Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Book-A-Day 2014 #7: An Uncommon Scold edited by Abby Adams

This one's probably going to be quick 'n dirty, folks; there's not much to say about a book of quotes. But if you're looking to read a book a day, they can't all be long 'uns full of details to ponder and cogitate over.

Interesting facts:
  • An Uncommon Scold was originally published in 1989 and reprinted by S&S's Fireside imprint in 1994, during what I remember as a flurry of quote-collection publishing. (If you live long enough, and pay attention, everything comes into vogue in publishing, which is either encouraging or frightening.)
  • I have the paperback, which has a cover similar to the one pictured to the left, but with most of the same elements arranged somewhat more conventionally and less calculated to call attention to how design-y the package is.
  • Uncommon Scold collects quotes by women, generally in the acerbic manner, in the obligatory topical chapters arranged alphabetically.
  • It's actually credited as "compiled and arranged by Abby Adams;" I simplified that to "edited" because I think editing usually does include compiling and arranging, and I believe in credit where it is due.
  • Abby Adams is the wife of Donald E. Westlake, who provides a foreword here on the history of the term (and the type) of the Uncommon Scold.
  • I should have said "was" in the prior bullet; Adams is still alive (as far as I know), but, in yet another proof There Is No God, Westlake died on New Year's Eve of 2008.
  • Women are just as quotable as men, if not more so. Though, when I search "quotes by women" on That Big Online Bookstore, what comes up is a lot of inspirational glurge, much of it in the form of blank books. Women deserve better than that; they deserve more books like this one.
  • Well, at least they do have this one, I suppose.
Here, let me give you a random quote for flavor:
"Having been unpopular in high school is not just cause for book publication."
That's from Fran Leibowitz, in the "Literature" section. An Uncommon Scold has several hundred other quotes, all equally as good, chosen carefully and arranged tastefully. What more can I say?

Book-A-Day 2014 Introduction and Index

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