Archive for Books

Desktop Goodies 7/25

Posted in absurd, automata, Books, ephemera, humor, monsters, vintage with tags , , , , , , , on July 25, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

I apologize if I’ve posted some of these before. I forgot to clean out my “desktop goodies” folder and I may be repeating myself (though I don’t think so). Either way, these treasures are worth seeing.

This is real!

I’ve seen fortune teller automata before, but never Puss in Boots. He sees straight into your soul. It burns.

Take a moment to really absorb and digest this book. This may be one of the most horribly absurd things I’ve seen, and that’s saying something.

I love this headstone. If I am interred, I hope I get a lot of reading done down there.

Famous monster candle making? Sign me up!

Need I comment on this? I think not.


Dr. Coffins wonders why his private practice attracts very few patients.

Talk about a niche market!

Best caption ever.

In closing, we must all ask ourselves…

The Morbid Anatomy Anthology

Posted in anatomy, antiques, Books, oddities with tags , , , on June 25, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

My The Morbid Anatomy Anthology just arrived, and I absolutely must sing its praises. I can’t wait to dive in and devour every word and image!


Since 2008, the Morbid Anatomy Library of Brooklyn, New York, has hosted some of the best scholars, artists and writers working along the intersections of the history of anatomy and medicine, death and the macabre, religion and spectacle. The Morbid Anatomy Anthology collects some of the best of this work in 28 lavishly illustrated essays. Included are essays by Evan Michelson (star of Science Channel’s hit show Oddities) on the catacombs of Palermo; Simon Chaplin (head of the Wellcome Library in London) on public displays of corpses in Georgian England; mortician Caitlin Doughty on demonic children; and Paul Koudounaris (author of Empire of Death) on a truck stop populated with human skulls. In addition are pieces on books bound in human skin, death-themed cafes in fin-de-siècle Paris, post-mortem photography, eroticized anatomical wax models, taxidermied humans and other animals, Santa Muerte, “artist of death” Frederik Ruysch, and much more.

There are some brilliant minds and expert curators behind this book (namely, Joanna Ebenstein and Colin Dickey). If you are a fan of this blog, you should definitely pick it up! It’s an amazing treasure trove (and really fairly priced…even for a penny pincher like me!). Support these great folks. They deserve it.

You Might Be a Monster

Posted in Books, illustration, monsters with tags , , on June 21, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

Attaboy has written a book I feel is worth having for the title alone.


Doesn’t this sound wonderful? Look at the contents!

I do not have kids, but would be excited to give this to any little ones in my life. Honorary nieces, nephews and godchildren…your Fairy Gothmother has something for you…


Kellie Strom: Worse Things Happen at Sea

Posted in art, Books, sea with tags , , on June 14, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

Worse Things Happen at Sea is a collectible booklet by London based artist Kellie Strom (what a great title!).

If it were not double sided, I would think this suitable for framing in a very long frame.

From the source: “Worse Things Happen at Sea” is a double-sided panorama chronicling mythical maritime adventures. From a more modern tale of a massive squid pulling a plane out of the air with its monstrous tentacles to the classic image of vikings beleaguered by strong storms and ferocious dragons, Strøm uses his serious illustration chops to recreate the mythical world his imagination seems to innately conceive.


Worse Things Happen at Sea

My First Kafka

Posted in Books with tags on May 7, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

If it’s time for your child to begin his or her foray into surreal, existential literature, why not start with My First Kafka?


Ah, so uplifting! (*wink*)

I’m actually quite intrigued by this concept and would be VERY curious to see the author/artist interpretations.

What literature would YOU like to see illustrated as a children’s story?

My First Kafka

Swamp Pulp

Posted in absurd, Books, film, humor, retro, vintage with tags , , , , , on March 7, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

Through dear old Pinterest, I discovered a most unexpected literary (and film!) subgenre: SWAMP PULP.


Swamps strike me as one of the LEAST sexy ecosystems to cozy up with someone…but what do I know? Swamps are clearly infested with rampant sexuality.


Apparently there was such a market for this that multiple authors and film makers chose the same swampy titles.




Oh, we’re still going…




Yes, there are more…



Why stop now?




