Books for Sale: Western Americana and Assorted Literature
Index of Authors (alpha by first name) point to item #s below:
Allan A. Schoenherr, # 15
Barry Lopez, #69
Bret Harte, #s 32, 33, 34, 35
Carey McWilliams, # 13
Earl Pomery, # 27
Frederick Remington, # 44, 45, 46, 47
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, #s 62, 63, 64
Gene M. Gressley, #66
George Orwell, # 55
George Wharton James, # 16
Gertrude Atherton. # 17
H. L Mencken, # 60
Harold McCracken, # 42
Helen Hunt Jackson, # 25
Idwal Jones, #s 53, 54
Ignacio Silone, # 58
James Agee, #s 49, 50
James Jones, # 39
Jane Jacobs, #65, 67
John C Young , # 2
John Caughey, # 14
John Coulter, # 11
John McPhee, #s 36, 37, 38, 38A
John Muir, # 9
John Steinbeck, #s 20, 20A, 21, 22, 22A, 23
Josiah Gregg, # 28
Lewis, #1
1
Major Frederick Burnham, # 10
Mary Austin, # 3, #4, # 5
Octave Feuillet, # 40
Oscar T. Shuck, 30
Owen Wister, #s 6, 7, 8, 44
Pietro Di Donato, # 48
Rachel Carson, # 57
Richard Wright, # 61
Robert Louis Stevenson, # 26
Rufus Coleman, # 29
TH Watkins, # 41
Truman Capote, # 59
Upton Sinclair, # 24, 24A
W. Storrs Lee, # 30
Walter Van Tilburg Clark, #s 18, 19
Willa Cather, # 56
William Brewer, # 12
William Saroyan, #68
Zane Grey, #s 51, 52
1. “The Bay of San Francisco: Metropolis of the Pacific Coast and
Its Suburban Cities” Lewis, 1892, 2 volumes, full gilt tooled, brown
morocco, fine condition $375. NOTE: detailed, fine illustration; local
personality histories, snapshot of 19th C San Francisco.
2. “San Francisco: A History of the Pacific Coast Metropolis”, John
C. Young, 1912, Signed, #915 of a limited Edition, good condition, 2
volumes, $300. NOTE: Illustrations and Portraits. All edges gilt, gilt titles. Includes
biographies of prominent men. Stamp of the Athenian Club, Pull out plates and many photos
of San Fran in the 19th Century!
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3. Cactus Thorn” by Mary Austin (1868-1934), first edition 1988 – $25,
previously unpublished novella, perfect condition, $25 NOTE: Author of
“Land of Little Rain” # 2 & 3 above. Because of its rejection of social conventions and its
violent conclusion, Mary Austin’s Cactus Thorn written around 1927, did not see publication
until 1988. Its publication was part of the movement during the latter decades of the
twentieth century to recover
forgotten or suppressed texts by female authors. Its plot
and themes place it within what Elaine Showalter calls the “feminist” phase of women’s
writing, in which female authors, tired of conforming to male standards of artistic
production, invent heroines who suffer under the domineering actions of male characters.
4.
“The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains” by Owen Wister,
Heritage Press printing 1953, story copyrighted 1902, color illustrations,
$25 NOTE: The Virginian is thought of as the first of the great western novels that
defined the genre. The Virginian, both the character and the book are considered to
be first of their kind. The character is seen as the first real cowboy character that has
set the standard for the cowboy character stereotype. The book is seen as one of the
first great western novels about cowboys.
5.
“The West Of Owen Wister” Short Stories, Robert Hough, 1st edition
hardback with dust cover, 1972, $35 NOTE: 6 incredible stories including
Hanks Woman. Owen Wister is remembered today almost solely as the author of The
Virginian, yet his short stories, dating from the turn of the century, gave us our first real
knowledge of the West's "wide, wild farm and ranch community, spotted with remote towns,
and veined with infrequent railroads." And this West was not merely that of the cowboy, but
of the soldier, the seeker, the Indians, the hunter, even the priest. This volume presents six of
Wister's finest stories, chosen to exhibit the less well remembered facets of his talent. Their
settings—ranging from a mining camp in the Rockies to a northwestern territorial capital to a
southwestern desert town, and from a California mission to army posts on the high plains—
are as varied as the characters and the situations. The introduction by Robert L. Hough
discusses the factors the impelled Wister to write about the West ad his ambivalent feelings
about the region, as well as his story-telling techniques and artistic goals. Wister always
checked his facts for authenticity.
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6. “Philosophy Four” by Owen Wister, 1903, 1st edition, $15. NOTE: Rare
edition of a “small” novel by Wister, author of “The Virginian” (above).
NOTE: Fascinating and lively discourse among two feisty students and
their mentor at Harvard.
7. “Scouting on Two Continents” by Major Frederick Russell Burnham,
D.S.O., copyright 1928, illustrated, First edition for this publication, $100
NOTE: Frederick Russell Burnham, DSO (May 11, 1861 – September 1, 1947) was an American
scout and world traveling adventurer known for his service to the British Army in colonial
Africa and for teaching woodcraft to Robert Baden-Powell, thus becoming one of the
inspirations for the founding of the international Scouting Movement., i.e. the Boy & Girl
Scouts.
Burnham had little formal education, attending but never graduating high school. He began his
career at 14 in the American Southwest as a scout and tracker. Burnham then went to Africa
where this background proved useful. He soon became an officer in the British Army, serving in
several battles there. During this time, Burnham became friends with Baden-Powell, and passed
on to him both his outdoor skills and his spirit for what would later become known as
Scouting.
Burnham eventually moved on to become involved in espionage, oil, conservation, writing
and business. His descendants are still active in Scouting.
8.
“Adventures on the Coast of South America, and the Interior of
California” by John Coulter, London 1847, 2 Volumes bound in one, 1st
edition, $350. NOTE: London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans 1847. First
edition, 2 vols, pp. xxiv, 288, Coulter’s descriptions are often overlooked and (because there
are no plates) often underestimated for their importance. He describes the Padres, the
temescal huts of the natives, bull and bear fights, hunting and bird populations and the
abundance of produce and fine weather. AN IMPORTANT EARLY CALIFORNIA BOOK.
