In the Quarter by Robert W. Chambers
Underground Reading: Empire State by Jason Shiga

Friday Five - Book Porn Edition

Nothing too saucy, but we were doing some cleaning, and thought we'd capture shots of a few of the more unconventionally beautiful books on our shelves.

What eclectic treasures do you have lurking on your bookcases? Please share!

Mornings in Florence

John Ruskin's Mornings in Florence - Bernard Tauchnitz, Leipzig (1907). This has a crazy cover with etched leather and (broken) metal clasps. I'm a little disappointed that it isn't a bit Ye Olde Demonologie, but I suppose Ruskin rambling about art is a close second.

The Raven

Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven - Greece (2003). The text itself is in both Greek and English, but all the commentary is in Greek. As well as the beautiful artwork by Hamiru Ali, this collects 24 pages of other Poe illustration (Dore, Redon, Manet, etc.) Neat book. 

Phantom City and Surprise

15 Short Short Surprise Stories: A collection of swell stories, each with a surprise ending. Royce Publishers, Chicago (1944). Tiny little book, with crazy pulp illustrations on the inside. I have never heard of any of these stories. Or authors. But golly, they are swell!

William Westalls' The Phantom City: A volcanic romance - Cassell and Company, London (1889). Well, how awesome is this? Also, the turkey/chicken monster is straight out of Ray Harryhausen and "Clash of the Titans".

English Villages
Humphrey Pakington's English Villages and Hamlets (1934). This is 100% adorable. Also, so colourful

Black Cat Club

James D. Corrothers' The Black Cat Club - Funk & Wagnalls, New York (1902). Gorgeous illustrations by J.K. Bryans - all black and white silhouettes, just amazing, really. Rather extraordinary collection of "Negro humor and folklore". Historical relevance, etc. etc., really just racist. But, hey, the art is amazing.

New York

Paul Morand's New York - William Heinamann, London (1931). Illustrations by Joquin Vaquero (actually Joaquin Vaquero). One of my personal favourites, thanks wholly to the 14 black and white deco illustrations. (Well, a little hep from the typography and awesome cover.)

Ixion in Heaven

Benjamin Disraeli's Ixion in Heaven - Henry Holt, New York (1925). Illustrations by John Austen. Totally batshit. Austen started out a bit like Aubrey Beardsley, but wound up with a slightly bonkers style all his own. Fun and colourful.


The Adventures of Baron Munchausen - Club des Libraries de France, Paris (1959). Illustrations by Gustave Dore. A reproduction of the 1862 edition. Dore was the shizzle.