Bygone Books for Sale

Look for DempseyBooks used books on

It’s Buy or Bygone: Books not sold sooner will be thrown out later.

What You Should Know About the People’s Republic of China by John Roderick

Progress in Aircraft Design Since 1903 (N.A.S.A publication)


The Peter Principle – Why Things Always Go Wrong by Laurence J. Peter & Raymond Hull

The Living Races of Man
The Living Races of Man by Carleton S. Coon

Crime and Criminal Justice in a Declining Economy by Kevin N. Wright

by Cookie Kinkead

Bob Newhart: The Button-Down Mind Strikes Back (LP)

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December 7 Dom Joseph Pothier

Happy Birthday Dom Joseph Pothier!

December is…

Read a New Book Month

December 7


Dom Joseph Pothier (b. 1835) – French monk (Benedictine), Gregorian chant scholar, composer – Les mélodies grégoriennes: d’après la tradition (French Edition) / Traditional Gregorian Melodies (1880)

Read about Joseph Pothier here

Read about the restoration of Gregorian Chant

[Restoration of Gregorian chant] began at Solesmes in 1853, when the Bishop of Le Mans asked Dom Guéranger to help in restoring the true chant in his diocese. Although he could not undertake this work himself, he directed his monks to return to the medieval manuscripts which were the first written sources of the chants.15

He assigned one of his monks, Dom Paul Jausions, to study and research the sources of Gregorian chant in order to aid in the restoration of the chants. He undertook this research with his assistant, Dom Joseph Pothier, at different libraries, searching for the manuscripts that contained the ancient notation. They discovered that in the manuscripts prior to the 16th Century the chant had been preserved “very often note for note and group for group.”

From that time on, the chants had suffered from “all sorts of alterations and mutilations.” These were the result of their being performed badly or as Dom Pothier called it a “hammered execution” which resulted in “a heavy and tedious succession of square notes, incapable of suggesting the least bit of feeling or of saying anything whatsoever to the soul,” as Dom Guéranger described it. The research undertaken for restoring the chants to their “primitive purity” resulted in the publication of Dom Pothier’s first edition of the restored chants in the Liber Gradualis in 1883.

The melodies of Gregorian chant are supposed to enhance the accents of the sacred Latin text and create “a musical phrase” that would be a natural extension of the written phrase. The melodies are based upon the actual accent patterns of the syllables of the language and naturally build upon them. The texts themselves are already prayers, but this chant is superadded to them and becomes a means to enter more deeply into that prayer.

Gregorian chant is intended to come forth naturally from the words and to express by its melodies a prayer, producing mystical effects in the soul.

Read Les Mélodies grégoriennes d’après la tradition  (Traditional Gregorian Melodies) online (French language)

Read the Cantus Mariales by Dom Joseph Pothier, 1903 music score of Gregorian chant

Listen to a 1930 recording of monks at the St Pierre de Solesmes Abbey singing Gregorian chant

“The abbey is noted for its crucial contribution to the advancement of the Roman Catholic liturgy and the revival of Gregorian chant.”

Visit the Solesmes Abbey website


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LitBirthdays December 6

December is

Read a New Book Month


Tweet us today with author birthdays!


December 6


Tomson Highway (b. 1951) – Canadian (First Nations, Cree) playwright, novelist, musician – The Rez Sisters (1986)

Read about Tomson Highway here and here

Tomson Highway talks about growing up in Manitoba, Canada, and his “Songs in the Key of Cree” show.

Watch a video about Tomson Highway’s play “Ernestine
Shuswap Gets Her Trout”



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December LitBirthdays


December 1

Candace Bushnell

Rex Stout

Woody Allen

Richard Pryor

December 2

Yaël Dayan (Hebrew: יעל דיין‎ )

Jüri Reinvere

Botho Strauss

Elizabeth Berg

Ann Patchett

December 3

Boris A. Novak

Jean-Luc Godard

Joseph Conrad (Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski)

Daniel Bedingfield

Alaíde Foppa de Solórzano

December 4

Wen Shaoxian

Frances Power Cobbe

Rainer Maria Rilke

Jay-Z (Shawn Corey Carter)

December 5

Rose Wilder Lane

Walt Disney

Miloš Đukelić

Tomson Highway

Joan Didion

December 6

Martin Hirsch

Eve Curie Labouisse

James Elphinston

Ira Gershwin

December 7

Noam Chomsky

Willa Cather

Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi [عبدالرحمن صوفی]

Dom Joseph Pothier

December 8


Jim Morrison

Delmore Schwartz

Nicki Minaj

December 9

Imogen Heap

Joel Chandler Harris

Grace Hopper

Edoardo Sanguineti

Avraham B. Yehoshua

December 10

Marina Orlova
( Марина Владимировна Орлова )

Emily Dickinson

Maria Benitez (Maria Bibiana Benitez Constanza)

December 11

Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (Алекса́ндр Иса́евич Солжени́цын )

Subramanya Bharathi

Harriet Stratemeyer Adams

December 12

Christian Metz

Robert Lepage

Gustave Flaubert

December 13

James Wright

Amy Lee

Heinrich Heine

December 14

Tove Ditlevsen

Nostradamus (Michel de Nostredame)

Lucrecia Martel

December 15

Donald Goines (pseudonym Al C Clark)

