Gift Books

Amorous Heart

Amorous Heart

$7.95
More Info

The symmetrical, exuberant heart is everywhere: it gives shape to candy, pendants, the frothy milk on top of a cappuccino, and much else. How can we explain the ubiquity of what might be the most recognizable symbol in the world?

In The Amorous Heart, Marilyn Yalom tracks the heart metaphor and heart iconography across two thousand years, through Christian theology, pagan love poetry, medieval painting, Shakespearean drama, Enlightenment science, and into the present. She argues that the symbol reveals a tension between love as romantic and sexual on the one hand, and as religious and spiritual on the other. Ultimately, the heart symbol is a guide to the astonishing variety of human aff

Cursed Objects: Strange But True Stories of the World's Most Infamous Items

Cursed Objects: Strange But True Stories of the World's Most Infamous Items

$19.99
More Info
Beware...this book is cursed! These strange but true stories of the world's most infamous items will appeal to true believers as well as history buffs, horror fans, and anyone who loves a good spine-tingling tale.

They're lurking in museums, graveyards, and private homes. Their often tragic and always bizarre stories have inspired countless horror movies, reality TV shows, novels, and campfire tales. They're cursed objects, and all they need to unleash a wave of misfortune is . . . you.

Many of these unfortunate items have intersected with some of the most notable events and people in history, leaving death and destruction in their wake. But never before have the true stories of these eerie oddities been compiled into a fascinating and chilling volume. Inside, readers will learn about:

- Annabelle the Doll, a Raggedy Ann doll that featured in the horror franchise The Conjuring
- The Unlucky Mummy, which is rumored to have sunk the Titanic and kick-started World War I
- The Dybbuk box, which was sold on eBay and spawned the horror film The Possession
- The Conjured Chest, which has been blamed for fifteen deaths within a single family
- The Ring of Silvianus, a Roman artifact believed to have inspired J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit
- And many more!

Dark Archives: A Librarian's Investigation Into the Science and History of Books Bound in Human Skin

Dark Archives: A Librarian's Investigation Into the Science and History of Books Bound in Human Skin

$18.00
More Info

On bookshelves around the world, surrounded by ordinary books bound in paper and leather, rest other volumes of a distinctly strange and grisly sort: those bound in human skin. Would you know one if you held it in your hand?

In Dark Archives, Megan Rosenbloom seeks out the historic and scientific truths behind anthropodermic bibliopegy--the practice of binding books in this most intimate covering. Dozens of such books live on in the world's most famous libraries and museums. Dark Archives exhumes their origins and brings to life the doctors, murderers, and indigents whose lives are sewn together in this disquieting collection. Along the way, Rosenbloom tells the story of how her team of scientists, curators, and librarians test rumored anthropodermic books, untangling the myths around their creation and reckoning with the ethics of their custodianship.

A librarian and journalist, Rosenbloom is a member of The Order of the Good Death and a cofounder of their Death Salon, a community that encourages conversations, scholarship, and art about mortality and mourning. In Dark Archives--captivating and macabre in all the right ways--she has crafted a narrative that is equal parts detective work, academic intrigue, history, and medical curiosity: a book as rare and thrilling as its subject.

Decadence: A Literary Anthology

Decadence: A Literary Anthology

$29.95
More Info
Decadent literature in Britain blossomed in the 1890s around such figures as Oscar Wilde, Aubrey Beardsley, Max Beerbohm, Ernest Dowson and Arthur Symons. Under the maxim "Art for Art's Sake" they often defied moral convention and pursued the limits of sensation, wilfully transgressing Victorian respectability along the way. This illustrated anthology concentrates on the major preoccupations of Decadence: Artifice, Intoxication, Spirituality, and Death. The selections include not only the finest examples of Decadent prose and poetry, but also extracts from theoretical texts, criticism and parody.
Dogs in Medieval Manuscripts

Dogs in Medieval Manuscripts

$22.95
More Info
Throughout the Middle Ages, medieval manuscripts often featured dogs, from beautiful and loving depictions of man's best friend, to bloodthirsty illustrations of savage beasts, to more whimsical and humorous interpretations. Featuring stunning illustrations from the British Library's rich medieval collection, Dogs in Medieval Manuscripts provides--through discussion of dogs both real and imaginary--an astonishing picture of the relationship of dogs to humans in the medieval world. Now in a gift book format.
DOVER ANTHOLOGY OF CAT STORIES

DOVER ANTHOLOGY OF CAT STORIES

$9.95
More Info
Cat fanciers will want to curl up with this collection of tales about felines of many temperaments ― adventurous, naive, crafty, and independent. Nearly thirty stories offer a rich variety of moods and settings, from H. P. Lovecraft's chilling tale of revenge, The Cats of Ulthar, to Honoré de Balzac's droll satire of British respectability, The Afflictions of an English Cat.
Selections include Emile Zola's fable Cat's Paradise, in which an indoor cat takes to the streets; Gipsy by Booth Tarkington, a brilliant study of a wild cat; The Cat that Walked by Himself from Rudyard Kipling's Just So stories; Tom Quartz by Mark Twain; How a Cat Played Robinson Crusoe by Charles G. D. Roberts; Charles Perrault's classic rendition of Puss in Boots; and entrancing cat tales by Saki, Bram Stoker, Théophile Gautier, and others.
LIBRARIAN TALES: FUNNY, STRANG

LIBRARIAN TALES: FUNNY, STRANG

$16.99
More Info
Published in cooperation with the American Library Association, an insider's look at one of the most prevalent, yet commonly misunderstood institutions!

