leedle yawcob strauss and other poems

this is probably the strangest book i have ever come across! the entire book is written in dialect (the only other early american books i've come across in dialect are slave narratives)...a german-american (pennsylvania german) "accent" is illustrated in the words, for example:

"Haf you seen mine leedle Shonny, Shonny Schwartz, Mit his hair so soft und yellow, und his face so blump und mellow: Sooch a funny leedle fellow, Shonny Schwartz?"

the book is comprised of poems of this sort. all of the works are by charles follen adams who was apparently a writer of short columns in scribner's and the detroit free press. i had no idea that these poems in dialect were de rigueur at one point in time. i think they are meant to be humorous, but i have to say i find them a bit offensive.

the illustrations by "boz", a pseudonym for george cruikshank, are incredibly well done, although quite a few of them depict the racial stereotypes of the time that are not only inappropriate for the current day, but are also a bit awkward to share here. i chose to include them to show that once in a while, these images pop up in the most unexpected places and they are indeed, historically, a part of american literary culture.
i found this book in a grab bag of children's books, and although i find it interesting and would never have sought it ought, i am glad to have it.
oh, it's electrotyped!!

leedle yawcob strauss, and other poems by charles f. adams
first edition, 1878, lee and shepard publishers, boston
illustrated by "boz"


miss z: the dark young lady

i got this lovely little book from etsy seller vintage books n' things...i am a long-time angela carter fan! i think angela carter wrote only two stories for the young adult; this one and another titled, the donkey king. i've never read the latter...maybe it's a re-telling of the grimms' tale the donkey? there is surprisingly little information that i could find online about both.
this book also has unique and wonderful illustrations by eros keith.

miss z: a dark young lady by angela carter
1970, simon and schuster
illustrations by eros keith


schlechte zeiten für gespenster


i mentioned on my other blog about doing a vampire related post here...partly due to halloween and partly because of the vampire explosion of late.
i love vampires and i love vampire literature, film, culture, etc...i even wrote my honor's thesis on vampirism is scandinavian folklore and blood drinking in viking history...truly weird, right?

my friends are always asking me if i like twilight or the vampire diaries...i read the first twilight book and it was alright (i preferred the movie). i do see the appeal to the young adult crowd, although i think i would've hated the whole thing when i was 14 (i was a vampire lit snob back in the day). i haven't read the vampire diaries books but i think the show is pretty good so far.

i love hbo's show true blood, as well as, charlaine harris' southern vampire series of books; which the show is based on (the show is very different from the books). it's good, light, page-turning reading and harris does an excellent job on character development. i'm addicted and if they could go on forever i would read them forever!

right now i'm reading laurell k. hamilton's anita blake: vampire hunter series...i'm on the second book the laughing corpse and they are alright. i hope they get better further into the series.

anyways, i think there are some must reads in the vampire genre of literature...and i certainly have not read everything out there so if there's anything you want to add in the comments, please feel free! i love recommendations.

but first! the book pictured above...i picked it up a long time ago, where, i cannot remember. the whole book is in german and that means i can't really read it, but i still love it. the illustrations are wonderful (including the super neat moving bat on each page corner)...the title in english reads, bad times for ghosts, and i believe it's also a episode of a tv show (maybe?).

back to vampire literature...here are my recommendations:

^o^ dracula by bram stoker
^o^ carmilla by j. sheridan le fanu
^o^ interview with the vampire by anne rice
(as well as the vampire lestat and the queen of the damned...don't bother with the rest)
^o^ the vampyre by john william polidori
^o^ varney the vampire or the feast of blood (a penny dreadful) by james malcolm rymer
^o^ the hunger by whitley strieber
^o^ salem's lot by stephen king
^o^ the historian by elizabeth kostova
^o^ let the right one in by
^o^ the demon lover by dion fortune
^o^ the vampire tapestry by suzy mckee charnas
^o^ our vampires, ourselves by nina auerbach - not literature, but critique

schlechte zeiten für gespenster by w.j.m. wippersberg
1984, benziger
illustrated by käthi bhend-zaugg


dolls: the wide world over

left: a funerary doll of the marques of normandy, 1715 | right: russian wood dolls (19th century)

a lapp couple (20th century)

left: german wooden old woman doll | right: german wood dolls with glass eyes (18th century)

left: doll by sasha morgenthaler (c. 1955) | right: doll by else hoffman (c. 1968)

another doll book...i got this one for research. i love the german dolls in the 4th picture (rh). they remind me of old pretenders, and the midcentury dolls (last picture) are really lovely! oh, never mind the mysterious light action in the photos, i hope it doesn't detract too much from your viewing pleasure.
this book is a pretty good comprehensive guide of dolls through the ages (and around the globe) from primitive and archaic to current and elaborate. there is a focus on the handmade, or limited production dolls. i wish more of the pictures were in color (there are only a few), but all in all it's been a good resource and source of inspiration for me.

dolls: the wide world over by manfred bachmann
translated by ruth michaelis-jena
first u.s. edition, 1973, crown publishers, new york
photographed and designed by claus hausmann


pippa mouse

speaking of memories from my childhood (isn't that most of this blog anyway?)...pippa mouse was a beloved memory of mine. i was lucky to find a copy on abe books. i highly recommend this book for parents to give their children! the stories are meant to be read aloud, and the illustrations are so cute. hours of fun were inspired by pippa mouse. i made pippa mouse houses, pippa mouse clothes, pippa mouse furniture...all acted out with those mice from the '70s...remember them?

pippa mouse by betty boegehold
1973, alfred a. knopf, new york
illustrated by cyndy szekeres


mystiskt besök i mumindalen

i was introduced to tove jansson's moomins late in life...(although i think i have a memory from my childhood, while in holland visiting cousins, of something moomin or moomin-like that i coveted and threw a temper tantrum over because it wasn't bought for me).
anyways, better late than never. i think the stories (this book is swedish, which i cannot read) are darling and the characters are so dang cute. they make me wish i was 8 years old again.
i think this title translates to something akin to "Mystical visits in Moominland"...please correct me if i'm wrong.

there is a ton of information on the internet on this subject...for a sampling see:
and here

mystiskt besök i mumindalen samlingsvolym (omnibus) after tove jansson
1993, bokförlag carlesen


gardener's magic and other old wives' lore

i love this book...it's another that i first spotted and thought may be a peter pauper press book. it's not, and it's totally lovely all on its own (and quite rare i think).

the whole book is letterpress printed with medieval illustrations taken from the hortus sanitatis and john gerard's herball.

written by bridget boland who researched and researched to find some interesting and esoteric information.

gardener's magic and other old wives' lore by bridget boland
1977, the bodley head, london


rubaiyat of omar khayyam

i always see copies of omar khayyam's rubaiyat everywhere (flea markets, thrift stores, antique malls, etc...), and i always wonder why. it's beautiful. i guess some don't give it a chance. i've never seen an edition this lovely.

and those who husbanded the golden grain,
and those who flung it to the winds like rain,
alike to no such aureate earth are turn'd
as, buried once, men want dug up again.

the illustrations by sarkis katchadourian are amazing. i love the unibrows! i would also love a print or two of these painting to hang in my home.

rubaiyat of omar khayyam
translated by edward fitzgerald
1946, grosset & dunlap, new york
paintings and decorations by sarkis katchadourian