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At one of America's oldest bookshops, there are just as many stories to be told outside the pages as in them. Join Brattle Book Shop proprietor Kenneth Gloss and co-host Jordan Rich as they share insightful and entertaining conversations and histories surrounding Boston's favorite spot for bibliophiles. Topics range from military autobiographies to regional cookbooks and everything in between. Updates every two weeks.
 
Hear firsthand accounts from important moments in history in this comedy anthology series, hosted by Greg Gallant (Perfect Harmony, Speechless) and Devin Field (Jimmy Kimmel Live, Comedy Central Presents) as they recount their true-and-definitely-not-made-up experiences of specific events in modern history while talking with other "witnesses" who were there too. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/firsthand/support
 
想瞭解英語世界的各種新鮮事?想知道新聞、財經、政治、娛樂等各種主題的英文關鍵字?不要再接受別人翻譯及剪輯過的二手英文資訊了!從現在開始,讓擁有哈佛學歷、精通七種語言的美國阿斗仔教授 Dr. J 與你一起站在世界最前端,接收最即時的一手英文資訊,從英文的新手到高手變成殺手!Let's stroll hand in hand though the news together to learn trending topics and how to discuss them in English. Get the upper hand with Firsthand English! Powered by Firstory Hosting
 
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show series
 
Today we’re talking about historic African American periodicals. These newspapers and magazines often had smaller circulations than their white, mainstream counterparts, making them harder to find and more collectible today. It’s a broad and varied field, which includes the abolitionist newspapers of the early 1800s like Freedom’s Journal and The N…
 
This past March, the estate of Dr. Seuss announced that they would no longer be publishing new copies of six of his lesser known children’s books: And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, and The Cat’s Quizzer, explaining in a statement on their website that, “These …
 
In this episode Ken talks about meeting a customer who, turns out, has an amazing family history. This is a story that really illustrates the importance of treating people well, no matter what. Speaking of meetings, we’re always happy to get in touch with you, our listeners! Feel free to reach out with questions, episode ideas, or just to introduce…
 
Edit: Sorry about the technical difficulties! The episode should work now. Ken tells great stories, and he’s around books all day, so people sometimes ask him, “Why don’t you write a book of your own?” It’s a nice idea, but, unfortunately, being good at selling books doesn’t necessarily translate to being good at writing them. Jordan, on the other …
 
Is it still viable to own a bookstore in 2021? Essentially yes, as long as you don’t have dust allergies, back or knee injuries, or a burning ambition to become fantastically wealthy by owning a bookstore. People getting into the book trade these days tend to open smaller, more specialized shops; some sell exclusively online, and some even have a f…
 
In this episode, Ken talks about some of his favorite book encounters, from a long career filled with them. There’s Isaac Newton’s own copy of Principia Mathematica, an unsuccessful prospector’s gold rush diary, and a book woven entirely out of silk. It’s nearly impossible to pick a single favorite, but overall, the books that came with a great sto…
 
People often ask Ken how to start a bookshop, but the truth is, he’s never done it. The Brattle has existed since 1825, and was in pretty tough shape when it was purchased by Ken’s parents, George and Dorrit Gloss, in 1949. Ken essentially grew up in the shop; legend even has it that his first word was “book”. All of us, to a certain extent, strugg…
 
Today we’re talking about two autograph albums from the shop, and about autograph collecting in general. Autograph albums used to be a popular way to collect signatures, not only from celebrities and public figures, but from friends and family members as well. Sometimes these snippets were accompanied by brief messages or bits of poetry. The value …
 
Do you hate it when a mysterious great uncle, who you’ve never even met, passes away and unexpectedly leaves you his rambling manor, about which dark rumors have circulated in the nearby village for hundreds of years, plus a cobwebbed, candle-lit library of rare works on the occult? Same. You may be thinking, “Welp, better get over there, spend the…
 
While our travel plans may be indefinitely postponed, a good issue of National Geographic can still take us on a vacation of the mind. The long-running magazine is known for its stunning photos, intricate maps, and absorbing reports from fascinating, far-flung locales. In this episode we’ll talk about its history, which issues are considered the mo…
 
Devin and Greg explore a classic gaffe in an otherwise totally normal setting: the world of teen beauty competitions. The guys are joined by Mimi (Alana Johnston) and Mr. Porter (Jon Mackey) to remember the fateful pageant, discuss contestant strategy, and plug various books. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/firsthand/support…
 