Here is the good, the bad, and the ugly of librarian William Ottens's experience working behind service desks and in the stacks of public libraries, most recently at the Lawrence Public Library in Kansas. In Librarian Tales, published in cooperation with the American Library Association, readers will learn about strange things librarians have found in book drops, weird and obscure reference questions, the stress of tax season, phrases your local librarians never want to hear, stories unique to children's librarians, and more.

Ottens uncovers common pet peeves among his colleagues, addresses misguided assumptions and stereotypes, and shares several hilarious stories along the way. This book is must reading for any librarian, or anyone who loves books and libraries, though non-library folks will also laugh and cry (from laughing) while reading this lighthearted analysis of your local community pillar, the library.

Literary Places

Literary Places

$19.99
More Info
Inspired Traveller's Guides: Literary Places takes you on an enlightening journey through the key locations of literature's best and brightest authors, movements and moments - brought to life through comprehensively researched text and stunning hand-drawn artwork.

Travel journalist Sarah Baxter provides comprehensive and atmospheric outlines of the history and culture of 25 literary places around the globe, as well as how they intersect with the lives of the authors and the works that make them significant. Full-page colour illustrations instantly transport you to each location. You'll find that these places are not just backdrops to the tales told, but characters in their own right.

Travel to the sun-scorched plains of Don Quixote's La Mancha, roam the wild Yorkshire moors with Cathy and Heathcliff or view Central Park through the eyes of J.D. Salinger's antihero. Explore the lush and languid backwaters of Arundhati Roy's Kerala, the imposing precipice of Joan Lindsay's Hanging Rock and the labyrinthine streets and sewers of Victor Hugo's Paris.

Featured locations:
Paris, Les Miserables
Dublin, Ulysses
Florence, A Room with a View
Naples, My Brilliant Friend
Berlin, Berlin Alexanderplatz
Nordland, Growth of the Soil
St Petersburg, Crime and Punishment
Sierra de Guadarrama, For Whom the Bell Tolls
La Mancha, Don Quixote
Davos, The Magic Mountain
Bath, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion
London, Oliver Twist
Yorkshire Moors, Wuthering Heights
Cairo, Palace Walk
Soweto, Burger's Daughter
Kerala, The God of Small Things
Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), The Quiet American
Kabul, The Kite Runner
Hanging Rock, Picnic at Hanging Rock
New York, The Catcher in the Rye
Monterey, Cannery Row
Mississippi River, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Monroeville, To Kill a Mockingbird
Cartagena, Love in the Time of Cholera
Chile, The House of the Spirits

Delve into this book to discover some of the world's most fascinating literary places and the novels that celebrate them.

Each book in the Inspired Traveller's Guides series offers readers a fascinating, informative and charmingly illustrated guide to must-visit destinations round the globe. Also from this series, explore intriguing: Artistic Places (March 2021), Spiritual Places, Hidden Places and Mystical Places.

MAPPING FAIRY-TALE SPACE: PAST

MAPPING FAIRY-TALE SPACE: PAST

$32.99
More Info

Mapping Fairy-Tale Space: Pastiche and Metafiction in Borderless Tales by Christy Williams uses the metaphor of mapping to examine the narrative strategies employed in popular twenty-first-century fairy tales. It analyzes the television shows Once Upon a Time and Secret Garden (a Korean drama), the young-adult novel series The Lunar Chronicles, the Indexing serial novels, and three experimental short works of fiction by Kelly Link. Some of these texts reconfigure well-known fairy tales by combining individual tales into a single storyworld; others self-referentially turn to fairy tales for guidance. These contemporary tales have at their center a crisis about the relevance and sustainability of fairy tales, and Williams argues that they both engage the fairy tale as a relevant genre and remake it to create a new kind of fairy tale.

Mapping Fairy-Tale Space is divided into two parts. Part 1 analyzes fairy-tale texts that collapse multiple distinct fairy tales so they inhabit the same storyworld, transforming the fairy-tale genre into a fictional geography of borderless tales. Williams examines the complex narrative restructuring enabled by this form of mash-up and expands postmodern arguments to suggest that fairy-tale pastiche is a critical mode of retelling that celebrates the fairy-tale genre while it critiques outdated ideological constructs. Part 2 analyzes the metaphoric use of fairy tales as maps, or guides, for lived experience. In these texts, characters use fairy tales both to navigate and to circumvent their own situations, but the tales are ineffectual maps until the characters chart different paths and endings for themselves or reject the tales as maps altogether. Williams focuses on how inventive narrative and visual storytelling techniques enable metafictional commentary on fairy tales in the texts themselves.

Mapping Fairy-Tale Space argues that in remaking the fairy-tale genre, these texts do not so much chart unexplored territory as they approach existing fairy-tale space from new directions, remapping the genre as our collective use of fairy tales changes. Students and scholars of fairy-tale and media studies will welcome this fresh approach.

MY FAIRY LIBRARY: MAKE A MAGIC

MY FAIRY LIBRARY: MAKE A MAGIC

$19.99
More Info
Open the box to go on an adventure into Fairyland and create a library of magical miniature books that you can really read!

Cleverly disguised as a book on your shelf, My Fairy Library opens to reveal everything you need to create miniature volumes of your favorite fairy tales along with a charming reading room to keep them. The completed set makes an enchanting backdrop for play or display.

Just cut, fold and stick to make 20 tiny fairy books, from guides to Fairyland and its inhabitants to illustrated stories and books to complete yourself. My Fairy Library also comes with tiny shelves to store your books and the box becomes a magical fairy playset.

This is an enchanting follow-up to 2017's My Miniature Library, lauded by the LA Times as 'the most precious gift set of the year.' Perfect for birthday presents, rainy day activities, and holiday stocking stuffers, not to mention a lovely space for any fairies, gnomes, and other tiny critters that may reside in your home.

Praise for My FairyLibrary:

The most precious gift set of the year. - Los Angeles Times