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9.
“Up & Down California in 1860-1864”. By William Brewer, 1st
edition, 1930, Only 2,000 copies printed as a 1st edition $350 NOTE:
William Henry Brewer (1828-1910) was a professor of chemistry at Washington College in
Pennsylvania when he joined the staff of California’s first State Geologist, Josiah Dwight
Whitney, 1860-1864. On returning east, Brewer became Professor of Agriculture at Yale, a
post he held for nearly forty years. Up and down California collects Brewer’s letters and
journal entries recording his work with Whitney’s geological survey of California, chronicling
not merely the survey’s scientific work but the social, agricultural, and economic life of the
state from south to north as the survey’s men passed along.
Many illustrations and a fold-out map of California bound just in front of the index.
Originally kept as his own permanent record of the first California Geological Survey William
Brewer never published them in his lifetime and they remained in the hands of his descendants
until published by Yale University Press in 1930. Lawrence Clark Powell says of this "His
description of California in the early 1860s is unmatched by any other in its variety, fidelity
and human interest"
13A “Southern
California Country: An Island On the Land” by
Carey McWilliams, PFaper $9
10.
“California Heritage: An Anthology of History and Literature”
by John & Laree Caughey, 1st collected edition, 1962, illustrated with
photographs by Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, and Philip Hyde, with
excellent jacket $100 NOTE: For more than 400 years, California has inspired a
great outpouring of writing. The prehistoric Indian set the pattern, his skill in spinning stories
was second only to their genius in basket making. Actual writing came with the Spaniards and
the tribe of writers has increased ever since. From this vast deposit, the editors have panned
representative specimens of the best writing. This book includes verse, essay, the novel, sober
history, and personal narrative. Most of the authors are Californians, or were for a time,
though at least one did not so much as visit the state. Illustrated with black and white
photographs.
11. “A Natural History of California”, Allan A. Schoenherr, 1992, 1st
edition, $75 NOTE: In this comprehensive and abundantly illustrated book, Allan
Schoenherr describes a state with a greater range of landforms, a greater variety of habitats,
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and more kinds of plants and animals than any area of equivalent size in all of North America.
A Natural History of California will familiarize the reader with the climate, rocks, soil, plants
and animals in each distinctive region of the state. In this comprehensive and abundantly
illustrated book, Allan Schoenherr describes a state with a greater range of landforms, a
greater variety of habitats, and more kinds of plants and animals than any area of equivalent
size in all of North America. A Natural History of California will familiarize the reader with
the climate, rocks, soil, plants and animals in each distinctive region of the state.
12.
“California, Romantic & Beautiful” by George Wharton James,
rare 1st impression/edition, 1914, $250. NOTE: The History of Its Old
Missions and of Its Indians; A Survey of Its Climate, Topography, Deserts, Mountains,
Rivers, Valleys, Islands, and Coast Line; A Description of Its Recreations and Festivals;
A Review of Its Industries; An Account of Its Influence Upon Prophets, Poets, Artists
and Architects; and Some Reference to What It Offers of Delight to the Automobilist,
Traveler, Sportsman, Pleasure and Health Seeker. The color plates are stunning and
worth saving in and of themselves.
13.
“The Californians” by Gertrude Atherton, 1898, 5th edition, $25. NOTE:
She was born in San Francisco and lived in California all her life. She eloped with George H.B.
Atherton when she was only 19, and had two children. Her husband discouraged her writing; and
the serial publication of her first novel, The Randolphs of Redwoods (1882), though unsigned,
scandalized her family.
After her husband's death, in 1887, she was free to pursue her writing career as a protégé of
Ambrose Bierce, eventually writing 60 books and numerous articles and short stories. Atherton's
first signed novel, What Dreams May Come, was published in 1888 under the pseudonym Frank
Lin.
She is best remembered for her "California Series," several novels and short stories dealing with the
social history of California. The series includes The Splendid, Idle Forties (1902); The Conqueror
(1902), which is a fictionalized biography of Alexander Hamilton; and her sensational, semiautobiographical novel Black Oxen (1923), about a middle-aged woman who miraculously
becomes young again after glandular therapy.
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Her novels often feature strong heroines who pursue independent lives, undoubtedly a reaction
to her stifling married life. "The Foghorn," written in 1933, is a psychological horror story that has
been compared to The Yellow Wallpaper.
14.
“The Track of the Cat” by Walter Van Tilburg Clark, 1st printing,
1949, $35, a novel of Nevada. NOTE: The author of “The Oxbow Incident”
writes about the struggle in the west of man and nature. In this case a Man sets out to track
and take a panther who has been marauding 4 men... A western classic. “"The reason why The
Track of the Cat is a novel of the first rank is that its author says something of universal
significance. The black panther has always been there since the beginning of man’s existence
in the world. It will always be there, looming over man and always to be hunted though never
killed." —San Francisco Chronicle
"Clark’s story is continuously and wonderfully exciting. He is able to bring before the reader
with extraordinary vividness the clash of stubborn wills in the snow-bound ranch house, the
unpopulated mountain landscape, the snow and cold, and above all, the hunt itself." —Yale
Review
Walter Van Tilburg Clark, author of The Ox-box Incident , The City of Trembling Leaves, The
Watchful Gods and Other Stories & The Track of the Cat, lived in Virginia City and is
considered one of Nevada's most distinguished novelists. Born in 1909, he ranks as one of
Nevada's most distinguished literary figures in the twentieth century, as well as a leading
interpreter of the American West. Clark died in Virginia City, Nevada, in 1971.