Are you enjoying yourself? Are you thinking about swamps?



Not yet? Okay, have some more…




And this was just the small sample I found. I’m intrigued (not intrigued enough to read about swamp nymphs…but quite astounded that they have been such a prominent feature in dime store novels).

The Sick Rose: Disease and the Art of Medical Illustration

Posted in Books, medicine, wish list with tags , , on February 19, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

The Sick Rose: Disease and the Art of Medical Illustration appears to be a very interesting book, though perhaps not altogether pleasant to thumb through. For me, this is not an issue, as fascination tends to trump aversion when it comes to how people process, depict and publish the daunting mysteries of an era.


The Sick Rose is a visual tour through the golden age of medical illustration. The nineteenth century experienced an explosion of epidemics such as cholera and diphtheria, driven by industrialization, urbanization and poor hygiene. In this pre-color-photography era, accurate images were relied upon to teach students and aid diagnosis. The best examples, featured here, are remarkable pieces of art that attempted to elucidate the mysteries of the body, and the successive onset of each affliction. Bizarre and captivating images, including close-up details and revealing cross-sections, make all too clear the fascinations of both doctors and artists of the time. Barnett illuminates the fears and obsessions of a society gripped by disease, yet slowly coming to understand and combat it. The age also saw the acceptance of vaccination and the germ theory, and notable diagrams that transformed public health, such as John Snow’s cholera map and Florence Nightingale’s pioneering histograms, are included and explained. Organized by disease, The Sick Rose ranges from little-known ailments now all but forgotten to the epidemics that shaped the modern age. It is a fascinating Wunderkammer of a book that will enthrall artists, students, designers, scientists and the incurably curious everywhere.

The Sick Rose: Disease and the Art of Medical Illustration

Alien and Predator as Little Golden Books

Posted in art, Books, humor, sci-fi with tags , , , on February 11, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

If these were actually real…I hope (well, know) my father would have gotten them for me when I was a child.


(Dad…look at Predator! How excellent is this?)

Would it be in bad taste to paste these over the covers of books I give to other peoples’ children? Just checking.


Daniel Martin Diaz: The Soul of Science

Posted in anatomy, art, Books with tags , , on January 7, 2014 by shewalkssoftly

Daniel Martin Diaz: Soul of Science is a series that speaks to me on such a personal level, as I am always steeped in some swirling combination of art, science, consciousness and philosophical musings…


In the artist’s own words:
In the fall, I became immersed in scientific and philosophical theories. In particular, I was obsessed with scientific diagrams, which explain theories and properties through drawings.


My interests also included subjects such as self-aware systems, philosophy, cellular automata, phase transitions, time travel, mystical behaviors at atomic and sub-atomic levels, and the mysteries of consciousness.


Although these rudimentary drawings were without any leanings towards aesthetics, I found them to be beautiful, though that is clearly not their intention. I was inspired to create my own interpretations of the concepts of consciousness and other theories on a scientific, philosophical, and spiritual level through a simplified means such as drawing.


All of the projects I have created begin as drawings, which I feel have a beauty and intimacy that paintings cannot capture. The subtle lines that graphite creates and the quickness with which one can capture an idea makes this medium alluring.

Daniel Martin Diaz: Soul of Science

Mary Shelley’s Handwritten Frankenstein Manuscript

Posted in antiques, Books, monsters with tags , , on November 23, 2013 by shewalkssoftly

There is something special about seeing a classic piece of literature exactly as is came from the hand of its creator. Now you can view Frankenstein in Mary Shelley’s own original manuscript.


See the story of how she came to write the novel here if you’re not familiar. She said this about her inspiration:

When I placed my head on my pillow, I did not sleep, nor could I be said to think. My imagination, unbidden, possessed and guided me, gifting the successive images that arose in my mind with a vividness far beyond the usual bounds of reverie. I saw — with shut eyes, but acute mental vision, — I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life, and stir with an uneasy, half vital motion.

She was only 19 when she wrote this classic piece. Wow…what were WE all doing at 19?…not this!

See the pages here.

Cannot type/talk due to severe illness (all words courtesy of voice software or kind typing helpers)…I read and appreciate all comments…Apologies for not being able to respond.


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