We all remember where we were when this tragic event occured on an Autumn day in the early 2000s, shaking a major American city to its foundation. That event, of course, was the Steve Bartman incident. Devin and Greg, along with Rondale Jenkins (Daryl Johnson) and Paul Simon (James Mastraeini) remember all the anger, drama, stalking, and contract m…
 
Many zoom users have learned recently that the bookshelves in your background can reveal a lot about your character, but film set designers have always known this. As more movies have been filmed in Boston in recent years, the staff at the Brattle have gotten to see more of their books on the silver screen, and have even worked on-set themselves as…
 
It's been almost a month since the podcast devoted an episode to a celebrity who accidentally exposed themself on stage, so the guys dive into the time Lenny Kravitz's penis fell out on stage. Vonda and Tonda Slootz (Betsy Sodaro and Mano Agopian) join the guys to discusses penises, paparazzi, dicks, inter-species dating, and male genitalia. --- Su…
 
It's not every that the vice president shoots a guy in the face, so Devin and Greg decided to talk about the day that the vice president DID shoot a guy in the face. With help from Herb (Rekha Shankar) and Oscar Medellin (Matt Apodaca), the guys discuss everything from Donald Rumsfeld's parallel tragedy and hunting the most dangerous game to HoA-sa…
 
One of Ken’s favorite books, The Last Men of the Revolution brings American history vividly to life. During the Civil War, Reverend Elias Hillard tracked down, photographed, and interviewed six surviving veterans of the American Revolution. The men, who had fought in the Revolution as teenagers, were all over 100 years old by that time, although so…
 
In honor of Ashlee's Simpson's monumental performance on SNL, Devin and Greg reminisce about all of the behind-the-scenes craziness on the show: panks, sabotage, sex, and much more. The guys are joined by their former coworkers Maddie Forshort (Talia Tabin) and Maggs Cavanaugh (Laura Chinn) to debate who was really at fault that night. --- Support …
 
(Firsthand News) 過去這一年全球籠罩在新冠疫情中,各國紛紛祭出旅遊禁令,不過幸好台灣疫情控制得宜,也因此正式開放了開放台灣與帛琉的「旅遊泡泡」,來看看 Dr. J 和 Rebecca 會不會去參加 travel bubble trip,以及其他關於 bubble 的英文說法喔! travel bubble旅遊泡泡 travel corridor 旅遊走廊 bubble gum 口香糖 bubble bath 泡泡澡 to live in a bubble 活在自己的世界裡 bubble football 足球泡泡(一種玩家身體被包裹在一個球體的氣泡內,互相撞擊的活動) in a heartbeat 立即;馬上 例句: Palau was added to Taiwan’s t…
 
(Firsthand News) 最近 Bitcoin(比特幣)跟狗狗幣價格屢創新高,這幾天 Bitcoin 甚至漲破6萬美元!但一份針對銀行專業投資人的最新調查顯示,高達七成的人認為比特幣的飆漲只是「一場泡沫」~現在就來聽聽 Dr. J 和Rebecca 介紹最新關於加密貨幣、虛擬貨幣的英文說法! cryptocurrency 加密貨幣 virtual currency 虛擬貨幣 mine/mining 挖礦(獲取比特幣的勘探方式的暱稱) crypto 秘密黨員;密碼機,也可當成cryptocurrency的簡稱 Bitcoin 比特幣 as poor as a church mouse 很貧窮 cash; paper money 現金;紙鈔 Dogecoin 狗狗幣 Shiba Inu …
 
(Firsthand News) 今年三月台灣首波疫苗抵達,消息振奮人心!但也讓外界更關注新冠疫苗副作用的問題,​因為接連各國都出現有接種後出現不適症狀,例如血栓。也因此,歐洲多個國家宣布暫停施打疫苗,美國的 CDC 也在4/13 建議暫緩嬌生(Johnson & Johnson)疫苗接種。來聽聽 Dr. J 和 Rebecca 介紹最新的疫情相關英文說法,並且回答 Dr. J 給你的問題! 單字: vaccine hesitancy 疫苗猶豫 vaccine rollout 疫苗施打計畫 vaccine pause 暫緩施打疫苗 side effect 副作用 blood clot血栓 CDC 美國疾病管制暨預防中心 lab rat/ guinea pig 白老鼠;實驗品 Three mo…
 
