Monthly Archives: July 2011

Treasures found today…

We went to the Westfield Book Show today for the second year.  Last year, I scored those lovely books on Egypt shown earlier.  We didn’t get much at first, only a couple of books for Pa that didn’t add up to the price of admission.

On the way out I noticed a table that was being run by the Chautauqua County Historical Society. SCORE!  We bought a ginormous Bible that is probably 1870s or so, and several parts of a Chautauqua County 1867 atlas, which is almost complete, sans cover.  I picked up a couple of books on the Civil War, Pa some local history and Beth a book of colored bird plates.  Almost ready to go and I see a ledger propped along the wall that said Company Descriptive Book.  I figured it was for a company.  It is a muster book from the Civil War!  Unfortunately there are pages missing, which likely held all the writing.  But I’ve included some pictures of it so you can see what it looks like.  There is some stamps inside that say something about the Inspector in Cincinnati.  It is really quite fascinating… knowing that our ancestors likely were placed in a register just like this when they enlisted or were drafted into the Civil War.

Sorry for the size  of the photos, but I wanted to show the text.  We paid $100 for everything that we bought this morning.  After traveling to Dunkirk to do some sales, and lunch at El Azteca (yum!) we decided to go back to the Book Show to see if they by chance had a couple of books we shouldn’t have passed on (one was Memoirs of Rappahannock, which I should have bought) but that was gone.  We were going through the table of books left, and they told us that everything was half off.  So we started putting together a pile, and them they said “Everything on the table – $10!”  We couldn’t pass that up.  So we got a couple more cool books, and some smaller things.

Here is a set of pictures from Peterson’s Magazine, most of them from 1879.  They have so many wonderful lithographs and “fashion plates”.  Some of the best things about these old magazines is the advertisements.

Hip Fashions!






Scandalous 20 piece bathing suits!
Awesome old advertisements for bicycles

Think I’ll stick with the old-fashioned way… calling a doctor.

What’s for dinner tonight, honey?  Why, shredded codfish, love muffin!!  MMM MMM good.

Well, that is all for now.  I’m sure all two or three of you who read this are thoroughly bored and haven’t even made it to this point.

Oh yeah, I bought a belated birthday gift as well… this fabulous sterling and onyx scarab ring to add to my collection of scarab jewelry 🙂  Too bad my photography skills produced a not so fabulous picture.

Ok.  Enough.  I release you from this torture now.


Posted by on July 30, 2011 in Treasures


Up Next…

We shall see how this goes.  In scope, it sounds exactly the same as Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran.  (I can’t recommend Moran’s book enough, in my humble, utterly useless opinion.)

The time frame seems to be during and after Moran’s book.  I should speed through this with no problem, as it is a favorite time period for me to read about.

Happy reading.




Read: In the Garden of Beasts – Erik Larson

I finished up this book last evening, July 27.  I found it very interesting, and an exceptional amount of research must have been put into this work by Erik Larson.

The story follows the life of the Ambassador to Germany during the rise of Hitler, William E. Dodd.  The secondary title of the book is “Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin.”  While the book centers around the entire family, which includes Dodd’s wife Martha, son Bill Jr. and daughter, also named Martha, it truly focuses on Dodd himself and the younger Martha.  Younger Martha is, to be frank, a tramp.  The attitude of her parents toward their daughter is somewhat surprising.  There is little reprimand for the affairs and indiscretions that Martha engages in.

As the Dodds settle in Germany, it is evident that the mindset of the American family that they are firmly on the side of the Germans and Hitler’s new regime.  The “Jewish problem” somehow justifies the early actions of the Third Reich.  While the story focuses on the actions of Hitler and his henchmen, there is a background story on the struggle that a gentleman scholar had surviving in the diplomatic “good ole boys club”, which had diplomats from around the world spending exorbitant amounts of money of parties and affairs that had nothing much to do with their diplomatic causes.

Martha the Younger’s love life is fascinating, especially when she takes up with Rudolf Diels, Gorring’s protege.  Diels himself seems a strange character, who, although he sports a deeply scarred face, remained handsome and charismatic.  Martha would also be involved romantically with a Russian communist spy… and it is rumored that she also became part of the KGB in later years.

The book is filled with intrigue, backbiting, danger, love and politics.  I’d highly recommend it for anyone interested in the on-goings and the thoughts of Americans in the early part of the Third Reich’s reign.

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Posted by on July 28, 2011 in Non Fiction, Read


Attempted To Read: The Secret Supper – Javier Sierra

I am rather adamant about finishing a book once I start it.  I think it is awful to put one down and never find out how it ends.  With that being said, I owe myself a flogging for not finishing this book… and then an additional flogging for ever attempting to read this book.

I had started The Secret Supper initially last winter.  I figured this would be a good, deep read, great for those hot chocolate in hand evenings when the world was white, quiet, and utterly boring.  Little did I know that this book would be far more boring than the great expanse of white stuff outside.

di Vinci is completing his great masterpiece, The Last Supper in Milan in 1497.  And being di Vinci, everything is mysterious and coded.  Not only that, but the famous painter is hiding secrets and symbols in his paintings, which is far more injurious when you consider the painting is installed in a church. None of the saints appear holy, the supper table isn’t quite right, and why do the saints resemble well-known heretics?

Normally this would be my speed, I’d eat it up in three days and exclaim how wonderful and rich the writing was.  But I just could not stand to read another page once I forced myself through 2/3 of the book.  I have no idea how it ends.  But I’m guessing Leo wasn’t burned at the stake… The Last Supper wasn’t destroyed… and I probably won’t learn my lesson and will attempt another book that I will inevitably not finish at some point in my life.

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Posted by on July 24, 2011 in Historical Fiction, Read


Books within arms reach needing to be read…

Let’s see.  I am sitting on my bed.  And I’m guessing there are far too many books within my reach that need to be read.  Let’s see how many!!!

Imperium – Robert Harris

Napolean’s Wars – Charles Esdaile

Abundance – A Novel of Marie Antoinette – Sena Jeter Naslund

F5 – Mark Levine

Signora da Vinci – Robin Maxwell

The Devil in the White City – Erik Larson

Burning Bright – Tracy Chevalier

Give Me Back My Legions! – Harry Turtledove

The Triumph of Caeser – Steven Saylor

Virgin Earth – Philippa Gregory

For the King – Catherine Delors

Terra Incognita – Ruthe Downie

Honolulu –  Alan Brennert

The Serpent’s Tale – Ariana Franklin

Dark Road to Darjeeling –  Deanna Raybourn

The Quality of Mercy – Faye Kellerman

Innocent Traitor – Alison Weir

Yeah.  I have a problem.  LOL


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Posted by on July 24, 2011 in Uncategorized


And now for something new… and old!

Here is my first attempt at a gallery.  This is one of my prized possessions.  Well, 2/3 of my prized possession.  This is the 1883 edition of Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians by Sir J. Gardner Wilkinson.  I, unfortunately, need volume 1.  But I am positive I will never find it in the condition of these two volumes.  Loaded with illustrations and amazing woodcuts, plus numerous fold outs, both black and white and in vivid color.  I adore these books.

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Posted by on July 21, 2011 in Treasures


Up Next…

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Posted by on July 16, 2011 in Non Fiction, Upcoming...