15. “The City of Trembling Leaves” by Walter Van Tilburg Clark, 1st edition,
1945, $20. NOTE: Born in East Orland, Maine, Clark grew up and went to college in
Reno, where his father was president of the University of Nevada. In 1933 Clark married
Barbara Frances Morse and moved to Cazenovia, New York, where he taught high school
English and began his fiction-writing career. His first book, The Ox-Bow Incident, published
in 1940, is a tale about a posse mistaking three innocent travelers for cattle rustlers. When the
men are killed, the posse-turned-lynch mob finds that they were wrong. The book examines
law and order as well as culpability. It was well-received and gave Clark a level of literary
acclaim that was unusual for a writer of Westerns. In 1943 it was adapted into a movie starring
Henry Fonda. Clark published two more novels, The City of Trembling Leaves and The Track
of the Cat, and a collection of his short stories over the next decade, which were also wellreceived. Although he continued to write prolifically after 1950, Clark published very little.
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He took several academic positions, including returning to Reno to serve as the writer-inresidence at the university from 1962 until his death in Reno in Nov. of 1971.
16. “Travels with Charley: In Search of America” By John Steinbeck with
slightly work dust jacket, 1963 Viking Press 1st edition. $75
NOTE: To hear the speech of the real America, to smell the grass and the trees, to see the
colors and the light— these were John Steinbeck's goals as he set out, at the age of fiftyeight, to rediscover the country he had been writing about for so many years.
17.
“The Grapes of Wrath” by Jon Steinbeck, 1939, 1967 Viking edition, $20.
NOTE:
Steinbeck wrote The Grapes of Wrath at his home, 16250 Greenwood Lane, in what is
now Monte Sereno, California. Set during the Great Depression, the novel focuses on a poor
family of sharecroppers, the Joads, driven from their home by drought, economic hardship, and
changes in the agriculture industry. In a nearly hopeless situation, they set out for California's
Central Valley along with thousands of other "Okies" in search of land, jobs, and dignity. The
novel is meant to emphasize the need for cooperative, as opposed to individualistic, solutions to
social problems brought about by the mechanization of agriculture and the Dust Bowl drought.
18.
“East of Eden” by John Steinbeck, 1952 by Viking Press, 1st Edition with
dust jacket, $375. NOTE: This incredible story finds a young man discovering his mother
is a prostitute, grand in scope and story. Often described as Steinbeck's most ambitious novel, East
of Eden brings to life the intricate details of two families, the Trasks and the Hamiltons, and their
interwoven stories. The novel was originally addressed to Steinbeck's young sons, Thom and John
(then 6½ and 4½ respectively). Steinbeck wanted to describe the Salinas Valley for them in detail:
the sights, sounds, smells, and colors.
22A “East of Eden” Bok of the Month Club edition, 1995 $10
The Hamilton family in the novel is said to be based on the real-life family of Samuel Hamilton,
Steinbeck's maternal grandfather.[1] A young John Steinbeck also appears briefly in the novel as a
minor character.[2]
According to his last wife Elaine, he considered this to be a requiem for himself—his greatest
novel ever. Steinbeck stated about East of Eden: "It has everything in it I have been able to learn
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about my craft or profession in all these years." He further claimed: "I think everything else I have
written has been, in a sense, practice for this."
20A “To a God Unknown” by John Steinbeck, 1946 , 6th Printing by
Tower Books, $5. NOTE: “I believe this is as close as Steinbeck gets to
understanding nature as a component of humanity. Almost religious but
not. I think this is a rare find.” Terry Marasco
19. “America and Americans” by John Steinbeck with photos, 1966, 1st
edition, $15. NOTE: 55 prominent photographers, 136 photos, 24 in full
color, Steinbeck reflects on America
20. “Oil”
by Upton Sinclair, 1927, eight printing in Great Britain by Grosset &
Dunlap, $25. NOTE: Oil! is a novel by Upton Sinclair published in 1927. It is a third person
narrative, with its main character being "Bunny" Arnold Ross Jr., son of an oil tycoon. Bunny's
sympathetic feelings towards oilfield workers and socialists provoke arguments with his father
throughout the story. The book was written in the context of the Harding administration's
Teapot Dome Scandal and takes place in southern California.
On December 26, 2007, a film loosely based on the novel was released under the title There Will
Be Blood, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, with Daniel Day-Lewis in the lead role and Paul
Dano in the supporting cast. A recent printing of the novel was released on December 18, 2007
with the banner "the inspiration for There Will Be Blood".
24a. “A Cry for Justice” by Upton Sinclair, 1915, Anthology, maroon cover
with gilt lettering on cover, 1st edition $20- American novelist, essayist,
playwright, and short story writer, whose works reflect socialistic views. Upton Sinclair
stated in 1903 that "My Cause is the Cause of a man who has never yet been defeated, and
whose whole being is one all devouring, God-given holy purpose". Among Sinclair's most
famous books is THE JUNGLE (1906). It launched a government investigation of the
meatpacking plants of Chicago, and changed the food laws of America. Sinclair's works
are still read, although writers with political and social ideals are not popular in the West -
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or East. Cry is an anthology 5,000 years of social protest writing with remarkable
illustrations rarely seen.
21.
“Ramona” by Helen Hunt Jackson, Grosset & Dunlap, pub date
unknown, about 1912, $25. NOTE: Helen Maria Hunt Jackson (October 18, 1830 August 12, 1885) was an American writer best known as the author of Ramona, a novel about
the ill treatment of Native Americans in southern California. A love story about a half-Indian
orphan and the handsome full-blooded Indian Alessandro who must flee the prejudice with
which their romance is met and strike out on their own in a hostile land. Helen Hunt Jackson
wrote this novel in 1884 to draw attention to the plight of dispossessed . In 1879, her interests
turned to the plight of the Native Americans after attending a lecture in Boston by Ponca
Chief Standing Bear, who described the forcible removal of the Ponca Indians from their
Nebraska reservation. Jackson was angered by what she heard regarding the unfair treatment
at the hands of government agents and became an activist. She started investigating and
publicizing the wrongdoing, circulating petitions, raising money, and writing letters to The
New York Times on behalf of the Poncas. She also started writing a book condemning the
Indian policy of the government and the history of broken treaties. Because she was in poor
health at the time, she wrote with desperate haste. A Century of Dishonor, calling for change
from the contemptible, selfish policy to treatment characterized by humanity and justice, was
published in 1881. Jackson then sent a copy to every member of Congress with an
admonishment printed in red on the cover, "Look upon your hands: they are stained with the
blood of your relations." But, to her disappointment, the book had little impact.