Devin and Greg relive the Earth-shattering moment when the guy from "Phenomenon" said the wrong thing. The guys discuss apologies, culinary fusion, and how the military totally rules with special guests John Travolta (Broti Gupta) and Adele Dazeem (Dylan Gelula). --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/firsthand/support…
 
Welcome to the 100th episode of #Brattlecast! We’re celebrating by talking about the Brattle’s appraisal of a document so culturally, historically, and monetarily valuable that it featured prominently in a recent Hollywood action movie, opposite co-star Nicholas Cage. But of course the real national treasure is all the fun we’ve had on the podcast,…
 
Devin and Greg look back on the infamous Super Bowl halftime show that changed live entertainment forever. Joined by Rick Santorum (Demi Adejuyigbe) and Dana Dobbs (Jessica Jean Jardine), the guys discuss Greg's failed sports career, Devin's brief stint at MTV, celebrity piercings, and fast-casual soup restaurants! --- Support this podcast: https:/…
 
Today we’re discussing recent news about Covid-19’s impact on the Strand bookstore. The New York City institution received an outpouring of support after its owner, Nancy Bass Wyden, took to social media, detailing the 93-year-old store’s dire financial situation and asking the public for help. The Strand’s story has a happy ending, but many others…
 
It’s something that many of us have a bit more time for these days: buying books online (and, ideally, reading them). In this episode we’ll look into some of the quirks and peculiarities that shoppers might encounter on the internet, like books that are priced way too high, or the same book being sold in a really wild range of prices (do I want the…
 
What do you look for when you’re looking at books? In response to this question from an antiques dealer who finds books to be something of a pain in the… past, Ken details the Brattle’s time-tested methods for determining, over the phone, which libraries might be of special interest to collectors. Of course no books are really a pain in the buns: s…
 
Today we’re talking about Ken’s surprising appearance as a villain in John Grisham’s rare books heist thriller, Camino Island. Well, not Ken exactly, but someone very much like him. Oscar Stein is the fictional proprietor of the three story Old Boston Bookshop on West Street in downtown Boston, a shop that was founded by his father, Loyd Stein. Sou…
 
Finally, some good news! Today we’re taking a look at the abolitionist newspapers of the 1800s. The Liberator was published here in Boston by William Lloyd Garrison, and argued that the institution of slavery was so deeply immoral that it must be ended immediately, a radical position at the time. Although it had a relatively small circulation, The …
 
Today we’re taking a look at salesman’s sample books. These were not complete books, but mock-ups, usually consisting of sample pages of text, possibly with a few illustrations, examples of different available bindings, and a space in the back to take down orders. They were brought door to door by traveling salesmen around the time of the American …
 
Today we’re taking a look at a signed, second edition copy of Grapefruit, Yoko Ono’s pioneering work of conceptual art. Yoko Ono was a fixture of the subversive 1960’s New York underground art scene, and is most associated with the Dada-inspired Fluxus movement. First published in 1964, Grapefruit consists of a series of “event scores”, poetic, zen…
 
Today we’re talking about one of the things that the Brattle does best: appraisals! They essentially tell you how much a book or books are worth but their formality can vary widely depending on the needs of the appraisee, from a casual verbal estimate to a rigorous written appraisal that can stand up to the scrutiny of the IRS. Learn how we do it a…
 
In this episode Ken talks about the Brattle’s early involvement with Reach Out and Read, a nationwide nonprofit dedicated to encouraging families to read together by incorporating books into pediatric care. It all started at Boston City Hospital in the 1980’s with a few volunteers and some donated children’s books. It’s been a joy to support their …
 
Ken takes a journey from West Street out to Western Massachusetts and finds a bonanza of early material on the Westward expansion. Not long after the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark expedition, there were magazines selling the idea of missionary work, opportunity, and adventure in the Pacific Northwest, brochures encouraging people to se…
 
The Boston Antiquarian Book Fair is going online! Visit www.abaa.org/vbf this Thursday the 12th through Saturday the 14th to browse items from over 150 booksellers (including the Brattle), or to attend one of the six free virtual seminars. We’ll be replenishing our stock throughout the fair so be sure to check back often. Of course we miss seeing o…
 
