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One of the very best of the books for the young is that by the McClurg Publishing House of Chicago, called "Donkey John" of the "Toy Valley." Margaret Warner Morley is the author, and she has certainly written a quaintly attractive book for children. Here is a legend that will give you the secret of the plot. The "Toy Valley" lies in the Tyrol of Austria, and in it dwell a unique race of unknown lineage and speaking an unknown tongue. This delightful story describes the peculiar life and the peculiar industry of this little-known valley, and the illustrations are from actual toys made there.
Mr. Randall Parish has written a very strong novel in "My Lady of the South," and contrary to usual malpractice, the artist, Alonzo Kimball, has followed closely the lines of the author, and has given us artistic and historically correct pictures in full color as illustrations.
It is not yet the great American novel, but it is mighty near it. Here we have the beautiful characters of the women of
A. C. McClurg & Co., Chicago, Pub- the civil war period, and the strong bronze lishers.
Here's a stirring one for the boys and the girls around the Christmas yule log. It is called "Sure-dart," and it is by F. H. Costello, and the author has gone back to the days of the antideluvian monsters for his tale. Sure-dart and his friend HopFoot are two young hunters of the days we are so fond of calling "prehistoric," when strange monsters roamed the earth, the pterodactyls and the troglodytes and the other unmentionables made night hideous and day horrible with their jibes and jeers, when man's only weapons against them was a flaked stone spear or an axe, and when the big club was paramount. Besides being an entertaining and interestcompelling tale, it is a truthful one as far as the monsters are concerned, and the illustrations are as correctly drawn as can be from the pieced remains of the dear lamented.
A. C. McClurg & Co., Chicago, Publishers.
men of militant times. We have a very clever mixture of historical fact with stirring fiction, and the whole is portrayed by a writer who has made a profound study of the times, and who at the same time has kept his thumb on the pulse of the present day and knows the kind of stuff that will appeal to the reading public. It's a fine story. You won't drop it till you're through with it, that's all. A. C. McClurg & Co., Chicago.
"A Volunteer with Pike" is another of the recent volumes that is full of stir and red blood. It is a long story, but it carries you clear to the end without a moment of flagging interest. Robert Ames Bennet is the author, and the publishers are the house of McClurg & Co., of Chicago. The illustrations are not quite up to the standard of this house, and they lack virility. This, however, is made up for in the text, and, if you are wanting a story that will completely carry you away from business. you just join "the Volunteer with Pike."
"The March of Portola and the Log of the San Carlos" supplies a "long-felt want." It is the story of Portola's quest authenticated from all obtainable records, and it places the laurel where it belongs. There is a quaint interest throughout the lines, and the illustrations by Walter Francis are gems in their way. The whole is delightfully printed on rough India
A valuable addition to any public or public library is the magnificent volume called "The Columbia River: Its History, Its Myths, Its Scenery, Its Commerce.' This is profusely illustrated, and is the most complete of all the volumes of history of that wonderful section of the great
The author, Professor Wm.
Dennison Lyman, is the head of the Department of History in Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington. The frontispiece is a splendid steel gravure of St. Peter's dome, Columbia River. One of the great romances of American history is the acquisition of the Pacific Coast. Not only is the history thrilling and instructive, by reason of the momentous issues involved, but the Pacific Coast possesses a charm, rare and unique in all its physical characteristics. Of all striking and impressive features of the West Coast perhaps the most transcendantly interesting is the Columbia river, the great stream that is the subject of this most complete volume.
G. P. Putnam & Sons are the publishers, Knickerbocker Press.
And what an avalanche of poets! We have them of all shades and varieties; mere versifiers who sing in halting measure and others who dash along in Homeric strain, dabsters at the immortal art of silent singing, and others who are the mechanically perfect, who dole us out the dirge with record precision. The Christmas season brings the poet as the springtime does. I noticed that the only thing that could put a quietus of some duration on the versifier was the big earthquake, and it was full two weeks before the poet emerged from his hiding place and offered his wares on the market. The prose writer was Johnny-on-the-spot. This goes prove that the poet is more sensitive, physically.
Daniel S. Richardson is the author of the compiled volume called "Trail Dust.” It's a good title, and the verse is of more than ordinary merit. Author and publisher are local. The book is from the presses of A. M. Robertson.
Mr. Richardson is not unknown to fame. He has contributed widely to the Eastern and Western magazines, and his work is of a very pleasing character. He runs the gamut from grave to gay, and there is a splendid, subtle wit in some of the poems that is most charming.
