Category Archives: Latest Finds

So Many Gifts, and Plenty of Time!

Whether your gift list is short or a mile long, we have many unique items that will help you cross off names!  Don’t forget how nice it is to see the exact item you are buying, and take it home in your hot little hands to stick under the tree.  We will even wrap it up with a bow if you like!

Our works by local artists make wonderful gifts, as do gift certificates, unique vintage or antiquarian books, toys, new books, jewelry, gift card holders, models, and more, more, more!  Christmas may not come from a store, but fun gifts sure can if you keep it local!

Here are some ideas for you to consider –

Rare Collection of Fine Edward Abbey Books Up for Sale Now!

Not a day goes by that we don’t have requests for “anything” by Edward Abbey, especially Desert Solitaire.  Usually the book implied is a well thumbed, and somewhat scraggly copy to throw in the backpack – enough like the author to be fitting I suppose.  Well, that is not the collection of books that came in.

 We are going to offer them for sale locally for several weeks before listing them for sale through online marketplaces.  If you are interested, please come in soon!

Edward Abbey (1927-1989) was not born in the desert, but adopted it wholeheartedly after his first visit at 17.  He went on to author 23 books including poetry, fiction and nonfiction, plus anthologies, letters, and articles.  He studied writing with Wallace Stegner at Stanford as well as philosophy and English.  Most people are probably familiar with his relentless persona even if they have not read his works, but his crusty fictional characters usually personified his anarchist, environmental views. “Obey little, resist much” was a favored line.  Few authors are more beloved though, for descriptive writing of the desert Southwest and appreciation of wilderness.

The collection we received was acquired over decades and includes fine first editions of numerous works, two signed first editions, biographies, and very good paperbacks of additional titles.  We also have several memorial editions of the  Edward Abbey Western Wilderness Calendars (1991-1994), and other ephemera.  Some highlights are listed below.

Music Galore!

jill cdsJill has been busy sorting and buying used CDs for us the past few days.  Here’s her note on the great new selection!

We recently acquired a good selection of music CDs for those who still use this format for music enjoyment. There are a variety of artists represented, from classic rock/pop groups to blues artists to more edgy alt-rock. Some of the artists available are:

  • The Bangles – Glitter Years: Rarities & Gems
  • Fleetwood Mac – The Dance
  • The Best of Cowboy Junkies
  • Michael Jackson – Thriller
  • Eurythmics – Ultimate Collection
  • Tori Amos – Professional Widow
  • Buffalo Springfield – Last Time Around
  • T Bone Burnett – Twenty Twenty: The Essential
  • Tom Petty – Full Moon Fever
  • Simon & Garfunkel – Bookends
  • George Thorogood & the Destroyers – The Best of
  • The Rolling Stones – Jump Back: The Best of
  • Cheech Y Chong – Los Cochinos
  • Joan Jett & the Blackhearts – pure and simple
  • Toots & the Maytals – The Very Best of
  • The Pretenders
  • Frank Zappa – Strictly Commercial: The Best of
  • Tracy Chapman
  • Sting – Brand New Day
  • Natalie Merchant – Tigerlily
  • Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs – God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise
  • Kate Bush – The Sensual World
  • Jefferson Airplane – The Worst of
  • John Lennon – Imagine
  • John Lennon – Acoustic
  • Big Brother & the Holding Company – Cheap Thrills
  • The Monkees
  • One Love Tribute to Bob Marley
  • Dixie Chicks – Wide Open Spaces
  • Robbie Robertson – From the Underworld of Redboy
  • Bonnie Raitt – Nick of Time
  • Bonnie Raitt – Luck of the Draw
  • Saffire-the Uppity Blues Women – Old, New, Borrowed, & Blue
  • Frank Sinatra – His Great Performances 1953-1960Come in and check out the music.

We have some great classic vinyl for sale too! And don’t forget books about musicians and music groups or genres.

There is still Time….

Christmas books make great gifts!
Christmas books make great gifts!

Since I try to celebrate one holiday/season at a time, I tend to have a lot of “last minute” things on my list.   (I also claim all 12 days of Christmas to celebrate, so I think there is still time…)  If you are in that boat too, stop in!  We are still in full Christmas mode here, and have lots of giftable books and other things, including gift certificates, to finish the shopping list.  Our Storybook Tree Contest goes through the end of the year, and we are

Enter the Storybook Tree Contest!
Enter the Storybook Tree Contest!

sampling different delicious teas every day.  Most of the teas are organic, some herbal, some black as well as green.  Just added some nice new organic hot cocoa to improve the hot drinks line too.  Get out of the cold and stop in for a visit!