Betty Smith (Elisabeth Wehner)

Ludwik Łazarz Zamenhof

December 16

Benny Andersson

Noel Coward

Barbara Smith

December 17

Es’kia Mphahlele

William Safire

December 18

Hal Kanter

Alfred Bester

Khas-Magomed Hadjimuradov

December 19

Péter Tímár

Gisèle Freund

Su Tung-p’o
[Su Shi]

December 20

Kate Atkinson

Nalo Hopkinson

Väinö Linna

December 21

Edward Hoagland

Heinrich Boll

Ivan Blatný

December 22

Eduard Uspensky

Giacomo Puccini

Kenneth Rexroth

December 23

Alison Sudol

Katie Underwood

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

December 24

Mary Higgins Clark

Herbert Reinecker

Isador Feinstein Stone

December 25

Sheila Heti

Dido (Florian Armstrong)

Rod Serling

December 26

David Sedaris

Narendra Prasad

Alejo Carpentier

December 27

Greg Mortenson

Mirza Ghalib

Kevin Patterson

December 28

Liu Xiaobo

Shen Congwen (Shen Ts’ung-wen) 沈從文

Mortimer J. Adler

December 29

Gilbert Adair

William Gaddis

Dallas Austin

December 30

Julia Briggs

Alfredo Bracchi

Joseph Rudyard Kipling

December 31

Machi Tawara


Odetta Holmes Gordon

Dempsey Books are on


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Abs Fab Monday – Buy Used Books!

Look for DempseyBooks used books on

It’s Buy or Bygone: Books not sold sooner will be thrown out later.

Trumpet at a Distant Gate – The Lodge as Prelude to the Country House
by Tim Mowl
Daughter of Fortune
by Isabel Allende
The Lawmen – United States Marshals and their Deputies
by Frederick S. Calhoun
LP Record Album: The Nativity of the Lord
(Organ recital by Theodore Gillen)

Diane Burko: Politics of Snow
(2010 Exhibit at Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, PA)


U.S. Air Force – Its Strategy, Men, and Weapons
by Kesaharu Imai

Establishment by Art Buchwald

The Establishment Is Alive and Well in Washington
by Art Buchwald
(Nixon era satire-humor)

Middeleeuwse dominicanessenkloosters in Nederland (Van Gorcum’s historische bibliotheek) (Dutch Edition)
by S. P. Wolfs
[Dutch language scholarly work on Dominican convents during the Middle Ages]
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November 27 – Han Kang

Happy Birthday Han Kang!

Han Kang – born November 27, 1970 – Korean novelist

Read the Wikipedia article about Han Kang here.

Read a review of Kang’s novel Human Acts here.

Two thirds of the way into Human Acts, a victim of the torture carried out during the 1980 Gwangju uprising in South Korea remarks of the Korean platoons who had previously committed atrocities in Vietnam: “Some of those who came to slaughter us did so with the memory of those previous times.” Pages later, we’re reminded of a remark made by President Park Chung-hee’s bodyguard: “The Cambodian government’s killed another two million of theirs. There’s nothing stopping us from doing the same.” It leaves little reason to doubt the veracity of the novel’s assertion that “There is no way back to the world before the torture. No way back to the world before the massacre.”
When Park, South Korea’s military dictator, was assassinated in 1979, civil unrest ensued and martial law was imposed. Recently unionised workers protested their working conditions. Greater democratisation was called for and the increasingly authoritarian government responded in the traditional fashion. On 18 May 1980, protesting students at Jeonnam University were fired upon and beaten by government troops. Outrage was widespread and citizens of all ranks took to the streets in solidarity.

[From the Guardian book review, February 13, 2016]

Han Kang and translator Deborah Smith discuss Kang’s Man Booker prize-winning The Vegetarian:

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November 22 – Gerhard Steidl

Happy Birthday Gerhard Steidl!


Gerhard Steidl – born November 22, 1950 – German book designer / publisher

Read about Gerhard Steidl here and here.

Q: Many people call you the “king of printing” and some artists will trust no one else with their books. In what way are Steidl’s books different than other books?

Steidl: Most of the publishing houses in the world are owned by shareholder companies and their interest is to make profit. My publishing house is a private business. I founded it in 1968 and it is still owned by me. It is a family business. It is a Manufaktur and we don’t set any limits on cost. A Steidl book is always made in Germany, in Göttingen, in Düstere Straße 4 and there is a guy, Gerhard Steidl, who is hands on.So, believe it or not, I oversee every sheet that tumbles out of our press. This craftsmanship and this know-how we bring to every one of our babies, our books, makes a huge difference compared to the production processes of other companies.

Q: What is the most difficult or extravagant print job that you have ever done?

Steidl: It was a book that I did for Ed Ruscha, Kerouac’s On the Road. We printed it in letterpress and offset, with hand-tipped-in original photos. I worked with him throughout a period of six years. Every month I was in Los Angeles for one or two days to make corrections with him, to show him print tests. It was the most complicated job I have ever done for an artist, but the result is outstanding. And I made so many inventions throughout the production process that all of the books since then have looked much better. It was hard work, but it paid off in the end.

[from The Talks – Gerhard Steidl: ‘I turn everything upside down’ ]

Watch an excerpt from the documentary How to Make a Book with Steidl.

The making of a book of Gordon Parks’ photographs:


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