22. “Edinburgh:
Picturesque Notes, Silverado Squatters, Memories
and Portraits” by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1904 The Co-Operative
Publication Society, New York & London, illustrated, $35. NOTE:
Stevenson was a celebrity in his own time, but with the rise of modern literature after World
War I, he was seen for much of the 20th century as a writer of the second class, relegated to
children's literature and horror genres. Condemned by authors such as Virginia Woolf and
Leonard Woolf, he was gradually excluded from the canon of literature taught in schools. His
exclusion reached a height when in the 1973 2,000-page Oxford Anthology of English
Literature Stevenson was entirely unmentioned, and the Norton Anthology of English
Literature excluded him from 1968 to 2000 (1st–7th editions), including him only in the 8th
edition (2006). The late 20th century saw the start of a re-evaluation of Stevenson as an
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artist of great range and insight, a literary theorist, an essayist and social critic, a witness to the
colonial history of the South Pacific, and a humanist. He is now being re-evaluated as a peer
with authors such as Joseph Conrad (whom Stevenson influenced with his South Seas fiction)
and Henry James, with new scholarly studies and organizations devoted to Stevenson.[6] No
matter what the scholarly reception, Stevenson remains very popular. According to the Index
Translationum, Stevenson is ranked the 25th most translated author in the world, ahead of
Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde and Edgar Allan Poe.
23.
“The Pacific Slope” by Earl Pomeroy, 1st edition with good dust
jacket, 1965 $ 35, other $25. NOTE: Pomeroy states the importance of the city in
the western movement. A good volume for western Americana collectors. First published in
1965, Earl Pomeroy's influential history of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah, and
Nevada emphasizes the roles of cities and institutions in building the West.
24. “Josiah
Gregg and his Vision of the Early West” Paul Horgan, 1st
edition of stories, 1979 (Farrar et al). Hardback with dust cover, $25.
NOTE: This hard-to-find edition gives one a real taste of his skill and the times. Josiah Gregg
(19 July 1806 - 25 February 1850) was a merchant, explorer, naturalist, and author of the
American Southwest and Northern Mexico. He is most famous for his The Commerce of the
Prairies, an account of his time spent as a trader on the Santa Fe Trail before the MexicanAmerican War. Gregg had training in both law and medicine, and practiced both with distinction
before he retired from urban life due to deteriorating tuberculosis. He traded on the Santa Fe trail
from 1831 to 1840, and published his account in Commerce in 1844. This included extensive
descriptions of the geography, botany, geology, and culture of New Mexico. The book
established Gregg's literary reputation, and he was hired as a news correspondent during the
Mexican War. In this capacity, he traveled through Chihuahua. He corresponded with George
Engelmann in St. Louis, Missouri, sending him collections of plants, many of which were
previously undescribed. Several Southwestern plants bear the patronym "greggii" to honor Gregg's
contributions. After the war, Gregg participated in the California Gold Rush. He died from
starvation and exposure while leading an emergency winter expedition out of a snow bound
mining camp. The expedition has been credited with the rediscovery of Humboldt Bay that
resulted in its settlement.
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25.
“The Golden West in Story and Verse” edited by Rufus
Coleman, 1932, hardback, $15. NOTE: Excerpts and short stories from the west’s
early years on the pioneers and cowboy times.
26.
“Colorado: A Literary Chronicle”, edited by W. Storrs Lee,
illustrated, 1970, 1st edition, $10. NOTE: Pieces of the Colorado frontier
from the great and the unknown authors.
“California Anthology or Striking Thoughts on Many
Themes-California Writers and Speakers”, Oscar T. Shuck, 1st
27.
edition, hard cover, 1880, $55. NOTE: A taste of the literary scene
before 1880 California that inspired.
28. “Bret
Harte’s Writings -The Story of a Mine and Other Tales”
Bret Harte, 1879, 1st edition Standard Library, hardback, Volume III, $15.
NOTE: From the author of “White Fang” and other tales of the west.
29.
“The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Sketches” Bret Harte,
Houghton et al, 1900, 1st edition, $20 . NOTE: Harte was at the forefront of
western American literature, paving the way for other writers, including Mark Twain. For the
first time in one volume, The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Writings brings together not
only Harte's best-known pieces including "The Luck of Roaring Camp" and "The Outcasts of
Poker Flat," but also the original transcription of the famous 1882 essay "The Argonauts of
'49" as well as a selection of his poetry, lesser-known essays, and three of his Condensed
Novels-parodies of James Fenimore Cooper, Charles Dickens, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle..
Born in Albany, New York, he moved to California in 1853, later working there in a number
of capacities, including miner, teacher, messenger, and journalist. He spent part of his life in
the northern California coast town now known as Arcata, then just a mining camp on
Humboldt Bay.
His first literary efforts, including poetry and prose, appeared in The Californian, an early
literary journal edited by Charles Henry Webb. In 1868 he became editor of The Overland
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Monthly, another new literary magazine, but this one more in tune with the pioneering spirit
of excitement in California. His story, "The Luck of Roaring Camp," appeared in the
magazine's second edition, propelling Harte to nationwide fame..
30.
“Bret Harte’s Tales of the Gold Rush” by Bret Harte, Heritage
Press 1st edition, 1944 copyright by George Macy Companies, illustrated
by Fletcher Martin in two colors, $15. NOTE: in the 1860s and 70s, a former
stagecoach messenger named Bret Harte dazzled the literary world with his tales of Gold
Rush-era California. Even Twain and Dickens fell at Harte's feet. These 13 rough-and-tumble
stories include some of the best he ever wrote.
31.
