Book Haul: Film History, Old Cookbooks, Russia and Antarctica

I went on vacation last week and hitting up used bookstores is a long and proud vacation tradition. I also received my delivery of books from an online order while I was away, as well as some titles I have not posted as part of a haul so I decided to combine it all into a mega-haul.

(I’ll be adding affiliate purchase links to the filmish books. The cookbooks are older and more difficult to link to but I recommend a search on Alibris or eBay.)


Film Form by Sergei Eisenstein

Collected essays from everyone’s favorite director/editor. Decent paperback edition, should make for interesting reading.

Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror by David J. Skal

Haven’t read this one yet but it spends a decent amount of space on the silent era, takes cultural context into account and has factoids that were new to me, so I consider it a worthy read. I’m not a big fan of horror but it doesn’t do to have gaps in one’s knowledge.

Gods and Goddesses of the Movies by John Kobal

Mostly got this one for the pics. It has fair coverage of John Gilbert but completely muffs Pola Negri and regurgitates all the usual myths. (Her American films were actually a ton of fun, which anyone who had actually seen them would know. I dare you to watch A Woman of the World and disagree.) This is especially obnoxious because Pola Negri was still, you know, ALIVE when this was published in the 1970s.

Rural Russia Under the Old Regime by Geroid Tanquary Robinson

I’ve been doing a bit of research into the start of the Russian film industry and rural Russia played quite a role as the novelty of films meant a steady stream of cash for itinerant film shows. (Mostly hailing from France.) I look forward to learning new things about the political climate of pre-Revolution Russia, though it was written in the 1930s so the book may require a grain of salt.

The Crossing of Antarctica by Vivian Fuchs and Edmund Hillary

Yes, I know I have a problem. No, I don’t see this Antarctic fixation ending any time soon. In the meantime, read my review of The Great White Silence.

The Old Cookbook Haul

My interest in vintage cooking inspired me to purchase a selection of books published in the silent era and I have five that I recently obtained. They were printed between the 1890s and the 1920s. None are in pristine condition but I plan on using them so it’s just as well. I am too much of a bookworm to be the right home for first editions anyway.



I’m not doing any kind of in-depth review here as they’re not strictly the topic of the blog but I do tweet recipes from them now and again and will do a lengthier piece on them if you really want it.

Here’s the damage:

Good Meals and How to Prepare Them: A Guide to Meal-Planning, Cooking and Serving by Katharine A. Fisher (1927, tested and approved by the Good Housekeeping Institute)

Woman’s Favorite Cook Book by Mrs. Gregory and Friends (1906 but a retitled edition of a 1902 publication)

Table Talk’s Illustrated Cook Book by Table Talk Magazine (1906, lavish photo illustrations)

The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book by Fannie Merritt Farmer (1906 edition)

The Century Cook Book by Mary Ronald (1908 printing of a 1895 cookbook)

I am looking forward to digging into all of these books!


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10 Replies to “Book Haul: Film History, Old Cookbooks, Russia and Antarctica”

  1. The New Zealand National Film Unit made two films of the Fuchs/Hillary expedition, one with each of the leaders. The Fuchs one was nominated for an Academy Award:

    And the other followed Kiwi national hero, Sir Edmund Hillary, who did it in a couple of tractors, more humble than Fuchs’s more classy transport:

    When I worked with and for Derek Wright he had chosen a more comfortable job as a producer, enjoying his family and his vintage car collection.

  2. Nice “haul” indeed!

    By the way, I greatly enjoyed the impressive essay on the history of polar exploration that was folded inside your film review of The Great White Silence. I already knew something about the history and controversies, but nothing like the depth of your knowledge. Maybe you’ll find a way to share the essay with a wider audience…

    On a lighter subject, who’s that nodding “yes” so enthusiastically in the gif? I recognize the face but can’t name her!

  3. Wonderful haul- Congrats! Did you happen to visit Verbatim’s used books in San Diego on your travels? Great little place on 30th St.

    Anyway, I am envious, of your cookbook haul in particular. I did find a fairly early copy of The Settlement Cookbook in a Santa Barbara shop (Chaucer’s) recently, and consider myself lucky to have spotted it on a high shelf.

    Rural Russia Under the Old Regime sounds intriguing!

  4. I thought of you the other day when I read “The Baby Blimp” by Mary Roberts Rinehart. Her main character, Tish, takes on the Hollywood system by starring in a movie that is supposed to contain NO ROMANCE WHATSOEVER. Tish insists on doing her own stunts and threatens to walk off the set when they try to introduce a leading man. There are several “Tish” books, and they are all hilarious. Tish and her two best friends, Lizzie and Aggie, are described in one of the books as “middle-aged, only if they were intending to live to a very advanced age indeed.” This story, “The Baby Blimp,” is part of a collection called “Tish Plays the Game,” which is a send-up of golf. If you have not already checked this out, you will probably want to, because it is a contemporary satire of the silent film industry. I own the book on Kindle, but I did find a link where you can read it online for free, and it is a pretty short read. here is the link:

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