San Luis Obispo Friends of the Library

Supporting the SLO Library, its community and the SLO Community

2015 Special Books

by  Bill Cochran

An especially good selection of unusual and collectible books will be available in the Collector’s Corner at this year’s annual sale, adding to the fun of searching for just the right treasure.

An outstanding example is the Deluxe limited edition of The President’s House: A History, by William Seale and published by the White House Historical Association. Two volumes bound in embossed calf leather with a calf leather slipcase, linen endpapers, 1552 pages, nearly 180 illustrations, and an engaging narrative provide fascinating insight into American history.

A different look at American history is provided by the two volumes of The West Point Atlas of American Wars. Designed for use by the cadets at West Point and considered a classic, the maps and accompanying text are invaluable for anyone interested in American military history.

Still another history find is a bound copy of the September 1902 edition of The Overland Monthly magazine. In a contemporary half-leather binding, including the original wrappers, this is the Bret Harte Memorial issue and includes Harte’s The Outcasts of Poker Flat, The Luck of Roaring Camp, a biography of Harte, articles about the Mt. Lowe and Lick Observatories, and photographs of the University of California.

The University of California is also represented by a special book of photography, The Campus: University of California. A Collection of Views and Art Photography by Carl Abell, with 43 full-page views of the campus as it was in 1917.

Other California titles include The Call of Gold: True Tales on the Gold Road to Yosemite by Newell Chamberlain, published by the Gazette Press in Mariposa in 1936; and

From East Prussia to the Golden Gate, the letters and diary of the California pioneer Frank Lecouvreue, published in 1906. Two four-volume sets of Carl Sandberg’s Abraham Lincoln, The War Years will also be in Collector’s Corner.

For car buffs, offerings include Packard by Dennis Adler, with over 200 photographs; also by Dennis Adler is Ferrari: The Road from Maranello. There is Essential Mercedes SL by Laurence Meredith, a useful reference with over 120 photos, production figures, and a list of options.

Brightwork: Classic American Car Ornamentation by Ken Steacy is a presentation of automobile hood ornaments, scripts, horn buttons, and other chrome and enamel decorations as art, and is an essential reference for automobile detail and identification.

Boats are represented by Gar Wood Boats: Classics of a Golden Era, by Anthony Mollica, a history of the design, manufacture, and performance of the Gar boat, and illustrated with 120 photos.

Books more international in scope include Mirror of the Invisible World: Tales from the Khamseh of Nizami by Peter Chelkowski, published on the opening of the Islamic Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and profusely illustrated in color.

Maori, by Barry Mitcalfe, looks at the art and culture of the Maoris of New Zealand. The New Pantheon,

 Or an Introduction to the Mythology of the Ancients, by Jillard Hort and published in 1857, is an introduction to mythology in question-and-answer form for young people. Another collectible book for young people is California State Series, Reading Literature; Second Reader, published in 1916.

Sports enthusiasts will appreciate Lives of the Master Swordsmen by Makoto Sugawara, or perhaps

The Fireside Book of Tennis, containing over 1000 pages of essays and articles about the game and its players, or

 Mountaineering in the Tetons: The Pioneer Period, 1898-1940, by Fritiof Fryxell and published by the Grand Tetons Natural History Association. For hunters, there is The Duck Hunter’s Book: Classic Waterfowl Stories, edited by Underwood Lamar: “A good marsh or bay is just an adventure waiting to unfold.” [Bill was thinking of adding: ‘However, the ducks may not see things that way!’ He decided not to. PFM]

Other choice works include The Political Works of Rogers, Campbell, J. Montgomery, Lamb, and Kirke White, published in Philadelphia in 1848;

Footprint: Our Landscape in Flux, by Stuart Franklin, a photographic documentation of the human effect on the earth, from the Arctic Circle to the Peloponnese.

For the antiquarian, there is Volume II of Chambers’ Book of Days: A Miscellany of Popular Antiquities, published in 1891 and wonderfully illustrated; The Cross and the Crescent: Or, Russia, Turkey, and the Countries Adjacent, in 1876-7, a Graphic Description … of the Regions Now Involved in War by Linus Brockett; or even Hindustani Self-taught – With English Phonetic Pronunciation, by C. A. Thimm and J. F. Blumhardt, published in 1910.

There is a great reference set for children, The Golden Book Encyclopedia of Natural Science, 16 volumes of birds, mammals, insects, fish, flowers, trees, rock, stars, etc. For adults there is the ten-volume Harper’s Encyclopedia of United States History from 458 A.D. to 1906, with a preface by Woodrow Wilson.

And there is perhaps the ultimate reference, The Complete National Geographic; 108 Years of National Geographic Magazine on CD-ROM, containing every article, photograph, map, and magazine cover from 1888-1996.

Come search, there’s something for everyone!