A funny thing happened…

There will be no hideous handbag posting this month, as I haven’t really encountered any. Maybe I’ve been shopping less. Maybe tastes have improved. Maybe no one submitted anything. Maybe next month’s post will feature bags SO HIDEOUS they will compensate for this month’s lack of posts. You decide.

I had been making serious headway in my office. I was really excited.

And then I visited my mom to help clean out the family homestead.

I came home with three boxes of books. Big boxes of big old hardcover books that I absolutely will not trade in because they’re amazing.

The Burgess Bird Book for Children (1919), The Burgess Animal Book for Children (1920) and the Burgess Flower Book for Children (1923), beautifully written and full of gorgeous full-color illustrations. A 1915 version of Cinderella, again with beautiful illustrations and catchy verses retelling the story. Several Dr. Doolittle books from the 1920s. Tons of mythology, fables, fairy tales, and folklore. I LOVED mythology, fairy tales, fables and folklore as a child–and still do. When I was working on my master’s in literature and deluding myself with the notion that I might get a Ph.D., I was seduced by Virginia Woolf–obsessed with the idea of writing a brilliant dissertation on her work. Now I realize that what would have come most naturally for me is analysis of how the meaning assigned to fairy tales, myths and fables changes during times of societal upheaval. But I digress.

Hawthorne's wonder Book

Hawthorne’s Wonder Book.

While there were many books that I loved as a child, this is the one that stands out in my memory: Hawthorne’s Wonder Book. Nathaniel Hawthorne retells myths for children in a wonder, conspiratorial way – he makes you feel like you’re learning someone’s secrets, part of some inner circle. The whole book is lush and indulgent.

Truly amazing stuff.


One of my favorite plates.


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