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On the Eleventh Day of Christmas in July…


… we give you The Singer of Tales written by Albert Bates Lord, a large part of whose library came to us in a donation in the Spring of 2011.

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Gifted in 1960 by the author, this book contains a fun little surprise inside that we found when paging through it prior to this post:  the paper tag from a tea bag!



“There is no greater power than the power of the word.”  This message is doubly appropriate when considering that Lord was a prominent scholar in oral composition and performance and this book in particular is about epic poetry and oral tradition.  A more fitting message on an impromptu bookmark would definitely be hard to come by.

Stay tuned for the final book in our 12 Days of Christmas in July series tomorrow!

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On the Tenth Day of Christmas in July…


… we give you ten gems from a Bibliography of Rudyard Kipling.


“Ten Gems” as in Ten Gems from Kipling, a collection of ten stories from Kipling.  It is featured in an entry in this rather thorough bibliography of the author.


Interestingly enough, this book was given as a Christmas gift in 1927 from Flora Livingston (the author)  to someone who may have also been a Kipling enthusiast.


What’s also interesting about this book is the gilt top edge.  While very pretty and eye-catching in itself, gilding the pages of a book (applying gold powder or leaf, or in some cases gold-colored paint to the edges of the page and sometimes the covers and spine as well) serves a practical purpose too.  When the gold powder is applied with glue it helps to protect the pages from dust, moisture, and browning.


Pretty and practical.  Check back tomorrow for more pretty and practical gift books in our 12 Days of Christmas in July series.

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On the Ninth Day of Christmas in July…

… we give you this edition of Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales.  (No nines in this one, it was a really hard day to find a book to fit…)


Given to Bertie in 1884, this volume contains the collected works of Andersen’s fairy tales, including the ever popular “The Little Mermaid.”


Many other stories also have illustrations to go with them, like this one from “The Snow Man” about a snowman that melts in the sun.  Much like one would if it were outside in today’s mid-July weather.


If you’re melting in the heat today, come visit us in the cool air-conditioning of the library!  And check back tomorrow for Day Ten of the Twelve Days of Christmas in July series.

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On the Eighth Day of Christmas in July…

… have a book gifted in 1888.  (Okay, it’s a stretch, but that’s a lot of eights.)  This copy of Mad Cap, a book of short illustrated children’s tales was given either to or by Harry D. Silsby on Christmas 1888.


Though the pages are in a delicate condition now, the illustrations remain a beautiful example of a great Christmas gift, as you can see for yourself below.


Drop us a comment below and tell us your favorite book as a child.  And stay tuned for more in our Christmas in July series!

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On the Seventh Day of Christmas in July…

… how about an adventure on (or rather under) the seven seas?  This edition of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was given to John from Babby and Ella in 1935.


This volume comes from our Frank Luther Mott Collection of American Best Sellers.  For those unfamiliar with the book, it was written by Jules Verne in 1869/70 and tells the story of Professor Pierre Aronnax and his eventual dealings with Nemo, the bizarre captain of the submarine the Nautilus.

This edition contains several wonderful illustrations of the odd and sometimes frightening sea creatures that those aboard the submarine come across in their travels, as well as some interesting designs on the endpapers.



For more of our Christmas in July series, check back here tomorrow!


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