Some of you may recall the 2018 film, American Animals, based on the real-life rare book theft from Kentucky’s Transylvania University in 2004. Now, the book on which it was based, written by one of the four young men involved in the attempted robbery of the university’s Birds of America double elephant folio, has been reissued. It’s a grim and gut-wrenching tale — they Tasered and tied up the special collections librarian during the heist — that will hit very close to home for those who love rare books and the institutions and people who safeguard them. Author Eric Borsuk, who served seven years for the crime, offers his dark, evocative story for us to judge, and judging by the writing alone, his talent shines through.
Finally, aficionados of controversial fin-de-siècle illustrator Aubrey Beardsley may be interested to know that a new illustrated book, Aubrey Beardsley: Decadence & Desire, by Jan Marsh will be published on April 14. Full of the artist’s trademark black-and-white illustrations for journals and books, the book is beautifully designed and features a decorative (unjacketed) cover.