Friday, December 6, 2013
In our holiday abecedary, we're up to I is for Illustrated Catalogue of Fred Gensel & Co., and Industrial Iron Works of Philadelphia, 911-913 Vine St., a marvelous 78 page catalogue with detailed illustrations of Mr. Gensel's fine metal products running from bronze doors to tree guards and from iron fences to stable fittings. There are water stains to the front of the pamphlet and some stains on a few pages but, overall, in very nice shape in cardboard covers, $40. We're not sure when this pamphlet was published but it feels like turn of the 19th century. A great piece that bridges two of our sections - Philadelphia and technical books. Come check both out for fascinating glimpses of our past.
One part of our local Mt Airy industrial history is the right of way for the train that ran over Germantown Ave., near Cresheim Valley Rd., which has inched closer, thanks to the work of Ken Weinstein, to becoming a bike and hiking path that may, eventually, connect Fairmount Park to Montgomery County. Further up that trail, a group of neighbors successfully added a parcel of land, which they're calling Wissahickon East, to Fairmount Park and tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. -1 p.m., there will be a work party, meeting at Anderson St. and Woodbrook Lane, to start to make the area accessible to the public. For more information, and to sign up for the work party, fortunately scheduled on the only clear day of the weekend, contact Antje Mattheus, 215-514-4802, email@example.com.
J is for Jazz and for John Coltrane, a seminal jazz saxophonist of the mid twentieth century and the subject of this biography, a $4 paperback, by Dr. C. O. Simpkins. "Trane" spent much of his early music career in Philadelphia learning from some of the great Philadelphia jazz artists and became a shining light in the "free jazz" movement which is still deeply rooted in Philadelphia, This summer, we had two different jazz groups play at our Mt. Airy Train Station Free Concert Series who trace their music back to John Coltrane. Both concerts were wonderful and brought out big crowds of jazz fans. We invite you to check out our large music section, on the 2nd floor of Walk a Crooked Mile Books which ranges from popular sheet music to classical scores, from opera to folks music, from biographies of musicians to classical texts on harmony, and from magazines like Just Jazz Guitar to Beatles fan books.
A brief note about a temporary change in our schedule this week. We will stay open later than normal on Tuesday and close earlier than normal on Thursday. So the schedule for the next 10 days is: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Mondays and Thursday. 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Friday and Saturdays. Closed Wednesday. Open Sundays, 12- 4 p.m. Sorry for the confusion and for any inconvenience.
K is for Kid lit, of which we have lots, both in paperback, at $1, to hardbacks, some of which are collectible, like this wonderful hardback copy, $35, of Jean Merrill's, The Pushcart War, one of my all time favorite children's books. Like all of the best of children's books, this story works at a variety of levels. This is a very entertaining story about a "war" between the pushcarts of lower Manhattan as their "territory" gets increasingly impinged on by large delivery trucks which break the codes of behavior that have allowed commerce to work in New York City in the 50's. The primary "weapon" of the pushcart owners are pea shooters which can shoot not only peas, but tacks. Perhaps you see where that might lead. On another level, the story is about changes in our lives that come with technology and the conflict between big and small businesses. However, it is also laugh-out-loud funny.
Another laugh-out-loud experience is coming your way next weekend, when the Mount Airy Home Companion presents its Annual Holiday Show on Saturday, December 14, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, December 15, at 4 p.m. at the Allen's Lane Art Center. I am delighted to be in the performance cast as a worn out Santa seeking a new career here in Mt. Airy. The writing is very funny, the actors are great, the music from St. Mad and other performers is lovely and I would strongly urge to order tickets soon - I'm betting we will sell out.
L is for John C. Lilly, M.D., and his 1985 autobiography, a first in dust jacket at $8, entitled The Center of the Cyclone. Lily was trained as a Doctor at the Univeristy of Pennsylvania in the 40's and went on to be primarily a researcher. He was known for his work in human - dolphin relations as well as his work in neuro-anatomy but, in particular, for his research on the mind-brain interactions which led him to mysticism as well as use of LSD. This is just one of hundreds of fascinating biographies and autobiographies at Walk a Crooked Mile Books, also on the 2nd floor right next to the music section.
If you enjoy these brief looks at some of our stock I encourage you to go to our Facebook page where we have gotten into the habit of posting an interesting book almost every day. I'm dense when it comes to how Facebook works but I think that you may get future posts just by "liking" one of our posts. But you can also go to the bottom of our website page and sign up to get our posts, at least some of the time.
Please think of us when you are shopping for holiday presents. We only have 50,000 different ones ! We would be delighted to make suggestions, work up a gift certificate, in any amount, for you to give as a present, or even put together a "Book Stack" where we match the interests of your recipients with books from our store.
Hope to see you soon,
Greg and Cynthia