Some Very Fine Fine Books Writers

Courtesy of the individual publishers

Every so often, it’s my pleasure to report on Fine Books’ esteemed team of writers. (Last fall, for example, two of our writers published new books.) This season, I have two more to share.

Alex Johnson has just published Art Day by Day: 366 Brushes with History, a brilliant art history 'almanac' that provides a daily dose of significant artsy affairs and developments, from the unveiling of the Sistine Chapel on November 1 (1512) to the shredding of Banksy’s Love Is in the Bin on October 5 (2018) to the theft of the Mona Lisa on August 21 (1911). Each entry draws on articles, letters, diaries, and other documents that provide unique insights into each event. It’s perfect for the art lover in your life.

Nate Pedersen’s new book, Patient Zero: A Curious History of the World’s Worst Diseases, will be released next month. It piggybacks on his previous quirky medical history book, Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything, which I loved; both were cowritten with Dr. Lydia Kang. Obviously the timing for this book couldn’t be better, and it has already received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, which said: “Readers will be swept away by this energetic and enlightening survey.”

I’d also like to call attention to a new book about one of our longtime columnists, Joel Silver, director and librarian of the Lilly Library at Indiana University. Oak Knoll Press is distributing the limited edition, A Bibliophilic Tribute to Joel Silver, compiled and edited by Richard Ring and featuring contributions by Anthony Tedeschi, Rusty Mott, and Christopher de Hamel, among others.