“Writings of Bret Harte-A Treasure of the Redwoods”, V XVIII,
Houghton et al-Riverside Edition, 1903, $25. NOTE: These are the lesser
known stories. Born in Albany, New York, he moved to California in 1853, later working
there in a number of capacities, including miner, teacher, messenger, and journalist. He spent part
of his life in the northern California coast town now known as Arcata, then just a mining camp
on Humboldt Bay.
His first literary efforts, including poetry and prose, appeared in The Californian, an early literary
journal edited by Charles Henry Webb. In 1868 he became editor of The Overland Monthly,
another new literary magazine, but this one more in tune with the pioneering spirit of excitement
in California. His story, "The Luck of Roaring Camp," appeared in the magazine's second edition,
propelling Harte to nationwide fame.
32.
“Assembling California” by John McPhee, 1993, 1st Edition, $25. (2
copies available) NOTE: In his usual clean, graceful prose, John McPhee takes readers
on an intensive geological tour of California, from the Sierra Nevada through wine country
to the San Andreas fault system, a 50-mile-wide swath of parallel fault lines. Through talks
with his traveling companion, geologist Eldridge Moores, McPhee introduces the reader to
current geological controversies, and surveys global plate tectonics--the collision and
rearrangement of land masses ever since the breakup of the supercontinent of Pangaea eons
ago. McPhee looks at the conjectural science of earthquake prediction and gives an account
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of a recent San Francisco quake. His leisurely excavation meanders from Mexican explorer
Juan Bautista de Anza's settlement of San Francisco in 1776 to 1850s gold-mining camps to
the summit of Mount Everest, made of marine limestone lifted from a shelf that once divided
India and Tibet. With this volume McPhee concludes his Annals of the Former World series,
which he began with Basin and Range.
33.
“Rising from the Plains” by John McPhee, 1st edition, 1986, $25
NOTE: McPhee's facts are delivered so artfully that attempting to record all the felicitous
language would take too long and break the mood he creates. Obviously, an author's hand is
behind the sentences; but the machinery is hardly visible, and it neither creaks nor seems too
well oiled. As he demonstrates in ''Rising From the Plains,'' his latest excursion into
uncharted territory, even when handling complex material, good prose need never be prosaic.
The book is part of his series on geology and geologists that began with ''Basin and Range''
and continued with ''In Suspect Terrain.'' The series has come together as a unified theme in
The New Yorker, where the text originally appeared, under the title, ''Annals of the Former
World.'' NYT
34.
“In Suspect Terrain” by John McPhee, 1st edition, 1983, $40. NOTE:
McPhee's facts are delivered so artfully that attempting to record all the felicitous language
would take too long and break the mood he creates. Obviously, an author's hand is behind
the sentences; but the machinery is hardly visible, and it neither creaks nor seems too well
oiled. As he demonstrates in ''Rising From the Plains,'' his latest excursion into uncharted
territory, even when handling complex material, good prose need never be prosaic. The book
is part of his series on geology and geologists that began with ''Basin and Range'' and
continued with ''In Suspect Terrain.'' The series has come together as a unified theme in The
New Yorker, where the text originally appeared, under the title, ''Annals of the Former
World.'' NYT
38A“Basin and Range” by John McPhee, 1st edition, 1981, $35
hands on description of the Great Bain. Paper editions, $12.
35.
NOTE: A
“From Here to Eternity” by James Jones, 1951, 1st edition $15. NOTE:
Set in the summer and autumn of 1941 at the Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, the story follows
several members of G Company, including Captain Dana “Dynamite” Holmes and First
Sergeant Milt Warden, who begins an affair with Holmes's wife Karen. At the heart of the
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novel lays a struggle between former bugler Private Robert E. Lee Prewitt, an infantryman
from Kentucky and a self-described "thirty-year man", and his superiors. Because he blinded a
fellow soldier while boxing, the stubborn Prewitt refuses to box for his company’s outfit and
then resists the "Treatment," a daily hazing ritual in which the non-commissioned officers of
his company run him into the ground.
Like Jones's other World War II novels, the central characters are actually the same in all three
books, though their names have been somewhat altered. From Here to Eternity features
Warden and Prewitt, who become Welsh and Witt in The Thin Red Line and Mart Winch and
Bobby Prell in Whistle. Similarly, Corporal Fife in The Thin Red Line reappears as Marion
Landers in Whistle, as does the cook, Storm, who becomes Johnny "Mother" Strange.
36. “Punch: His life and Adventures” by Octave Feuillet, 1946, 1st edition,
$20
NOTE: Hardcover book with color dust jacket. book measures 5 1/8" by 7 3/4" and is
complete with 128 pages. Translated from the French by Paul McPharlin, with the Original
Illustrations by Bertall and a few words on making puppets by the translator. A Didier Book,
New York.
37. “California: An Illustrated History” by TH Watkins, 1st edition, 1973,
with photographs, many in full color, $20. NOTE: Wonderful photos
and text of the California of yesterday.
38. “George Catlin and the Old Frontier” by Harold McCracken, 170
illustrations, some in color, 1st & 7th editions, $25, $15.
NOTE: In 1841 Catlin published Manners, Customs, and Condition of the North American
Indians, in two volumes, with about 300 engravings. Three years later he published 25 plates,
entitled Catlin’s North American Indian Portfolio, and, in 1848, Eight Years’ Travels and
Residence in Europe. From 1852 to 1857 he traveled through South and Central America and
later returned for further exploration in the Far West. The record of these later years is
contained in Last Rambles amongst the Indians of the Rocky Mountains and the Andes
(1868) and My Life among the Indians (ed. by N. G. Humphreys, 1909). In 1872, Catlin
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traveled to Washington, D.C. at the invitation of Joseph Henry, the first secretary of the
Smithsonian. Until his death later that year in Jersey City, New Jersey, Catlin worked in a
studio in the Smithsonian “Castle.” Harrison’s widow donated the original Indian Gallery—
more than 500 works—to the Smithsonian in 1879.
