Once again the COLLECTOR’S CORNER at the 38th Annual Book Sale will have a good selection of unusual and collectible books at bargain prices. One such title is Nature Cure Explained (1950) by Alan Moyle. Fans of Ian Fleming might recognize the book from Fleming’s novel Thunderball: James Bond, sent to a health clinic for rejuvenation, finds Moyle’s book on the bedside table and begins to read “…he had got as far as the chapter on massage and was reflecting on the injunction that it should be divided into Efflelurage, Stroking, Friction, Kneading, Petrissage, Tapotement, and Vibration when the phone rang.” Buy the book and read the next page. The book is sought by collectors as a James Bond source, as well as an uncommon title in naturopathic medicine.
Another unusual title is America Through the Spectacles of an Oriental Diplomat by Wu Tingfang, published in 1914. Considered a travel classic, it presents an insightful view of America as seen by a Chinese diplomat at a time when China was still largely isolated from the West. He has a hard time with the American political process, yet views favorably the independence of women (but is appalled by the use of stuffed birds on their hats). A fascinating perspective on America before the first world war.
Many books about collectible automobiles have been donated this year, including two copies of Self-Propelled Vehicles from 1913; The Encyclopedia of Motorcycles; the 1907 Operation, Care, and Repair of Automobiles; many years of the beautifully illustrated Automobile Quarterly, beginning with Volume 1, #1, (1962); the special edition of the Quarterly’s The American Car since 1775; a French appreciation of American cars Les Belles Americaines des Annees Cinquante; the fascinating Inside 100 Great Cars – Technical Specifications and Cutaway Drawings; and The Automobile: Five-View Photographs, 250 Classic Cars. The World of Automobiles is a 22 volume, 2642 page illustrated encyclopedia of the motor car, covering not only specific makes but general topics as well, such as “Aquaplaning”, “American Track Racing”, etc. Books on trucks include This Was Trucking; Pickup Trucks; and a related title by the California Transportation Foundation, 100 Years of Progress. For train enthusiasts there are The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Steam and Rail; A Century of Lionel Timeless Toy Trains; Kinsey’s The Locomotive Portraits; and others.
For the history buff, local titles include issues of La Vista; Parade of Our Golden Years; and The Dunites. Farther afield, lovers of the English countryside will want the bound set of the Tuileries Brochures, English Architecture as Source Material, (c 1930), with its handsome illustrations of country cottages in Surrey and Sussex. Other unusual titles include The Villa Raids, the story of Pancho Villa’s attack on Columbus, New Mexico, in 1916; Outlaws: Adventures of Pirates, Scoundrels, and Other Rebels by Laurent Marechaux, tales of rebels from Robin Hood to Bonnie and Clyde by a rebel himself, one-time associate of the mujahedeen in Afghanistan; and Dutton’s classic History of the Crusades. Hollywood history can be found in the 1924 issue of The Blue Book of the Screen, with profiles of such stars as Harold Lloyd, Mary Pickford, and Rudolph Valentino, and articles such as Cecil B. DeMille’s “What Psychology Has Done to Pictures”. Another Hollywood title is The Hand of the Potter (1918) by Theodore Dreiser, this copy having come from the personal library of Charles Coburn and contains the handsome bookplate of the Coburns.
For both music and popular culture there is The Life and Times of the Rolling Stones by Philip Norman, with what appears to be a signed inscription by Keith Richard. Other Rolling Stone titles are also available. An unusual literary title is Wildcat and the Acorns by Kenji Miyazawa, one of Japan’s best loved authors. The small book contains a collection of nine children’s stories including “The Bears of Mt. Nametoko”, The Ungrateful Rat”, and “The First Deer Dance”, and “for Allen Ginsberg” is inscribed on the title page along with the signature Jidaku Thuneo and the date “29/10/1988”.
Other books for children include titles such as The Black Cat’s Clue by Margaret Sutton; Barberry Gate by Jane Abbott; and a 1912 edition of Uncle Wiggily’s Adventures.
Not for children is Campbell McGavins’s Echoes from the Stables (1943), a collection of “stories, verse, songs and recitations” related to horse-racing, including such gems as “Women, Slow Race-Horses and Wine Will Ruin Anyone in Time”, and “The Rattle in My Pants I Figured On”. There is a full-page inscription written by the author in fancy script on the title page.
There’s a lot of browsing fun this year, come and find something special.