Ye olde books

No photos

During my stop over in the low countries, I decided to get rid of a series of old books.

Joaquín Xaudaró – Vliegen is een hele kunst

A picture book released in French in 1978 and then released by Bruna in the Netherlands in 1979. Xaudaro was a Spanish illustrator, born in the Philippines, Spain at the time, who published the original Les péripéties de l'aviation in 1911, detailing the perils of flight.

The humor of the illustrations is very old fashioned, almost tedious. I remember thinking that even back when I got the book, a mere 30 years ago.

Tim Healey – In woord en beeld

A series of four lushly illustrated books with four exciting themes, well for kids, for sure. They were Raadsels en Mysteries (Riddles and Mysteries), De bekendste Spionnen (The most famous Spies), De grootste Rampen (The biggest Disasters) and Beroemde Ontsnappingen (Famous Escapes). As a kid, particularly the first one was my favorite, though I read and reread every volume many times and with much interest. I contribute my interest in the mysterious and esoteric to my being given this one very book when I was a kid.
This volume came with photos and stories of ghosts, a short on Uri Geller, the shroud of Turin, Stonehenge and much more, while remaining quite critical of the supernatural.

Geschiedenis voor de jeugd

A series of three heavily illustrated history books which kept me enormously busy as a child. The three books were subtitled van het begin van de wereld tot het stenen tijdperk (from the dawn of time until the stone age), van het stenen tijdperk tot de val van Rome (from the stone age until the fall or Rome) and van de middeleeuwen tot de eerste wereldoorlog (from the middle ages until the first world war). Indeed, this does suggest I missed a volume, but the third book lets the middle ages start around 400, indeed roughly the time of the fall of Rome.

By far my favorite was the second of the series, as it dealt with the likes of Etruscans, Phoenecians, ancient Egypt and much more. Even now, browsing through the books, this one in particular, it still reveals itself as a well written, impressively interesting book on ancient history.

Two of the books were written by Anne Millard, one by Anne McCord, though I suspect this might be the same person before and after marriage. The books were illustrated by Joseph McEwan and Bob Hersey. Particularly McEwan's style is very lifelike, not unlike the illustrations of the late Don Lawrence.
Who knows, maybe that's where my fascination for *his* work came from.

//Karoly Szelenyi – Hongarije

Richly illustrated hardcover book on Hungary. Published in 1991, I have no recollection of how this ended up in my possession. Obviously, I do love Hungary.

Related:  Art

//Jerome Liebling – The People, Yes

Gorgeous hardcover photobook with images and musings by this American photographer. Born in 1924, he is currently a professor emeritus of Hampshire College.

Based on the book and on the images on his website, he indeed seems to have a strong propensity for taking portraits. Hence the title of this book.

//HR Giger – ARh+

This Swiss artist was of course responsible for the imagery used in the Alien movies. Back in the 80s, I thought his art breathtaking, otherworldly, mysterious, spooky, gloomy, but also sensual. Even now, his work is still interestingly spooky, though Giger was also the vanguard of a host of more similar artists in later years, making his own creations, in today's context, less extraordinary.

His Wikipedia article shows that he is still one mean motherfucker.

The illustrated guide to…

A series of, indeed, illustrated books on the world's mythologies. The three I had were on Egyptian mythology, North American mythology and Celtic mythology. The latter was written by T. W. Rolleston, the other two by Lewis Spence.
I never found the time to read these.

Alun Lewis – Water

Part of a series where the other two books dealt wth Coal and Oil, this illustrated book, for kids, tries to explain how water can be used as a source of power as well as how it can be harnessed for other means besides just drinking it. The book was translated from English to Dutch, resulting in a rather unreasonable focus on the US, considering that, most likely, the country with the most expertise on how to deal with water is actually the Netherlands.

Martin van der Donk, Teo van Gerwen – De wonderwereld van de insekten

Published in 1981, this is a sizable and illustrated book on bugs. I remember that, even as a kid, I wasn't much fascinated by bugs.

De Gatha's van Zarathustra

Translated to Dutch from Persian, by Jelle de Vries, these are the most sacred texts of the Zoroastrian faith.

Verhaaltjes uit dierenland

Illustrated storybook for little kids. I don't remember ever being interested in this one.

Zo leven de dieren van bos en beemd

Originally published in Italy in 1967 ("Guarda e scopri gli animali"), this illustrated book, which also never really caught my fancy as a kid, explains how animals of all sizes live and survive in the forest and in shallow valleys. Indeed, the word for this, in Dutch, is beemd, a very, very uncommon word.

//Udo Felbinger – Toulouse Lautrec

A small book, filled with copies of his work, on the life and times of Henri Toulouse Lautrec. In Dutch.

