With some titles it’s very easy to spot that they were cited in newly popular book/TV show/movie or were recommended by some form of celebrity (see my previous post about John Yudkin’s book Pure, White and Deadly). I am usually able to explain these stories pretty quickly, but the books which seem to cause the greatest puzzlement are the ones which have no sexy back story, they have just been recommended again and again on online message boards for hobbyists as great books to help someone do something. Books like The Modern Gunsmith by James Virgil Howe and the Collector’s Guide to Colt .45 Service Pistols by W. Clawson have been out of print for several years but continue to be a better resource for a niche group of enthusiasts than any new books that are being published.
Another book which falls into the great timeless books category is A Treasury of Great Recipes by Mary and Vincent Price (#13 on the 2012 BookFinder.com Report). At first glance you might want to throw this title into the vast bin of awful celebrity cookbooks, but the thing that separates Vincent Price from the chaff like Eat This…It’ll Make You Feel Better by Dom DeLuise is that Price was an honest to goodness gourmet cook.
In the 1970s he had his own Cooking Television show in Britain called Cooking Pricewise; here’s a clip of Vincent making a salmon dish with Wolfgang Puck (although truthfully I don’t believe it was from Cooking Pricewise, rather another television appearance). I also found some great audio on Vincent Price’s website from an International Cooking Course he narrated. I’ve been listening to “Exotic Delights of the Far East” while writing this post and dinnertime cannot come soon enough.
Price also authored several other cookbooks including Come Into The Kitchen, A National Treasury of Cookery (5 vols.), and a printed companion to his cooking show also called Cooking Pricewise.
One last interesting fact about Mr. Price was that he was also a noted art collector, and his book Treasury of American Art has been also out-of-print since 1972.