39. “Our Natural World” edited by Hal Borland, 1969, 1st edition, $15
NOTE: NY Times columnist, “… no mere collection of snippets; the
selections are lengthy, complete in themselves…almost all fresh and
rarely anthologized” NY Times Book Review
40.
“My Dear Wister: The Frederick Remington-Owen Wister
Letters” by Ben M. Vorphal, second printing, 1973, $15. NOTE: Wister
(“The Virginian, et al) and Remington met and wrote of their perspectives
of the west. This is a fascinating dialogue about what the two thought of
the vanishing west. Both agreed that the values were disappearing due to
money and greed-sounds familiar today.
41. “Crooked Trails” written and illustrated by Frederick Remington, a 1st
edition facsimile of the 1898 book., 1973, $15 NOTE: Most remember
Remington from his sculptures and painting but he, sometimes
collaborating with Owen Wister, was an observant writer of the west.
Valued for the illustrations alone.
42.
“Pony Tracks” written and illustrated by Frederick Remington,
1982 1st edition facsimile of the original 1895, $15. NOTE: Most
remember Remington from his sculptures and painting but he,
sometimes collaborating with Owen Wister, was an observant writer of
the west. Valued for the illustrations alone.
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43.
“Frederick Remington: Selected Writings” compiled by Frank
Oppel, 1961, $12 NOTE: Most remember Remington from his sculptures
and painting but he, sometimes collaborating with Owen Wister, was an
observant writer of the west. Valued for the illustrations alone.
44.
“Christ in Concrete” by Pietro Di Donato, 1st edition, 1939. $12.
NOTE: Every Italian American should have a copy of this book at home.
This is a story on immigrants struggling to work and assimilate into the
New World, the greatest challenge is the greed and insensitivity of the
employers. The writing is more poetic than prose. This work knoced
Steinbeck’s “Grapes of Wrath” off the #1 list in the same year! Terry
Marasco
45.
“Letters of James Agee to Father Flye” by James McGee, Third printing,
1962, $15 NOTE: In the summer of 1936, Agee spent eight weeks on assignment for
Fortune with photographer Walker Evans living among sharecroppers in Alabama. While
Fortune didn't publish his article (he left the magazine in 1939), Agee turned the material
into a book entitled, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941). It sold only 600 copies before
being remaindered. He attended Saint Andrews School for Mountain Boys run by Episcopal
monks affiliated with the Order of the Holy Cross, and it was there that Agee's lifelong
friendship with an Episcopal priest, Father James Harold Flye, began in 1919. As Agee's close
friend and spiritual confidant, Flye was the recipient of many of Agee's most revealing letters.
This is a wrenching and revealing writing from a tortured soul.
46.
“Let Us Now Praise Famous Men” by James Agee, third printing,
$25 NOTE: In the summer of 1936, Agee spent eight weeks on assignment for Fortune
with photographer Walker Evans living among sharecroppers in Alabama. While Fortune
didn't publish his article (he left the magazine in 1939), Agee turned the material into a book
entitled, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941). It sold only 600 copies before being
remaindered. He attended Saint Andrews School for Mountain Boys run by Episcopal monks
affiliated with the Order of the Holy Cross, and it was there that Agee's lifelong friendship
with an Episcopal priest, Father James Harold Flye, began in 1919. As Agee's close friend and
spiritual confidant, Flye was the recipient of many of Agee's most revealing letters. This is a
17
story fully descriptive, photos by Walker Evans and text by Agee, that reveals the soul of the
working poor in a troubled time in the US.
47.
“The Fugitive Trail” by Zane Grey, possibly a first edition, 1957, $10
NOTE: Grey’s honeymoon took him to the West for the first time, but though awed by the
scenic splendor, he felt unsatisfied by the lack of experiences suitable for use in his novels.
After attending a lecture by C. T. "Buffalo" Jones, famed western hunter and guide, Grey
arranged for a mountain lion hunting trip to the North rim of the Grand Canyon. He
brought along a ‘portable’ camera with the intention of documenting his trips in order to
prove the veracity of his adventures. This and a second trip proved arduous and dangerous to
the tenderfoot, but Grey learned much from his rough compatriot adventurers, and he gained
the confidence and authenticity to write convincingly about the West, its characters, and its
landscape. Treacherous river crossings, unpredictable beasts, bone chilling cold, searing heat,
parching thirst, bad water, irascible tempers, and heroic cooperation all became real to him.
48.
“The Heritage of the Desert” by Zane grey, later printing, 1910, $8.
NOTE:
Grey’s honeymoon took him to the West for the first time, but though awed by
the scenic splendor, he felt unsatisfied by the lack of experiences suitable for use in his novels.
After attending a lecture by C. T. "Buffalo" Jones, famed western hunter and guide, Grey
arranged for a mountain lion hunting trip to the North rim of the Grand Canyon. He
brought along a ‘portable’ camera with the intention of documenting his trips in order to
prove the veracity of his adventures. This and a second trip proved arduous and dangerous to
the tenderfoot, but Grey learned much from his rough compatriot adventurers, and he gained
the confidence and authenticity to write convincingly about the West, its characters, and its
landscape. Treacherous river crossings, unpredictable beasts, bone chilling cold, searing heat,
parching thirst, bad water, irascible tempers, and heroic cooperation all became real to him.
49.
“Ark of Empire” Idwal Jones, first edition, signed and inscribed, 1951, $35,
NOTE: Idwal Jones (1887-1964) was both a novelist and non-fiction writer at the turn of
the twentieth century. Jones focused a lot of his writing on the beauty and population boom
in California and the west. Some of his most famous works include: The Vineyard and The Ark
of Empire: San Francisco's Montgomery Block
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The Vineyard tells the story of Napa Valley citizens and their love for the land. The main
character, Alda Pendle, mastered the art of viticulture from her father. After her father’s
death, Pendle’s skills make her a valuable asset to an individual living on a vineyard in Napa
Valley. This Napa Valley novel focuses on one of California’s most beloved aspects, the
wineries. The Ark of Empire: San Francisco’s Montgomery Block is a history of the old heart
of San Francisco.
