep my traveling companion amused. And, of course, a stack of books to catch up with. That sounds like a perfectly languid and peaceful cruise through history to me. Why am I the only one I know who thinks that?

Recognized by Sothebys

Wow! Today's a first. A woman called me from Tennessee about a book. She said Sotheby's referred her to me. How neat is that? Unfortunately, I didn't know the answer to her question, and I really was no help at all - BUT - I didn't blow her off or give her wrong info. That has to count for something.
(To paraphrase - Bookseller, first do no harm.) It turns out that I'm not the most knowledgeable New York State book person - just the most accessible. But, if someone needs help, I'm always happy to try.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

"An Island at the Center of the World"

One thing leads to another. I'm reading "An Island at the Center of the World" and the author keeps referencing another book that is out-of-print. I hate that. Anyway, this is a great book about the Dutch importance in the settling of New York City - all early colonial history stuff - and Adriaen Van der Donck is the central figure. It was he who wrote the now out-of-print book: "A Description of New Netherlands" which is literally that. Van der Donck travelled extensively throughout New York State and recorded his observations on the the Indians, geography, and plants. He was a huge promoter of how wonderful this New World was, and many people emmigrated because of reading his book. Well - I just found a used copy and can't wait to read it.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

new Lenape title

I got a post card today from Tom Big Warrior about his new book on the Lenape (Delaware) Indians in the Hudson Valley called "The Esopus Wars". While the early Dutch settlers were known for having good relations with the local Indians in general, here in the mid-Hudson Valley - especially Kingston - there were real problems, and the result was not one, but TWO Esopus Wars. I can't wait to read a new account - the first NA account - of what happened to cause them. Of course, I ordered some. When they arrive and I find out more - and let you know.