As the 2020 presidential election looms on the horizon, we’re taking a look at some collectible ephemera from past elections, like campaign literature written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and an unused ballot from the 1994 South African election in which Nelson Mandela was elected president. We’ll also explore some of the most negative campaigns in Amer…
 
In 1859 Charles Darwin published one of the most influential, and controversial, books ever written: The Origin of the Species. Twelve years later, his follow up, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, in which he applied his theory of evolution to human reproduction, would prove to be equally shocking and transformative. We’ll take …
 
The ROTC was phased out of many high schools and colleges during the Vietnam War, but is making a comeback today, for better or worse. We’ll take a look at the history of this controversial organization by way of a book that predates it: The Boy Soldier, a textbook of infantry tactics for school children, first published in 1863 and available now a…
 
Boston’s MBTA—iconic, idiosyncratic, and frequently vexing—features the oldest subway system in the United States, and probably the only one to have inspired a hit folk song about its fare hikes. Today we’ll take a look at MBTA ephemera, a big box of which has just arrived in the shop, and at train-related collecting in general. Collectors seek out…
 
Today we’re talking facsimiles: Why the real, original Declaration of Independence doesn’t look like it was printed on crinkly, pirate treasure map-style brown paper! The early work that Edgar Allan Poe hated so much that he tried to destroy, but only succeeded in making the surviving copies all the more monetarily (but not poetically) valuable! Th…
 
Today we’ll be discussing some exciting new arrivals at the shop, as well as some possible future arrivals on the horizon. There’s an inscription from Henry Thoreau to his sister in an otherwise unremarkable volume of poetry, a first edition of The Journals of Lewis and Clark, with its rare map intact, and (hopefully, maybe!) a first edition of Cat…
 
People thinking of going into the used book business often seek out Ken for his advice. One of these requests promoted this episode of reflections on the ways bookselling has changed since the advent of the internet, and the ways it’s always stayed the same. We’ll look back at a largely vanished world of small, brick and mortar bookshops, stocked w…
 
Devin and Greg close out the season by recounting their dealings with media mogul and living devil Rupert Murdoch. With added insight from Jesse Gofundme (Ali Ghandour) and Chuck Wife (James Mannion), they delve deep into the News International phone hacking scandal, as well as the downfall of several prominent news personalities. --- Support this …
 
Perhaps amassing 2000 copies of Walden isn’t exactly what Thoreau meant when he exhorted us to ‘Simplify, simplify,’ however, some collectors do simplify their libraries by collecting different editions of a single book. Books like the Bible, The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, and the works of Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and Dante Alighieri have been p…
 
Devin and Greg take their exploration of our culture's geniuses to the world of sports by profiling six-time Super Bowl Champion and MAGA hat-wearer Tom Brady. Along with Donna (Alyssa Limperis) and Ronger Newfoundland (Jacob Wysocki), our hosts run down the life of the so-called G.O.A.T. and are visited by an old friend. --- Support this podcast: …
 
Devin and Greg stage their own British Invasion by dicsusing the Fab Four themselves: The Beatles. With a little help from their friends - Pete Worst (Mary Sasson) and Officer Neil Pudding (Will Hines) - the guys uncover a an alternate version of the band that never was, and the intricacies of British law enforcement jurisdiction. --- Support this …
 
An antique publicity photograph of ‘Young Ladies’ Baseball Club No. 1’ serves as a jumping off point for our look at the rugged, revolutionary women athletes of the late 1800’s. Decades before A League of Their Own, professional women’s baseball teams, in controversial uniforms and against the prevailing medical advice of the times, played for crow…
 
Devin and Greg wax philosophical on the legacy of the incomparable Oprah Winfrey. With the help of Lalonda Winfrey (Laci Mosley) and Temetrius Morant (Edgar Momplaisir), the hosts detail the many broken eggs that made the omelet of Oprah's legacy. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/firsthand/support…
 
Devin and Greg host an animated discussion about cultural pioneer Walt Disney. They're joined by self-proclaimed Walt Disney day one and inspiration for many of his characters Abner Fiber (Drew Tarver) and Walt's mother Dolores Disney (Gilli Nissim) who had the courage to never believe in him. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/firsthand/s…
 
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