50. “Vines
in the Sun” by Idwal Jones, possibly 1st edition, $20 (2 copies
available). NOTE: Idwal Jones (1887-1964) was both a novelist and non-fiction writer
at the turn of the twentieth century. Jones focused a lot of his writing on the beauty and
population boom in California and the west. Some of his most famous works include: The
Vineyard and The Ark of Empire: San Francisco's Montgomery Block, The Ark of Empire: San
Francisco’s Montgomery Block is a history of the old heart of San Francisco.
The Vineyard tells the story of Napa Valley citizens and their love for the land. The main
character, Alda Pendle, mastered the art of viticulture from her father. After her father’s
death, Pendle’s skills make her a valuable asset to an individual living on a vineyard in Napa
Valley. This Napa Valley novel focuses on one of California’s most beloved aspects, the
wineries.
“Vines in the Sun” a story of California wines and vineyards.
51.
“Nineteen Eighty Four” by George Orwell, early edition, 1949, $10
NOTE: Nineteen Eighty-Four (or 1984) is an English dystopian novel by George Orwell,
written in 1948 and published in 1949. It is the story of the life of the intellectual Winston
Smith, his job in the Ministry of Truth, and his degradation by the totalitarian government of
Oceania, the country in which he lives. It has been translated into sixty-two languages, and
has deeply impressed itself in the English language. Nineteen Eighty-Four, its terms and
language, and its author are bywords in discussions of personal privacy and state security. The
adjective "Orwellian" describes actions and organizations characteristic of Oceania, the
totalitarian society depicted in the novel, and the phrase "Big Brother is watching you" refers
to invasive surveillance.
In turn, Nineteen Eighty-Four has been seen as subversive and politically dangerous and thus
been banned by libraries in many countries.[1] Along with Brave New World, by Aldous
Huxley, and Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, it is among the most famous dystopias in
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literature.[2] In 2005, Time magazine selected it as one of the 100 best English-language
novels since 1923.[3]
52.
“Sapphira And The Slave Girl” by Willa Cather, 1st trade edition, 1940, $20
NOTE: In New York Cather met a variety of authors. Sarah Orne Jewett advised her to rely
less on the influence of James and more on her own experiences in Nebraska. For her novels
Cather returned to the prairie for inspiration. These works became popular and critical
successes.
In 1923 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in for One of Ours, published in 1922. This work
had been inspired by reading her cousin G.P. Cather's wartime letters home to his mother. He
was Nebraska's first officer killed in World War I. Those same letters are now held in the
George Cather Ray Collection at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries.
Cather was celebrated by critics like H.L. Mencken for writing in plainspoken language about
ordinary people. When novelist Sinclair Lewis won the Nobel Prize in Literature, he paid
homage to her by saying that Cather should have won the honor.
Later critics tended to favor more experimental authors. In times of political activism, some
attacked Cather, a political conservative, for writing about rather than working to change
conditions for ordinary people.
The novel elicits vigorous responses on the part of readers and critics one hundred and fifty
years after its action takes place, and more than half a century after its publication. It also
provokes harshly critical responses from readers who view Cather's constructions of racial and
gender issues as dated; Toni Morrison's lengthy and persuasive comments in Playing in the
Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination come to mind. And yet, once we reflect upon
these issues, we can see that in Sapphira and the Slave Girl Cather does raise and face many of
the complexities surrounding race, gender, authority, ethics and equality still facing our
culture.
53. “The Edge of the Sea” by Rachel Carson, 1st edition, 1955, $28 NOTE: The
Edge of the Sea was Rachel Carson's third book in her sea trilogy, published in 1955. It was
reprinted in 1998 by Mariner Books. She is the author of “Silent Spring” Excerpt:
“The edge of the sea is a strange and beautiful place. All through the long history of Earth it has been
an area of unrest where waves have broken heavily against the land, where the tides have pressed
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forward over the continents, receded and then returned. For no two successive days is the shore line
precisely the same. Not only do the tides advance and retreat in their eternal rhythms, but the level of
the sea itself is never at rest. It rises or falls as the glaciers melt or grow, as the floor of the deep
ocean basins shifts under its increasing load of sediments, or as the earth's crust along the continental
margins warps up or down in adjustment to strain and tension. Today a little more land may belong to
the sea, tomorrow a little less. Always the edge of the sea remains an elusive and indefinable
boundary.”
54.
“Bread and Wine” by Ignacio Silone, 1st American edition, 1937,
$20. NOTE: In 1938, after fifteen years in exile, a member of the Communist Party
returns to Italy disguised as a priest and finds truth and a meaningful way of life among
peasants of the countryside. Ignazio Silone first published Bread and Wine in 1936, and later,
completely revised the work in 1955. Through the character of Pietro Spina, Silone tries to
develop a balance between Socialism and Christianity, two institutions which seem to be
natural enemies of each other. Silone does not believe that one institution must be destroyed
in order for the other to exist, rather, he envisions a world where Socialism and Christianity
co-exist for the benefit of all humanity. Through the eyes of Pietro Spina, who disguises
himself as Paulo Spada to avoid imprisonment by the Fascist government, we see Silone's
justification of both Socialism and Christianity, and his attempt to create and equilibrium
between these two seemingly irreconcilable institutions.
55.“In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote, 1st edition, 1965 $20 NOTE:
The 1967
film In Cold Blood was based on Truman Capote's book of the same name. Richard Brooks
prepared the adaptation and directed the film. Some scenes were filmed on the locations of
the original events, in Garden City and Holcomb, Kansas including the Clutter residence, the
site of the murders. The film stars Robert Blake as Perry Smith, Scott Wilson as Dick Hickock,
and John Forsythe as Alvin Dewey. Although the film is in parts faithful to the book, Brooks
created a fictional character, "The Reporter" (played by Paul Stewart). This was also the first
commercially released film in the US to use the word 'shit'.
56.
