85 episodes

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.

Brattlecast: A Firsthand Look at Secondhand Books Brattle Book Shop

    • Books
    • 4.9, 49 Ratings

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.

    Brattlecast #81 - One Book Collections

    Brattlecast #81 - One Book Collections

    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 published so often, with such a variety of bindings, languages, and illustrations, that a collection of even one of these books would be impossible to ever complete. We’ll take a look at a few of these monomaniacal collections on this week’s brattlecast.

    • 15 min
    Brattlecast #80 - Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend

    Brattlecast #80 - Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend

    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 crowds of thousands. In this episode we celebrate these often overlooked sporting pioneers, and attempt to answer the age old question: is there crying in baseball?

    • 16 min
    Brattlecast #79 - Make Way for Ducklings

    Brattlecast #79 - Make Way for Ducklings

    Today we take a look at a first edition copy of Make Way for Ducklings. The Boston-set, Caldecott Medal-winning children’s classic, written and illustrated by Robert McClosky, follows a family of ducks on their journey through the city in search of a safe and comfortable home. Since its first publication in 1941, Make Way for Ducklings has delighted generations of young readers, been commemorated by statues and museum exhibitions, and continues to fly off the shelves at the Brattle today.

    • 12 min
    Brattlecast #78 - The Brattle and the City

    Brattlecast #78 - The Brattle and the City

    A radio interview with Lizabeth Cohen, author of the new book, Saving America’s Cities: Ed Logue and the Struggle to Renew Urban America in the Suburban Age, reminds Ken of the Brattle’s own struggle with urban renewal. Logue was head of the Boston Redevelopment Agency when, in the 1960’s, the city demolished most of Scollay Square, a vibrant but increasingly seedy entertainment district - and original home of the Brattle Book Shop. Most of the area was replaced with the I.M. Pei designed Government Center, a monumental plaza of modernist buildings which many consider cold and alienating. Although Ken’s father, George Gloss, together with the Boston Athenaeum, raised enough of an outcry to save a few historic buildings from the wrecking ball, the Brattle itself was displaced. It would be the first of seven moves for the plucky book shop, one of which was occasioned by a catastrophic fire, but the Brattle endured, with a great deal of personality and help from the community; eventually landing in the West Street location where it thrives today.

    • 15 min
    Brattlecast #77 - We're Back!

    Brattlecast #77 - We're Back!

    After weathering months of pandemic-related closure and weeks of civil unrest, the Brattle is thrilled to be back in business! In this episode we’ll talk about our plans for reopening slowly, safely, and with cautious optimism. At first, only the outdoor sale lot will be open, stocked with plenty of fabulous new markdowns from inside the shop with masks and hand sanitizer for everyone. It’s been a difficult time but there’s a lot to be excited about in the new-normal future: people are reading more, Ken is able to give virtual lectures to audiences around the world, and, on a personal note, he’s now a grandfather! You can learn more about our reopening plans at: http://www.brattlebookshop.com/open. We are so looking forward to seeing you all again. 

    • 14 min
    Brattlecast #76 - Elizabeth Custer

    Brattlecast #76 - Elizabeth Custer

    Elizabeth Bacon Custer was the wife of George Armstrong Custer, and, following his death at The Battle of Little Bighorn, was largely responsible for shaping his legacy. She also wrote three bestselling books about her life with her husband on the American frontier: Boots and Saddles, Tenting on the Plains, and Following the Guidon. Learn more about the largely forgotten life of the woman behind an American myth on this week’s #brattlecast.

    • 14 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
49 Ratings

49 Ratings

ValnetinaRossi ,

Intriguing

I thoroughly enjoy listening and visiting Brattle Book Shop. Every book I have purchased has been unique and interesting!

Kimtisha ,

Informative, Interesting

A must listen for book collectors, you'll learn so much. Love Ken's stories!

JRmn32 ,

Absolute gem to listen to

The stories and presentation are wonderful and a great listen. Facinating the stories tied to the old store.

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