One of the big books of the year is that from Charles Scribner & Sons' press, the Handbook of Alaska, by Major-General A. W. Greeley. This book deals with the resources, products and attractions of the great peninsula brought into the map of the United States by the immortal Seward. There have been many books published on Alaska, but none has as yet been presented that is as entrancing as this one is from every possible point of view. It is profusely and finely illustrated with halftones from good photographs, and the text is of such character as to be interesting and instructive without being, in any measure, dry. Major-General Greeley spent many years in the compilation of this work, and,
incidentally, much of his time was spent on the Alaskan coast, and in the interior. The miner, the hunter, the student, or the business man will find this book a pleasure and a tonic, and it is so subdivided that it has alloted to its several topics many pages that would ordinarily form small publications as text books of authority. It is condensed into its most useful form in this one volume, and it does not in any way lose interest to the reader by the condensation. Entirely too little is known of the wonderful country we have in the far North, and the publishers and author have conferred a lasting favor on the public through this publication. No public or private library is complete without the "Handbook of Alaska," by Major-General A. W. Greeley, U. S. A.
Charles Scribners Sons, publishers.
Every county board of trustees, every board of supervisors and health board throughout California should lay out the sum of $3.25 for the purchase for the use of such boards the book called "The Production and the Handling of Clean Milk.” It is a work by Kenelm Winslow, and it is one of the most practical, complete, plain and authoritative guides to the production, analysis, handling and distribution of milk that has come under my notice. The book comes to me for review, and I can freely say that it is welcome to all the publicity I can give it. No health office is complete without this volume. We are confronted at all times with a horde of troubles arising from impure milk, and our usual solution of the difficulty is to be found in the canned product. There are other ways to meet the bad milk problem, however, and these are found in Winslow's volume. He tells how to detect the cause, and by cleanliness remove it. By a cursory perusal of this book it is easily ascertained that there are but very few of our dairies that are sanitary, and fewer still that attempt in any way to reach the standard set by Doctor Winslow. There is no more important question of the day than that of a pure milk supply, and it is the advice of the Reviewer that county boards and city health officers provide themselves with this most useful volume.
The publishing house is that of William R. Jenkins & Co., New York.
Another poet drifts in with "The Song of the Wahbeek." Henry Pelham Holmes Bromwell is not unknown to fame; during the days before and after the war of secession he occupied a prominent position. in Illinois. He was identified with the early history of Vandalia. He has contributed to the literature of Masonry by a great work on "Masonic Symbolry." He died in 1903. "The Song of the Wahbeek" is copyrighted and published by Henrietta Bromwell. Of the author of the poem, which is much in the style of Scott, it may be said that he lived and died a gentleman of the old school, and no better epitaph is needed nor can any better be devised. "The Song of the Wahbeek" is an addition to Indian lore, and it is full of notes to the verses that make the reading doubly interesting.
If you are of a serious turn of mind, and you wish to read something that is perfectly delightful, then turn you to "The New Ethics" of Professor J. Howard Moore, of the Crane Manual Training School of Chicago. The publisher is Samuel A. Bloch, The Bookman, Chicago.
Professor Moore has a directness of style that is so absolutely charming and convincing that it takes away from a thesis on ethics all dryness, and makes it as readable as the most romantic fiction. His book should be in the hands of every grown-up child, from fourteen to twentyone, in the office of every business man, in the nursery of every mother, in the hands of the artisan and in those of the captains of industry. The world would be the better for its use as a family and school text book for every day of the year. It is not a preachment at all! It is simply a series of deductions by one of the clean-minded, brave, clear-eyed men of the world; it is the reading of the riddle of life by one who sees in it no difficulties, that may not be surmounted, and who is not bound by the ties and chains of custom or blinded by the dust of bigotry or the gag of fear. It all reads as nicely as the description of the development of a rose. There is nothing hackneyed about there is nothing lectury or trite. It will do you good.
The Garden Book of California should
be a delight to all lovers of the things that grow because it treats of plant and tree life in California. I have found it an almost impossible task to find a practical treatise on the subject, as nearly all the books on this delightful subject are published in some far-off country, where plant life lies dormant for half the year. Belle Sumner Angier, therefore, has conferred a favor on you and me, and Paul Elder & Co. have got the book up in sumptuous style, so that, besides being extremely useful and entertaining, it also becomes an ornament to any library. It treats of the flower garden as a factor in home-making, tells of simple gardening methods; there is a planting-time calendar; the culture of the common plants is dealt with in a simple manner; when you get through, you will know all about bulbs, tropical plants, roses, palms, ferns and ferneries, tree planting and protection, plant diseases, etc. This is a fine Christmas book, and one of the most beautiful as well as useful publications of the whole year.
Among novelists writing to-day, E. Phillips Oppenheim has few equals in the magic art of narration. His imagination is unbounded, his plots are well thought out and cleverly developed, with due regard to probability, while his wide knowledge of the world and of men gives to his romances a distinction which raises them above the ordinary tales of romantic adventure or mystery.
