In the News

The Morgan Presents Tolkien's Adventurous Tales and Original Illustrations

New York — This winter, the Morgan Library & Museum offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity... read more

Al Hirschfeld's Marx Brothers Drawing Tops Illustration Art Auction

New York­-Swann Galleries’ auction of Illustration Art on December 6 saw a bustling auction... read more

The Roger Casson Library of Polar Exploration, Travel & Local History Heads to Auction

An important private library of polar exploration, travel and local history books, including many... read more

Original Star Wars Designs Achieve Top Lot at Bonhams

London--A sketchbook showing the original hand-drawn costume designs for key characters in Star Wars... read more

The Getty Museum Presents "Artful Words: Calligraphy in Illuminated Manuscripts"

Los Angeles - The written word was a major art form in the premodern... read more

Olmsted's 1859 Letter Describing his Vision for Central Park to be Auctioned

Los Angeles - A handwritten letter from renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to... read more

Works by Tolkien, Drawings, and Photography on View This Winter at the Morgan

New York — The 2019 winter season at the Morgan Library & Museum continues... read more

Sotheby's Geek Week Auctions Total $7.4 Million in NY

New York - Sotheby’s Geek Week auctions concluded Friday in New York with a... read more

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Dear Reader

Resolved: To Wise Up, a Little Bit

Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. —Mark Twain

I resolve to tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time. —James Agate (British diarist, 1877-1947)

Fine Books and Collections editor Ann J. Loftin
Editor Ann J. Loftin

A wise friend once said: “Never make any important decisions in December or January,” and I try to live by that advice. The darkest months of the year—and especially in this economy—are not a good time to sell a house, get married or divorced, lose ten pounds, or throw out that box of old photographs. Better to huddle inside, light a fire, and maybe go back to a book you haven’t read since college. Or make a list of the subjects you’ve always wanted to learn more about, and just start at the top. One New Year’s I made a resolution so simple even I could follow through: Read one real book (not magazines, not essays, not reviews), cover to cover, every week. You’d be surprised how many weeks can go by without finishing a book.

This month’s Fine Books & Collections can point you in many different directions: British maritime journals and literature; 19th-century American history; the 20th-century fiction of Evelyn Waugh and Jack London; or the writings of naturalist Roger Tory Peterson. Whatever your interests, it’s worth remembering that dark days—and dark economic times—are bright days for the life of the mind.

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