Bookish Treasures on a Sweltering July Afternoon

It’s been something over a hundred degrees outside for most of the month, and far, far too hot to think. I’ve been revising (or, given the inversely proportional relationship in my world between rising temperatures and intellectual capability, let’s say I’ve been attempting to revise) so singlemindedly that I haven’t really had time to visit my own website and I miss posting, so I have shaken off my torpor as best I can to post about some recent bookish treasure finds I re-discovered when I cleaned my writing room last week!

The Verse by the Side of The Road: The Story of the Burma-Shave Signs and Jingles, by Frank Rowsome, Jr.

The line up at the very top exclaims that this book “contains all 600 of the roadside rhymes.” The appendix at the end has them broken down by year, beginning in 1927 and going through 1963.

The Complete Book of Party Games, by Alexander van Rensselaer (Author of The Complete Party Book)

Don’t worry. Even if you are a party game novice you can use this book. It has a useful chapter on planning, introducing, and directing party games and activities, with hints on performing parlor magic, plus there’s a whole chapter on selecting partners, and the games themselves are broken down into Active Games for the Hardy, Dramatic Games for the Thespians, Games for the Quick-Witted, Pencil and Paper Games, Outdoor Games for Picnickers…Stunts…Table Games…Stunts for Dancers…Parlor Magic…

Goblin Market, by Christina Rossetti

You’ve got to love it when the jacket sleeve includes a blurb from Playboy. This one reads: “Born out of a storm of guilt and emotion…It is a lewd goblin that rises dripping out of the dark depths of the Victorian psyche.” Super.

Thanatopsis, by William Cullen Bryant

This one lacks the elegant testimonial from Playboy, but it does have an inscription: Gertrude Candall, from Unity Sunday School, Xmas, 1894.

Raphael’s Astronomical Ephemeris  of the Planet’s Places, 1800-1819

Nothing but awesome tables. I have no idea how to read them, but I am sure they are full of useful information.

So there are a few of the weird things I have added to my collection this month. Coming as soon as I stop banging my head against the wall in an effort to to finish my current draft: July events, some updates on the shameless review page, the transition from my full-time day job to a delightful part-time gig at my favorite bookstore, and my amazing discovery that the kids who live upstairs are the best writing tools EVER, plus some amazing subway reading. Happy July, everyone!


  1. That party games one sounds pretty sweet! Someday I’m going to have a house and friends and a book like that and it will be AWESOME.

    Plus, you get to work at a bookstore and not have to be all-retail, all the time? That sounds wonderful!

  2. Does the party book include my favorite game? The one where you bring people (one by one) into the hall and give them a kiss (or a big surprise!)?????

  3. Actually that little blurb from Playboy was pretty respected back then. For all that we joke about reading it “for the articles,” it actually had pretty good articles. If a man needed a good book to read, a fine cigar to smoke, and a good wine to bring to dinner he could get an honest opinion on all that out of an issue of Playboy about 10 pages away from the pictorials. 🙂

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