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The Owner of The Mysterious Bookshop Built His Dream House

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man in possession of a good 60,000 books must be in want of a very big house. At some point in the mid-1980s, Otto Penzler, the indefatigable founder and proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop, the Manhattan store specializing in fictitious tales of crime and espionage and whodunits of a high order, could no longer ignore the evidence: His personal collection of first editions had outgrown his office, and cartons containing the overflow were stashed in a pal’s garage. They needed a room of their own. Read more

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Who will buy the skinny house where Edna St. Vincent Millay, William Steig, and Margaret Mead lived?

Good news for the rich and thin! New York City’s narrowest home is 9 1/2 feet wide, and—of course—is on the market for just under five million dollars. On its own, this news wouldn’t be worthy of inclusion in our fine literary blog, but in addition to its unusual dimensions and eye-popping dimensions, the Greenwich Village townhouse has a storied literary history. Edna St. Vincent Millay lived in the house in the early 1920s, and William Steig and his wife lived there with his sister-in-law, Margaret Mead. Another children’s book author, Ann McGovern, not only lived in the house, but also wrote a picture book inspired by it—Mr. Skinner’s Skinny House—in which the titular character, along with his long dog and thin snake, search for a suitable roommate. Read more

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Mark Twain’s Connecticut Estate Lists for $4.2 Million

Twain, whose given name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens, built “Stormfield” in 1908 in the style of a Tuscan villa and named it after his short story “Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven,” according to the listing with Laura Freed Ancona of William Pitt and Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty, who brought the home in Redding to the market on Saturday. Read more

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Evelyn Waugh’s twelve-bedroom house—complete with party barn—is now for sale

Somerset’s Combe Florey House, once the family home of Brideshead Revisited author Evelyn Waugh and his son Auberon, is finally for sale—and it’s pretty spectacular, looking onto parkland and water. The grounds include a twelve-bedroom home with red sandstone facades; a pool and pool house; a tennis court; several outbuildings; and a party barn, which I’ve just learned is a glamorous barn you throw parties in. … The house is currently on sale for $7.6 million, so consider making the purchase if you’re a Waugh fan with money to spare—or if you have some ideas for barn parties. Read more

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Windmill House, former dwelling of Arthur Miller, is finally for sale

Need a secluded getaway with writerly flair? Have $11.5 million on hand? You’re in luck: Amagansett Windmill House, famously occupied by Arthur Miller, is finally up for sale after years of temporary renting.

Windmill House, built as a functioning windmill in the 1950s, was renovated and converted into a living space a century later by Samuel Rubin, founder of Fabergé cosmetics; now, it’s a two-bedroom, one-bath house, with an adjoining studio and two-car garage. It’s located on 5.5 acres of land, suitable for property expansion—or just a nature-shrouded experience. Read more