“The American Language: Supplement I”, by H. L. Mencken, 2nd printing,
1945, $30 NOTE: The American Language is H. L. Mencken's 1919 book about changes
Americans had made to the English Language.
Mencken was inspired by "the argot of the colored waiters" in Washington, as well as one of his
favourite authors, Mark Twain, and his experiences on the streets of Baltimore. In 1902, Mencken
21
remarked on the "queer words which go into the making of 'United States.'" The book was preceded
by several columns in The Evening Sun. Mencken eventually asked "Why doesn't some painstaking
pundit attempt a grammar of the American language... English, that is, as spoken by the great masses
of the plain people of this fair land?" It would appear that he answered his own question.
In the tradition of Noah Webster, who wrote the first American dictionary, Mencken wanted to
defend "Americanisms" against a steady stream of English critics, who usually isolated Americanisms
as borderline barbarous perversions of the mother tongue. Mencken assaulted the prescriptive
grammar of these critics and American "schoolmarms," now sometimes known as grammar mavens,
arguing, like Samuel Johnson in the preface to his dictionary, that language evolves independently of
textbooks.
The book discusses the beginnings of American variations from English, the spread of these
variations, American names and slang over the course of its 374 pages. According to Mencken,
American English was more colourful, vivid, and creative than its British counterpart.
Mencken released several full-sized supplements to the main volume in ensuing decades, based on the
boom in linguistics articles.
57.
Black Power” by Richard Wright, possibly 1st edition, 1954, $10. NOTE:
Wright's books published during the 1950s disappointed some critics, who said that his move
to Europe alienated him from American blacks then separated him from his emotional and
psychological roots. Many of Wright’s works failed to satisfy the rigid standards of the New
Criticism. During the 1950s Wright grew more internationalist in outlook. While he
accomplished much as an important public literary and political figure with a worldwide
reputation, his very creative work did decline.[9]
However, recent critics have called for a reassessment of Wright's later work in view of his
philosophical project. Notably, Paul Gilroy has argued that "the depth of his philosophical
interests has been either overlooked or misconceived by the almost exclusively literary enquiries
that have dominated analysis of his writing."His most significant contribution, however, was his
desire to accurately portray blacks to white readers, thereby destroying the white myth of the
patient, humorous, subservient black man.
58. “Chronicle of a Death Foretold” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1st edition,
1983, $15 NOTE: García Márquez is probably Latin America's best-known writer, and is
considered by many to be one of the greatest authors of the 20th century. Although he has
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written acclaimed non-fiction and short stories, he is best known for his novels, such as Cien
años de soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude, published 1967) and El amor en los tiempos
del cólera (Love in the Time of Cholera, published 1985). Credited with introducing the global
public to magical realism, he has achieved both significant critical acclaim and widespread
commercial success. In 1982 he received the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his novels and short
stories, in which the fantastic and the realistic are combined in a richly composed world of
imagination, reflecting a continent's life and conflicts". This riventing work tells about a town that see’s a
member’s death coming but is unable to tell him as one cannot change “history”.
59. “The General in His Labyrinth” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1st American
edition, 1990, $20.
60.
“The Autumn of the Patriarch” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1st
American edition 1976, $10.
61. “The Economy of Cities” Jane Jacobs, First Printing $10~ Jacobs’s main
argument is that all economic growth derives from urban import replacement.
Import replacement is when a city starts producing locally goods that it formerly
imported, e.g., Tokyo bicycle factories replacing Tokyo bicycle importers in the
1800s. Jacobs claims that import replacement builds up local infrastructure, skills,
and production. Jacobs also claims that the increased produce is exported to other
cities, giving those other cities a new opportunity to engage in import
replacement, thus producing a positive cycle of growth.
The book also advances a new argument that cities preceded agriculture, rather
than the reverse, which was archaeologists' previous belief. Archaeologists believed
that cities required a food surplus to support specialist workers, thus requiring an
existing agricultural economy. Jacobs claims that instead, cities already existed as
trading posts, and discovered agriculture through trade in wild animals and grains,
and then disseminated agriculture to rural areas.
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62. “The Twentieth Century American West: A Potpourri” Gene M. Gressley, $10 ~
first printing. 6 essays defining and examining thematic concepts in the history of
the contemporary American west.
63. “The Nature of Economies”, Jane Jacobs, first edition, $9 ~ a Platonic dialogue of
New Yorkers over coffee discussing; “Does economic life obey the same rules as
those governing the systems in Nature?”
64. “One Day in the Afternoon of the World” William Saroyan, first edition, $25 ~
Saroyan was the son of Armenian imigrants. The Family is from Bitlis - Anatolia.
His father, a small vineyard owner who had been educated as a Presbyterian
minister, was eventually forced to take farm-laboring work. He moved to New
Jersey in 1905 and died in 1911. At the age of four, William Saroyan was placed in
the Fred Finch Orphanage in Oakland, California, together with his brother and
sister, an experience he later described in his writing. Five years later, the family
reunited in Fresno, where his mother, Takoohi, had obtained work in a cannery.
Saroyan learned to type in a technical school which he left at the age of 15. He continued
his education on his own, supporting himself by taking odd jobs, such as working as an
office manager for the San Francisco Telegraph Company.
65. “Arctic Dreams” Larry Lopez, first edition, $25 ~ Lopez has been described as "the
nation’s premier nature writer" by the San Francisco Chronicle. Frequently
compared with that of Henry David Thoreau, Lopez’s non-fiction writing closely
dissects the relationship between human culture and physical landscape, while his
fiction addresses issues of intimacy, ethics and identity.
Lopez offers a thorough examination of this obscure world-its terrain, its wildlife, its
history of Eskimo natives and intrepid explorers who have arrived on their icy shores.
But what turns this marvelous work of natural history into a breathtaking study of
profound originality is his unique meditation on how the landscape can shape our
imagination, desires, and dreams. Its prose as hauntingly pure as the land it describes,
Arctic Dreams is nothing less than an indelible classic of modern literature.
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List of Books, rare and otherwise