Gabrielle Sed-Rajna – Kaufmann Haggada

Related:  Bushehr

A Hungarian reproduction from 1990 of a Hebrew codex dating from the 14th century. It contains the prayers, poems and narrative texts to be recited on the eve of the festival of Pesach, the Jewish Easter.

//Marten Toonder – De andere wereld

One of my first proper books, of the classic Tom Poes series.

This particular volume was the free gift for the boekenweek, a yearly recurring event promoting reading in general, which always has shoppers receive a free book if they spend over a certain amount on books.

//Ben Forta – 10 minuted gids: SQL

Quick guide for learning to use SQL. Never used it.

//De nieuwe kinderbijbel

An illustrated bible for kids to facilitate indoctrination at a young age.

//Marten Toonder – Dit gaat te ver

Two adventures of Tom Poes and Ollie B. Bommel; De vrezelijke krakken and De toekomer.

//Sprookjes van moeder de gans

A collection of fairy tales for kids with illustrations by Rie Cramer. This book was published in 1975.

Praag, in het hart van Europa

A lovely photobook on Prague.

//Chile from within

A photobook with images from Chile from the period between 1973 and 1988, that is, during the military regime which displaced Allende.

Atlas van Europa en de wereld delen

A school atlas which, I think, I picked up at some yard sale. Funny for it being old, written at a time when there were not even 4 billion people on this planet, the Netherlands only having just over 13 million. The book was published in 1962.
Interestingly, it still calls Iran Persia, even though the country changed its name in 1935.
The book, on its global maps, also lists long distance Dutch steam ship connections. How's that for a sign of the times.


A photobook with and about the art of this German artist. Lots of morbid images which is, huhuhu, cool.

//Lonely Planet – Central Asia

I bought this book before I left for Afghanistan, in the hope I would be able to spend some time in one of the other Stans, but to no avail. Hopelessly dated, this copy is from 2000.

Quentin Blake, John Yeoman – Ongelooflijke records

A reasonably cute little book with some fake and some real records, mostly odd, and all illustrated by Blake.


Two books, one called Wonderen van het Heelal (Wonders of the universe), the other Wonderen der Mensheid (Wonders of man), both with a crash course on history and science. Both by Life (of TimeLife), not for kids, but more like an introduction, or overview, for interested adults.

De A van Cobra in Woord en Beeld (50 jaar Cobra)

Celebrates the predominantly Dutch avant garde art movement Cobra at its 50th anniversary, which happened a few years back. Beautifully illustrated 200 page hardcover book.

Related:  Island, or not

//60 Years of Photojournalism

Large format, 450 page softcover, with images from the Black Star photo agency.

Oog in Oog (Eye to Eye)

A 200 page full color compendium highlighting some 20 major European artists from the last century. It was published by the United Services Group.

Edland Man – Remodels

A small collection of artsy photos by Man, a Dutch fashion photographer who made it reasonably big in Milan in the 1980s. This thin collection was printed in the 90s, so the added photoshop effects must have fascinated viewers at the time.

Calgary – Seoul Olympia statistieken

Put together by the Dutch mailorder catalogue Wehkamp, these are images and results from the 1988 Olympics.

Queen: Hot Space

Music sheets from the Queen album. I once picked this up from a sale at my local library.

//Darin Strauss – Chang & Eng

A Dutch translation of the English original, on the Siamese twins after which all siamese twins were named.

//Joseph Conrad – Nostromo

Picked this up, years ago, probably in a second hand book store.

//O'Henry – 100 Selected Stories

From a book fair, published in the Wordsworth Classics series, meaning the contents is out of copyright. Tried a few of the stories, but they felt outdated.

//Joseph Conrad – Three Sea Stories

Comprises Typhoon, Falk and The Shadow-Line. Published in the Woolworth Classics series. It's got a price of "R 30000" on the back, meaning I might have picked it up in Minsk.

//Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels – Basic Writings on Politics & Philosophy

Picked this up while in the US in 2000. Never got around to reading it.

//A day in the life of America

Groundbreaking for its time, this large format photo book documented a regular American day, May 2 1986 as seen through the eyes of 200 photographers. In today's day and age, however, doing what they did is as simply as writing a search query for Flickr.

Art Now vol. 1

A collection of six large format prints of artworks by Jeff Koons (with Cicciolina), David Salle, Donald Baechler, Ross Bleckner, Eric Fischl and Philip Taaffe.

//Ralph McQuarrie – Star Wars portfolios

Rather gorgeous widescreen prints, artist's impressions, for the movies. The images can be found online. 

//Dennis Deletant, Yvonne Alexandrescu – Teach Yourself Romanian

Only worked my way through this one for a few pages. I got it for our house building venture in Romania.

//Tony Buzan books

Tony Buzan is a self help guru who wrote books like Use Your Head, basically teaching you tricks to remember elaborate stuff.

//H. J. Eysenck – Test zelf uw intelligentie

A book with a series of tests to determine your IQ.