I had earlier been writing about materials purchased for my library, but that thread was dropped last summer when I became distracted by grant proposals. There haven’t been too many books purchased since then—the absence of summer salary and the late summer travels slowed my book buying habit—although I did come away from BookPeople in Austin, Texas, when I was there for the annual botany meetings, with a large bag of new purchases. I’ll pick-up here writing about my new book acquisitions.
I bicycled through Arches National Park today and when finished stopped by the visitor’s center, where I picked-up these two:
Jack Loeffler’s (2002) Adventures with Ed, a Portrait of Abbey. Abbey’s writings, especially Desert Solitaire, helped to form my view of the western landscape, and I’ve been rereading things by and about him while I’m in the canyon country for the year.
Martha Sandweiss’s (2002) Print the Legend: Photography and the American West. Both the pleasure of photographs and the role of photography in shaping understanding are captivating. In this volume on photographs from the 19th century, I’m drawn especially by her chapters on photography during the exploring expeditions to the West and on illustrated books.
Earlier in the week, I received in the mail from the Bear Bookshop in Brattleboro, Vermont, my order of Ruth Hall’s (1977) Passionate Crusader: the Life of Marie Stopes. I had read last winter much of our library’s copy, which didn’t have the excellent dust cover with its two photographs of Stopes—one in her academic robes after completing her PhD in Munich and the other of her more diaphanously robed. Stopes is best know for writing some of the first, sexually frank “marriage manuals” (such as Married Love, which was published in 1918) and for her advocacy of birth control. Stopes was, however, trained as a botanist and wrote in the early 1900s several important papers and textbooks on fossil plants, and I’m curious about her experiences as a botanist.