Premier Independent Bookseller/Coffeehouse in Sauk Valley
COVID-19 fight update:
We are open for indoor sitting and sipping (and shopping, of course) with increased capacity allowance!
Congratulations and thanks to all of you who are fully vaccinated. This has made a big difference in the fight.
HOWEVER, the State of Illinois has been experiencing a surge in positive cases and hospital utilization. As of 30 August 2021, all patrons, whether fully vaccinated or not, and including children older than age 2 must cover nose and mouth when not seated and eating or drinking.
(If you must shout at your adjoining table, put your mask on!)
Please do not be offended when we ask you to have a mask. We will respect your decision to leave the premises if you do not want to "mask up" to help all of us stay safe and stay open.
WINNER OF THE 1973 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD By the Author of Stoner
In Augustus, his third great novel, John Williams took on an entirely new challenge, a historical narrative set in classical Rome, exploring the life of the founder of the Roman Empire. To tell the story, Williams turned to the epistolary novel, a genre that was new to him, transforming and transcending it just as he did the western in Butcher’s Crossing and the campus novel in Stoner. Augustus is the final triumph of a writer who has come to be recognized around the world as an American master.
About the Author
John Williams (1922–1994) was born and raised in northeast Texas. Despite a talent for writing and acting, Williams flunked out of a local junior college after his first year. He reluctantly joined the war effort, enlisting in the Army Air Corps, and managed to write a draft of his first novel while there. Once home, Williams found a small publisher for the novel and enrolled at the University of Denver, where he was eventually to receive both his B.A. and M.A., and where he was to return as an instructor in 1954.
He remained on the staff of the creative writing program at the University of Denver until his retirement in 1985. During these years, he was an active guest lecturer and writer, editing an anthology of English Renaissance poetry and publishing two volumes of his own poems, as well as three novels, Butcher’s Crossing, Stoner, and the National Book Award–winning Augustus (all published as NYRB Classics).
Daniel Mendelsohn was born in 1960 and studied classics at the University of Virginia and at Princeton, where he received his doctorate. His essays and reviews appear regularly in The New York Review of Books, TheNew Yorker, and The New York Times Book Review. His books include The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million; a memoir, The Elusive Embrace; and the collection Waiting for the Barbarians: Essays from the Classics to Pop Culture, published by New York Review Books. He teaches at Bard College.
“The finest historical novel ever written by an American.” —The Washington Post
“[In Augustus] John Williams re-creates the Roman Empire from the death of Julius Caesar to the last days of Augustus, the machinations of the court, the Senate, and the people, from the sickly boy to the sickly man who almost dies during expeditions to what would seem to be the ruthless ruler. He uses an epistolary format, and in the end all these voices, like a collage, meld together around the main character . . . Read it in conjunction with Robert Graves’s more flamboyant I, Claudius and Marguerite Yourcenar’s Memoirs of Hadrian.” —Harold Augenbraum, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation
“A novel of extraordinary range, yet of extraordinary minuteness, that manages never to sacrifice one quality for the other.” —Financial Times
“Williams has fashioned an always engaging, psychologically convincing work of fiction—a consistent and well-realized portrait.” —Thomas Lask, The New York Times
"Readers of both Stoner and Butcher’s Crossing will here encounter an altogether new version of the John Williams they’ve come to know: Augustus is an epistolary novel set in classical Rome. It’s a rare genius who can reinvent himself in his final work and earn high praise for doing so." —The Millions
"Augustus is gripping, brimming with life." —Dan Piepenbring, The Paris Review Daily “This novel of an aged emperor will be intensely illuminating to anyone who is ready to put modern morality aside for a moment in order to acquire a little knowledge of himself or herself … The genius of this astonishing American writer is that he shows how lives that seem utterly strange can be very like our own.” —John Gray, New Statesman
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For those of you not interested in ordering from that largest river in South America that rivals the Mississippi and the Nile, but BoF is out of stock at the warehouse, try our new affiliate, Bookshop, started by a Columbia University MFA who just wants to help the Indies out a bit while being able to put a meal on the table for himself and others.
We Now Are Affiliated with Hummingbird, a Great eBook Resource!
You can still buy titles in other formats (hardcover, paperback, audio CDs) with a Books on First gift card as well as buy a Books on First giftcard which we will send especially to that lucky recipient (free postage!).
More than a card.
More value than many other store-bought surprises (except a book!)
Put a 3D paper sculpture in a loved one's hands and see the spontaneous delight.
That's a lovepop.
Tim's Bees Have Been Busy and the Honey is Back!
For Sale at Books on First
From Tim Benedict's Orion Artisinal Honey & Garlic Farm
HONEY from Tim's BEES flying around FRANKLIN GROVE, IL
Two types of honey now available in beautiful 12-oz jars:
Prairie Wildflowers -- unadulterally whatever the bees are inclined to like and Echinaea -- from Tim's special stash
It's been said that local honey is great for warding off bad germs and aiding in the relief of sinus/breathing difficulties. Regardless, it tastes great!
And What a Great Gift Idea!
Stock Up Now!
Based on the Book ...
We are always delighted when someone sees a movie in the book, because now, millions of more people know about the book! It might have been a great film or it might have been a total dud.
But, read the book yourself to see just how good or different the original is!