A 1993 calendar arrived in the mail last week; too soon! But the Christmas-book season starts any day now. Some of the following titles won't be in bookstores until well into autumn, but you should look forward to, nay save up for, a promising assortment.
"The Jewish People in America" (Johns Hopkins University Press; boxed, $95), a five-author, five-volume set, will top off the centennial of the national Jewish Historical Society. Vol. II, "A Time for Gathering: The Second Migration, 1820-1880," is by Hasia Diner of the University of Maryland, College Park.
For a one-volume gift book, wait for the same publisher's "Birds of the Chesapeake Bay" ($39.95), 40 color paintings with text and notes all by John W. Taylor. Or, "Chesapeake Bay Schooners," by Quentin Snediker and Ann Jensen (Tidewater, $35), with briny words and photos.
JHUP will venture into new fiction with "In My Father's House" ($18.95), by the internist E. Hunter Wilson Jr. The chief of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, at his retirement ceremony, collapses in mid-sentence. . . . And John R. Wennersten reflects on shore mores and mind-sets in "Maryland's Eastern Shore: A Journey in Time and Place" (Tidewater, $22.95).
And, late next month "KALtoons" is due out -- a paperback anthology of "Political Cartoons From the Baltimore Sun," where KAL (Kevin Kallaugher) has been an editorial page fixture since 1988. He also draws for the (London) Economist and the (Paris) Herald Tribune. With foreword by Michael Kinsley, "KALtoons" (Chatsworth, $9.95) exemplifies H. L. Mencken's line: "Give me a good cartoonist and I can fire half the editorial staff."
Never a presidential election but some older Baltimoreans mutter, "Gerald Johnson, thou shouldst be living at this hour." A dozen years after his death, 20 since his last book, the fall issue of Virginia Quarterly Review will contain a previously unpublished Johnson manuscript: "To Be Living at This Time: An Assessment of Values."
Now a 21-page article, it was to have been part of a book on the nation's bicentennial. Foreword and postscript are by Vince Fitzpatrick, who is at work on a full-length biography of the Sage of Bolton Place (1890-1980).
This year H. L. Mencken's birthday and Mencken Day at Pratt Library are on the same day (Sept. 12).
Two big-name conservatives are the speakers: R. Emmett Tyrrell, editor of the American Spectator, 11:30 a.m. at the society's yearly meeting; and Hilton Kramer, editor of the New Criterion, 3 p.m. for Pratt's annual Mencken Memorial lecture. Speaker A's new book, "The Conservative Crack-Up," contains a slam at Speaker B.
Which author, Barbara Michaels or Elizabeth Peters, will address Pratt Library's Sept. 19 noon Book & Author Luncheon at the Radisson Plaza Lord Baltimore Hotel? Each pseudonym, as countless fans well know, means Barbara Mertz of Frederick, master alike of mysteries and modern Gothics.
The answer is perhaps Michaels, that being the byline on her most recent best seller, "Vanish With the Rose." But to be sure, reserve a seat ($27.50) by Sept. 1 at Public Relations, Enoch Pratt Free Library, 400 Cathedral St.*
For collectors: Baltimore Book Fair, Sept. 4, 5, 6, Convention Center; Philadelphia Book Fair, Sept. 11 and 12, Willow Grove, Pa.; Capital Beltway Book Fair, Sept. 18 and 19, Armory Place, Silver Spring. Baltimore Book Co. auction, Sept. 21, Quality Inn, Towson, 6:30 p.m.
In "Creative Brainstorms" (Irvington, $24.95), Russell R. Monroe, professor of psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine since 1960, delves into the lives of Emily Dickinson, Edvard Munch, Virginia Woolf, Vincent Van Gogh, Mary Lamb and other creative individuals who may have had "excessive neuronal discharges in certain localized areas deep in the brain."