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Podcast interview with Rebecca Baumann

Rebecca Baumann enjoys collecting HP Lovecraft books

We interview Rebecca Baumann in the latest episode of AbeBooks’ Behind the Bookshelves podcast. Rebecca’s day job is Head of Library Public Services at the Indiana University’s Lilly Library in Bloomington, Indiana. The Lilly contains one of North America’s finest collections of rare books and manuscripts. However, we are discussing Rebecca’s personal book collection of crime, science fiction, horror and what she describes as “smut paperbacks” from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, which can also be labelled as pulp. Rebecca has a deep fascination with books that are unusual and weird. We think you’ll enjoy the interview, which takes us from the vaults of Indiana University to HP Lovecraft’s New York and the modern-day book fairs of London.

Some of the books mentioned by Rebecca include:

Helen’s Story by Rosanne Rabinowitz – a modern retelling of Arthur Machen’s classic novella The Great God Pan.

Mrs Caliban by Rachel Ingalls – a lonely married woman encounters a gigantic frog-like creature recently escaped from a sadistic laboratory.

At the Mountains of Madness by HP Lovecraft – in the Antarctic, an expedition uncovers strange fossils and a lot of terror.

The King in Yellow by Robert Chambers – a masterpiece of weird fiction.

The Checklist of Fantastic Literature  (see image below) – the first bibliography of science fiction, fantasy and weird books in the English language with more than 5,000 books listed.

Death of a Sadist by RR Ryan – the tale of a young man who admires art so much he loses his soul over it.

The Pale Ape by M.P. Shiel – a collection of supernatural fiction first published in 1911.

The Auctioneer by Joan Samson – the ways of a small town are suddenly undermined by the systematic demands of a magnetic newcomer.

A superb dust jacket design


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