His latest story, "Jeanne of the Marshes," is a brilliant and engrossing tale of love and intrigue, which grips the reader's attention at the start and holds it to the finish. The hero is a man of birth and education who cares nothing for society, preferring an outdoor life at his ancestral estate on the Norfolk coast; the heroine is a lovable girl whom adulation has not spoiled. The setting is chiefly at the Red Hall, in Norfolk, where Cecil de la Borne plays the host to an ill-assorted house-party, while his elder half-brother masquerades as a fisherman. Endless complications, and events and scenes of the most exciting character, lead up to a satisfactory climax, in which a subterranean tunnel leading to the sea has an important part.
There comes to the reviewer's desk a very modest volume bound in brown buckram and bearing the unpretentious title of "Verses by E. F. Green." book is the production of a local poet, and the printing and the binding is by the house of A. M. Robertson. The author is modest and unassuming, and does not rush me headlong into aggressive critique by labeling the wares offered the public as "poems." "poems." We have writers of doggerel who write poems, men and women who are good at versifying who write "poems," and we have a very few individuals who are real poets and who write write splendid verse. E. F. Green, whoever he is or she is, is one of these rarely modest people who announce great works with very faint self praise. The verse runs from grave to gay, and in the lighter vein there is a touch that is as delicate as the flick of a butterfly's wing. "Tis nicely attuned for every mood as a Christmas gift.
Joel Chandler Harris has always been one of the idols of the small boy and the grown man. He is loved by his readers, and as the memory of him grows more and more fragrant, his works will become more and more dear to his legion of friends. You will find his latest published work, "The Shadow Between His Shoulder Blades" a really fine book, but it is not written for the small boy's delectation, but for grown ups, and it is a story relating to incidents connected with the war of the Confederacy. It relates of the hanging, in the end, of a renegade Confederate, Bushrod Claiborne, and it is a goodly tale about men with red blood. The only pity of it is 'tis too short. Joel Chandler Harris knew his South as no other man knew it.
Small, Maynard & Co., Publishers.
One of the very best of the holiday booklets is that by P. C. McFarland, of Kansas City, and formerly of Alameda, California. Mr. McFarland has lately made a big name for himself as a writer of stories containing much of the human interest, and he is in demand by the big publishers. The "Quest of the Yellow Pearl" is out of the rut of every-day writing, and is a new version of the story of the Christ. It is a most beautiful story, and it makes one feel all the better, for the reading of it. It is a lecture bound in cheap paper, and of almost the value of the yellow pearl itself. It makes for better men and better ideals, and it is no flattery to say that McFarland has done a big, good thing in this writing of his, and it is an agnostic says so. It is one of the very best of holiday booklets that has ever come to my notice, and it must not be thought that Mr. McFarland does only this kind of thing. His other work is modern and everyday, and calls attention to itself because of the very close relation of this minister of the gospel to the everyday life of man. It is not preachment he writes in his magazine stories, but everyday, enjoyable fiction based on fact. "The Quest of the Yellow Pearl" has for its publishers the Fleming H. Revell Co.
"Mary of Arcady" is the alluring title of a new book by F. Hewes Lancaster, and it is one of the best of the year. It is as pleasant as entering a room where a whole souled welcome awaits you to find as a frontispiece a very beautiful sketch of the heroine by Rose O'Neill. The story is that of characters to be found among the descendants of the old Arcadians of the Evangeline legend in lower Mississippi reaches, and it is a sweetly told tale, idyllic in its setting and full of charm and love. An ideal Christmas gift book. An addition to any library of fiction. Small, Maynard & Co., Publishers.
would seem as an inspired biography of a man well endowed with these world's goods, and who was anxious to leave to his children a history of himself, expurgated to suit his tastes, to the end that time may deal gently with his memory. Such is not the case, however, and the author of "The Romance of Steel" and "The Romance of the Reaper" has known how to make this last work an intensely interesting one. McCormick was in many ways a most extraordinary man, and it was not alone in his Reaper that he showed his genius, but in nearly every direction in which man's ingenuity may move. The history of McCormick is a romance of achievement, and it is a lesson to the American boy and girl. Mr. Herbert N. Casson has made the story of this big, smart, generous, good man as entrancing as a novel. You ought to read it. It will pay you many times over.
A. C. McClurg & Co., Chicago, publishers.
Edwin L. Sabin is well known to the readers of the Overland Monthly, and he deserves well at our hands. He has written a story that will make many a boy or adult with red blood glad, in the "Bar B. Boys," and it is bound to be one of the best sellers in Boyland for the holiday season. There is nothing in it that is not wholesome. I read it myself, and then I turned it over to the office boy and the chauffeur, and they both came back with glistening eyes. The office boy said that he "sure knows that kind o' people, and that's a great book." The chauffeur said that Mr. Sabin is a "dandy." There you have it, and that is really better for the publisher and the author than pages of critique, for my office boy is a very real boy, and the chauffeur is a quick, bright young man who is not to be imposed upon by a glittering array of literary fustian. That's why I say that "Bar B. Boys" is going to sell. Boys" is going to sell. The publisher's imprint is the Thomas Y. Crowell Company, New York.