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Lifeline Bookfest

Norman Wallis continues his review of every book at the Lifeline Bookfest. The next Bookfest is on from June 15 to 23. It’s the largest sale of second hand books in the world, and they are inexpensive. Bring a large bag.

There was once an artist who aimed to draw every building in New York City. I shall attempt to review every book at the Lifeline Bookfest. I shall of necessity keep the reviews brief, as there are more than a million books that go on sale at each Bookfest in Brisbane. And there are two Bookfests in Brisbane each year. Not to mention the Bookfests held in other cities in Queensland. I will waste no more space on an introduction. And I have many books to review, so I shall waste no more time.
The Hawkline Monster by Richard Brautigan. Two cowboy hitmen are hired to kill a monster under a house in Oregon. This is probably Richard Brautigan’s best novel, exhibiting his classic humorous writing style. I found a copy of The Hawkline Monster in the $2.50 section one year.
The Pill Versus the Springhill Mine Disaster is a book of poetry by Richard Brautigan that I found one year at a Bookfest. It’s 108 pages of short poems, dry and full of fun.
Gustave Dore. Das graphische Werk in zwei Banden. I couldn’t believe it when I saw these two hardback volumes on one of the tables at a Bookfest. It was $10 for the two volumes. People must have assumed that the books were all text, in a foreign language. As soon as I saw the name Gustave Dore on the spine, I picked them up. They were a complete collection of Gustave Dore’s black and white illustrations. It’s true, I can’t read the captions under the pictures, which are in German. But the pictures themselves aren’t in German, luckily.
Botchan (Master Darling). A beautifully designed and printed novel, hardback, English translation with some Japanese text on the cover. I couldn’t help picking it up. Written in 1906 by Natsume Soseki, it’s a humorous tale of a teacher sent from the city to a country school in Japan. He clashes with his elders and students. It’s apparently one of the most widely read books in modern Japan. I liked it, too.
The Big Top by Fred Bradna. Forty years of life in the circus, recalled with great humor by a ringmaster. A fascinating book, recounting his joining the circus in Europe, before moving to the US with his wife Ella, an equestrian acrobat. Published 1952.
Sailing Directions for the East Coast of Australia. This was printed in Washington DC, in 1952, for the Hydrographic Office of the US Navy. The price back then was $5 , and coincidentally, that was the price I paid for it at the Bookfest a few years ago! It describes the coast from Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour) to Cape York, including the islands of the Coral Sea. Laguna Bay, northwestward of Low Bluff [Noosa Head], has depths of from 5 to 10 fathoms and affords shelter close-in from south and southeast gales.
I shall continue my reviews in a future edition. To avoid running out of books to review, I shall return to the next Lifeline Bookfest from June 15 to June 23.

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