Happy Birthday United States!

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Well, unfortunately we are out of the World Cup so there’s slightly less reason to shout USA USA USA! this July 4th. But having no good reason for shouting never stopped us before. USA! USA! USA! Also, it’s America’s birthday! USA!

Happy July 4th! Before you drink and play with explosives come on by the store for some great deals. We will be open the normal hours: 11-9. And remember, small stores like Bibliohead are not just places to buy stuff, they are forums for discussion and debate. A good, cozy independent bookstore always gives encourages critique and celebration. We at Bibliohead have always conceived of the store as part of the vibrant public sphere that is so necessary to a functioning democracy. Help us continue with that tradition. Visit here for more information on how you can help this July 4th.

Meetings with Remarkable Books: Madame Blavatsky

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Well, such a series would be sorely lacking if we didn’t have an appearance from Madame Helena Blavatsky. The world-traveling polymath of the occult, Madame Blavatsky has had a huge influence on spiritualism. She was central to the burgeoning interest in spiritualism and the occult beginning in the nineteenth century.  After traveling the world, with classic stops in places like Tibet, Egypt and Greece she began setting up various organizations. Most notably, in 1875 Blavatsky founded the Theosophical Society in New York City with Henry Steel Olcott and William Judge. Soon after she completed some of her most famous work, including The Secret Doctrine and Isis Unveiled both pictured below.

 

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She also ended up with American citizenship, so feel free to celebrate her this weekend. Also look at those beautiful volumes above. They’re also red white and blue! Who knew that a Russian spiritualist could make one feel so patriotic?

Pride Parade Reads

Come up to Hayes Valley for a breather from all the action at Civic Center. We have lot’s of great books, including these two recent lambda award winners.

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And don’t forget to check out our fundraising campaign! https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-save-bibliohead-bookstore

Watt and more

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Beckett wrote Watt during WWII, while working in Paris for the French resistance until his group was betrayed to the Gestapo and he went into hiding in Roussillon. Somehow, such a suspenseful existence didn’t really seem to make its way into this, Beckett’s last novel length work written in English. Instead, the story of Watt, a strange, strange man and servant to the reclusive Mr. Knott is filled with some of Beckett’s funniest writing. We get permutations obsessively played out, the most straight faced slapstick ever written, and a brilliant, and I mean brilliant send up of Beckett’s old academic life at Trinity College, Dublin in a strange, extended scene.

 

If one is new to reading Beckett’s prose, I think this might be the best place to start. His earlier work, while wonderful, tends toward an absurdity of erudition. Still under the spell of Joyce, books like Murphy and More Pricks than Kicks are fantastic but they are still the work of a writer who, while incredibly intelligent and witty, is maybe a little unsure about the whole writing thing. He seeks to impress a little too much. Which is not say that I don’t recommend those books heartily, just maybe not to start with. My humble opinion places the trilogy, Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnameable, at the apex of Beckett’s oeuvre and near the apex of western literature. There is really nothing like those three books. However, they are a commitment, and while they ease one into the rapid breathless prose of The Unnameable, it might be a little much for some. So, Watt. It has all the best bits of Beckett, and we have a gorgeous copy.

photo 4Watt was written, as mentioned during the Second World War, but it was not published until after Beckett’s  amazingly productive period  after the war. He wrote some his most famous works, including Waiting for Godot, Endgame, the above mentioned trilogy. With the success of Godot and co. making publishing much easier for Beckett, this novel appeared only to be somewhat over-shadowed by the postwar work written in French. It is a brilliant work, though.

We have a great collection of Beckett’s works at Bibliohead, including the reason behind this post. Watt. We also have a cheap, pocket edition of the above mentioned trilogy and more. Come check it out!

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Hey John Lennon Fans!

Hey John Lennon fans, are you fan enough to make it through, A Spaniard in the Works ? lennon1

 

Originally published in 1965, this book contains all the silly language play and absurdity that one would expect from one of the great progenitors of psychedelia. It also has adorable drawings.

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One might have also expected, after reading a page of this book, that it is  somehow impossible outside of the sixties, that on January 1st, 1970, a book like this would just evaporate or turn to ashes. Some, after reading a page, may wish that it had indeed remained in that storied decade. And yet…here we have it, gracing the shelves of Bibliohead. Others have contended that this is a work of timeless value. As such it was reprinted in the 90′s. This, however is a fifth printing, a little rough around the edges but still in pretty decent condition and straight out of the 1960s.

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If this isn’t enough for you, we also currently have a first edition, sans dust jacket, of Lennon’s Skywriting  By Word of Mouth.

Meetings with Remarkable Books: The Chakras

 

And here we have yet another in our installment:

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In his classic 1927 monograph THE CHAKRAS, C.W. Leadbeater (long-time associate of the Theosophical Society and founding bishop of the Liberal Catholic Church) collects and updates a series of earlier articles elaborating and synthesizing various eastern doctrines associated with the nadis and chakras. The author claims that his work is among the first published in the English language on the topic. Bibliohead Bookstore is proud to offer for sale a choice first edition of this pioneering work on yoga, replete with several color plates depicting the various energy centers. Published 1927 by the Theosophical Press, Chicago, cloth. Below are two of our favorite chakras.

 

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The Root Chakra

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The Spleen Chakra

Meetings with Remarkable Books: A Treatise on Cosmic Fire

Up next in our metaphysical series: A TREATISE ON COSMIC FIRE

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photo 2A TREATISE ON COSMIC FIRE by Alice A. Bailey is an expansive exploration of speculative physics, psychology and cosmology in a theosophical key (no less than 13 hundred pages!). In fact, the Anglo-American author dedicated the work to her revered teacher Helena Blavatsky, who (in)famously co-founded the Theosophical Society in 1875.  First published in 1925, the work purports to have been dictated to the author telepathically from the mind of an ancient master of esoteric lore referred to as “The Tibetan.” Our well preserved copy is a second edition published in 1930,  by Lucis, New York. Highly collectable for lovers of magic, esotericism and metaphysics.

Meetings with Remarkable Books: The Science of Mind

We recently acquired a fantastic load of hard-to-find metaphysical books. We will be featuring some of them over the next few weeks, or until some lucky seeker comes in and buys them up. We are calling this series, Meetings with Remarkable Books, in homage to that mustachioed mystic, G.I. Gurdjieff. First up: The Science of Mind.

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THE SCIENCE OF MIND was written in 1926 by American author Ernest Shurtleff Holmes, well known as founder of the Religious Science movement. The present volume, heavily influenced by the writings of Thomas Troward (whose titles may also be found at Bibliohead) is a foundational text of the movement, a didactic work of practical spiritual instruction, indicating “the technique by which the seeker after truth may obtain freedom from the oppression of a mechanistic civilization.” Seekers-after-truth, BE WARY! Ours is a beautifully maintained copy from 1928 is from the third printing by McBride, New York.