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Lesley M. M. Blume

Let’s Bring Back

Inspired by Ms. Blume’s popular, longstanding Huffington Post column by the same name, Chronicle Books released Let’s Bring Backas a book on November 1, 2010. A sophisticated, stylish cultural encyclopedia of nostalgia, Let’s Bring Backcelebrates forgotten-yet-delightful objects, curiosities, pastimes, fashions, words, landmarks, and personalities from bygone eras.

Let’s Bring Back transports its readers from the golden age of Hollywood to the bacchanals of ancient Rome to the elaborately-coiffed and martini-filled New York City of the 1960s. This is a world of monocles and parasols; luxurious train travel and gilded airline cabins; decadent feasts, pet cheetahs, and zeppelins.

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Read reviews from Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, NPR, Good Morning America, Elle, Oprah, and many other publications here.

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Let's Bring Back: Lost Language Edition
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Let’s Bring Back: The Lost Language Edition

In the past, expressions like horsefeathers (nonsense), blinkers (see also: barnacles, peepers, cheaters, and spectacles), and coxy-loxy (good-naturedly drunk) were all the go around town, but they have since largely disappeared from the English lexicon in favor more pedestrian modern expressions.

Too often, when struggling to find just the right turn-of-phrase or witty barb, we forget that history has already provided us with a plethora of rich, revival worthy words. Give your vocabulary a jolt and prove that you’re no totty-headed dandiprat by bringing back words like gadabout (a traipsing gossip), gamcases (stockings) and scandal broth (tea).

The delightful words, phrases, idioms, insults, and praises in this book’s pages will make you the cat’s meow among your friends, relations and acquaintances.

Let’s Bring Back: The Lost Language Edition also contains satchels of guest contributions from some of today’s most celebrated novelists, essayists, journalists, philosophers, and other literary types, including Christopher Buckley, Sloane Crosley, Cokie Roberts, Jim Shepard, and many more.

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Let's Bring Back
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Let’s Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition

“The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind.” – Humphrey Bogart

At last, here’s your excuse to catch up.

Introducing Let’s Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition, a compendium of long-forgotten libations due for a revival. Culled from ancient times through the 1960s, these vintage cocktails are by turns fizzy and flat, sweet and sour, lethal and prim. Some of them are absurd, others sentimental, and yet others outright scandalous. They include:

* Angel’s Tit (Guaranteed to shock goody-goodies)
* Du Barry (To get your mistress into the mood)
* Green-Eyed Monster (To serve to frenemies)
* Monkey Gland (An unlikely fountain of youth)
* Runt’s Ambition (Serve this to men with Napoleon Complex)

Throughout this illustrated tome, Lesley M. M. Blume divulges colorful cocktail history and barroom wisdom alongside one hundred and forty-four recipes that will delight cocktail aficionados for years to come. Whether you’re toasting to an unexpected windfall, treating a malediction, or simply need an occasion to let your hair down, Let’s Bring Back: The Cocktails Edition has the concoction for you.

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Let's Bring Back:The Cocktail Edition
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The Wondrous Journals of Dr. Wendell Wellington Wiggins

In the pages of his thought-to-be-lost diaries, Dr. Wendell Wellington Wiggins, the greatest paleozoologist of all time, reveals the secrets of the ancient animal and plant world–a world before human beings; a world before dinosaurs; a world that, until now, existed well beyond the outer reaches of our imaginations.

Oddities such as the deadly Amazonian Whispering Vine (Vitus Sussurus), the curious tribe of Brittle Bones (Futilis Ossis), a rather gaseous northern-lights creature (Animato Inflatio ab Aqulonius), and a mysterious and indispensable pet named Gibear (Chiropetra Vicugna Pacosis) live again in Dr. Wiggins’s vivid and captivating sketches.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that Dr. Wiggins’s journals have surfaced now, in a time predicted by scientists and religions all over the world to be the beginning of the next mass extinction. Can we learn from the mistakes of those who came before us and avoid such a fate?

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The Wondrous Journals of Dr. Wendell Wellington Wiggins
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It Happened Here

What do Salvador Dali, Alfred Hitchcock, and Diana Vreeland have in common? They all created, reveled, and rebelled at the St. Regis in New York City.

It Happened Here- a convivial, social, and artistic history of old New York, as seen through the prism of one of its grandest hotels.

The inaugural volume of the Thornwillow Libretto Library — a new literary series that takes inspiration from the early works of Virginia Woolf’s Hogarth Press, The Yellow Book magazine, and the early days of The New Yorker — It Happened Herewill be joined by future works by other exciting writers and creators.

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It Happened Here
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Modern Fairies, Dwarves, Goblins, and Other Nasties

Perhaps you think that fairies are figments of the imagination, or relics of an ancient past.

You may even think all fairies are lovely winged creatures who dance in bluebell fields, granting wishes to anyone who encounters them.

You would be wrong on all counts.

Once you’ve read Modern Fairies, Dwarves, Goblins, and Other Nasties, you will never see the world around you in the same way again.

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Modern Fairies, Dwarves, Goblins, and Other Nasties
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Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters

Eleven-year-old Cornelia S. Englehard lives in New York City and is the daughter of world-famous concert pianists. Her legacy should feel fabulous, but instead it feels just plain lonely.

In a world where privacy is as rare as diamonds, Cornelia isolates herself inside a fortress of books full of long and complicated words. But when a glamorous writer named Virginia Somerset moves next door with her servant Patel and her mischevious French bulldog, Cornelia discovers that the world is a much more exciting place than she had originally thoughts.

With a cast of unforgettable characters – from the ghost of King Arthur to Pablo Picasso to Virgina’s three winsome and irrepressible sisters – and deliciously imaginative storytelling that takes the reader around the world and back again, Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sistersis a magical story of friendship and adventure.Click on the book cover to learn more.

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Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters
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The Rising Star of Rusty Nail

Time drags in Rusty Nail and nothing ever seems to happen. Once it was the exciting American Coot capital of the world, but in 1953, it’s just a sleepy backwater farm town with one dusty traffic light and a bizarre cast of characters.

Franny has lived there all her life: ten whole years. On the surface, she seems like a regular girl. She goes to school, throws water balloons at her neighbors, and watches space movies at Hauser’s Movie Palace like everyone else. Her dad is an accountant who always forgets to take off his green eyeshade and her mother is the worst cook in town.

But one day, a mysterious Russian woman arrives in town, turns the town upside-down, and changes Franny’s life forever.

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The Rising Star of Rusty Nail
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Tennyson

It’s 1932, The Depression. Things are evening out among people everywhere.Fresh eggs are a luxury. Diamonds are a dream from another world. On the banks of the Mississippi River, Tennyson Fontaine and her sister, Hattie, play endless games of hide-and-seek and make up fantastical stories about the latest adventures of their wild dog, Jos.

But when their mother doesn’t come home and their father sets off to find her, the sisters are whisked away to Aigredoux, once one of the grandest houses in Louisiana, now a vine-covered ruin.

Their caretaker, Aunt Henrietta, becomes convinced that she can use the girls to save the family’s failing fortunes. But then Tennyson discovers the truth about Aigredoux, the secrets that have remained locked deep within its decaying walls.

Caught in a strange web of time and history, Tennyson comes up with a plan to bring Aigredoux’s past to light. Will it bring her mother home and her family back together?”

Called “Brilliant, unusual writing” by the Chicago Tribune, Tennyson is a heart-breakingly evocative story, steeped in Southern lore, about one girl’s struggle to come to terms with her family’s dark past.

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Tennyson