Create Account

Cat's Cradle Blog

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Vintage reading could be the perfect gift

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

What do you give someone who seems to have everything? Nostalgia might just be the answer. (more…)

Pierre and His Family; or a Story of the Waldenses (1827)

Saturday, June 18th, 2016

Pierre and His Family; or a Story of the WaldensesPierre and His Family; or, a Story of the Waldenses by the author of “Lily Douglas” [Miss Grierson].  Second edition. Philadelphia: American Sunday School Union, 1827. Two steel engravings. 5.75″ tall, 214 pp.  Quarter leather hardcover in good condition.

Historical fiction based on the experiences of Waldensians as they returned to their valley homes in the 17th century after persecution.

Writing on endpapers. First endpaper is torn along outer edge. Frontispiece engraving is beginning to separate, as is an additional engraved plate original to this edition. Pages foxed, tanned. Quarter leather over boards is heavily edge worn with bumped corners.  Marbled paper over boards is scuffed and worn. Gilt lettering and design on spine is visible.

Major credit cards, PayPal accepted.  Inquiries about the book may be made to info@catscradlebks.net or purchase here.





Armchair travels with Mark Twain…and others

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Mark Twain, 1871 (Matthew Brady, photographer)

On July 20, 1869, Mark Twain, aka Samuel L. Clemens, published his second book, Innocents Abroad; Or, the New Pilgrim’s Progress.  This travel memoir became Twain’s most popular book during his lifetime.

Although it lacks the enduring recognition of Huckleberry Finn, Twain’s account of travels through Europe and the Middle East appealed to would-be travelers in the rising American middle class of the Gilded Age.

Travel memoirs remain a popular genre. Why not take an armchair voyage of your own this summer?

Gardens for the Soul

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012
Latymer, The Mediterranean Gardener

"The Mediterranean Gardener" by Hugo Latymer (1990, 1st edition) offers ideas for bringing a southern European feel to your garden or terrace.

I confess.  I’m a bookseller whose hands are often dirty.  Yes, I’m a gardener.  Therefore, my bookstore has an abundance of books and periodicals related to gardens, plants, and nature.

To me, gardening is a creative act that connects us with the rhythms of the seasons and the natural world. It reminds us that we are creators as well as created.

There is little to compare with a freshly picked tomato warm from the sun.  Unless perhaps an old-fashioned rose, heavy with fragrance.  Or herbs to heal and to season our food.  Or a well established water garden where koi swim dreamily among the plants.

Vegetables, flowers, herbs, water gardens – it matters not. The act of making things grow and tending them is what counts.

Come and search Cat’s Cradle Books to cultivate your own soul garden.

Re-reading the Living Book of Nature

Sunday, May 6th, 2012
Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron, North Carolina, May 2012. Copyright, Kathy Carter, all rights reserved.

The book of living nature
is unlike other books in this respect:
One can read it over and over,
and always find new meanings.
It is a book that goes to press every night,
and comes forth fresh every morning.

– John Burroughs (1837-1921)

It’s still a sin to kill a mockingbird. Happy birthday, Harper Lee.

Saturday, April 28th, 2012
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, Collector's edition printed from the original first edition plates.

Collector's edition in full leather, 24 karat gilt, printed from the original first edition plates. Click on image to see the Cat's Cradle Books list on Southern Literature.

Today is Southern novelist Harper Lee’s 86th birthday.  Born in Monroeville, Alabama, on April 28, 1926, Miss Lee is a bit of an anomaly.  She published one novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, which was awarded both the Pulitzer Prize and the Presidential Medal of Honor.  It remains arguably one of the most influential works of modern Southern literature.  Published by J. B. Lippincott in 1961, the novel became an immediate sensation and success.  It was followed in 1962 by a film adaptation starring Gregory Peck (Atticus Finch) and introducing Robert Duvall (“Boo” Radley).   Together, the novel and the film remain part of the larger American cultural landscape.

I remember reading Mockingbird at about the age of 10.  Like Scout Finch, the tomboy through whom the story is told, I could not remember learning to read any more than I could remember learning to breathe.  In terms of the words, the book was an easy read for me.   But as a child in Pennsylvania far removed from the time, place, and culture within which the novel was set, I was oblivious to much of its meaning and certainly of its significance.   Like many, I suppose, I returned to Mockingbird many times in my life.  Layers of my own experiences lent new meaning to Miss Lee’s work.  It was truly a new novel each time I picked it up and sank into its pages to join Jem, Scout, and Dill on a journey toward grappling with the harsh realities of racism, injustice, and poverty – a journey toward growing up.

Southern literature has flourished in the half-century (and more) since the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird.  The landscape of Southern writing offers incredibly diverse and interesting work.  Perhaps it comes from a regional fondness for the story told well, with embellishments and exaggerations, at pig pickin’s, at family gatherings, at almost every opportunity.  I don’t know about all that (as Southerners here say when they think this is probably wrong but are a little too polite to say so).

One thing is clear:  Southern literature is a genre worth exploring, and Southern-born authors are often well worth reading.  Harper Lee, Truman Capote, Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, Lee Smith, Kaye Gibbons, Reynolds Price…the names go on and on.

But Harper Lee will always be at the top of my list.

For books and periodicals on Southern literature or by Southern authors, visit our Southern Literature list.

With all good wishes,

Kathy Carter
Cat’s Cradle Books

Blog with Cat’s Cradle Books

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

This is the brand-new blog for our updated and renovated website for used, rare, and out of print books.  Here’s where you’ll find news about books and authors, and about things related to our books in inventory.  Here, too, you’ll find news of “new” books added to our inventory.  We hope you will bookmark this blog and return again soon! 

Here in central North Carolina it’s brutally hot.  We’ve just emerged from a month-long drought.  As a result, I’ve been holed up researching and listing books in as cool a place as I can find.   Right now I am working through an amazing collection of first, early, and numbered editions of French-language fiction published in Paris between the wars.   The acquisition also contains quite a few Russian-language books from the 20th century, generally the late Soviet period – scarce fiction, mostly.  

I’ve also just listed some great Warner Brothers Screenplay Series titles published by the University of Wisconsin:  Green Pastures, High Sierra, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and Mystery of the Wax Museum.  All 1979 first printings with dustjackets, each with a superb essay of film analysis, stills from the film, and the screenplay. 

That’s one of the good things about bookselling.  You never know what you’ll find in the next collection or lot. 

Look for RSS feed, email signup and Twitter notification links direct to this blog  in the near future.  If there is anything we can help you find, please let us know.  Let us know what you think about our posts, too.  We love feedback!

Until next time,

Kathy Carter at Cat’s Cradle Books