Our holiday hours will be short on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, 10:00 to 2:00ish, and we will of course be closed on Christmas Day and New Year Day.  January will see the start of some more limited winter hours as well.

Merry Christmas, all twelve days of it, Happy Solstice and other seasonal celebrations, and best wishes for the New Year!


More Christmas and gift ideas for kids...
Lots of gift ideas to choose from!


Splatters or Clean?

imageHow do you tell if a cookbook has great recipes?  Well with a used cookbook, there is a surefire clue – look for the splattered pages!  Those spaghetti sauce or chocolate smudged pages are usually a giveaway for the family favorites.

Some customers appreciate those “dirty” paged classics, others are understandably put  off by someone else’s food remnants.  We wash the covers of all books coming into the store, but the smudgy pages have to stay that way.  Don’t worry, we have plenty of both categories on the shelves!

Another favorite method for picking out a potentially great recipe is looking for the recipe contributor.  You know, the little tag lines on each recipe, especially community cookbooks or the Taste of Home publications, that give the recipe’s contributor and sometimes where she is from.  Courtney’s mom, Desi, and I were just thumbing through a new arrival stack of Bishop Community Cookbooks with many familiar names in them.  Desi  had personal tasting experience for more than one recipe!  (The BEST brownie recipe is in the Palisade Glacier Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution Cookbook, 1961 just so you know)

Whether you know the recipe source or just think that someone named Myrna should know how to can piccalilli, you should really check out this stack of new local cookbooks.  Rebekah Lodge, Neighborhood Church, the ever popular Mammoth Hospital Auxiliary, the Calico Quilters, and many more show up in this batch.  Cover art by Ernest Kinney graces the Lady Bill’s home made creation.  Do we still have the Lady Bills? Kitschy and fun as well as tasty, come check out the clean and spattered pages on family favorites from your friends and neighbors, or maybe your neighbors’ grandmas!

Dreaming of Quilting

While I will probably never complete a quilt with my thread tangling tendencies, I can certainly dream and admire others’ handiwork.  The stack of quilting books we have in now are just perfect for that, or for actually designing a quilt if you are more coordinated than me.  These are some beauties, with interesting reading in addition to attractive patterns!

Patchwork PicnicPatchwork Picnic- recipeIn the dreaming category, what could be better than lovely quilts in gardens, with picnic recipes to go along with each masterpiece?  Patchwork Picnic by Suzette Halferty and Nancy J. Martin is truly beautiful, and if I never manage the patriotic Stars and Stripes quilt, I could probably accomplish the Fresh Tomato Tart, so that is something!  While most of the recipes in the I’d Rather Be Quilting Cookbook sound like the tasty imageconcoctions of a quilting grandma, I had to smile at the Sauteed Liver recipe accompanying the Kansas Troubles quilt pattern…there would be trouble at the dinner table if not in Kansas!  The author writes for the Winged Square pattern which inspired an oven fried chicken recipe, “Winged Square looks very much like a pre-Columbian Indian picture of an owl flying overhead.  The designer of this block could easily have had in mind the flapping wings of the young rooster which was about to become oven-fried chicken.”  I am positive you have never thought about your quilt patterns or your dinner this way!  This copy is signed by all three authors, and I don’t know which of these ladies are quilting grandmas, if any.

imagePlain and Fancy, Vermont’s People and Their Quilts by Richard L. Cleveland and Donna Bister is another quilt book meant for reading.  Great historic photos fill the pages along with many stunning old quilts like a Slashed Star pattern or an embroidered Kate Greenaway style beauty.  The artwork in Quiltscapes by Rebecca Barker is exactly that, art.  She has Quiltscapespainted her quilt patterns blended into lovely settings just to inspire you.  Who could pass up the blue and yellow geometrics of the Lighthouse pattern surrounding a windblown lighthouse scene with seagulls flying? The practical patterns and image Honoring the Seasonsmeasurements are included too.  Takako Onoyama has also brought us a beautiful book Honoring the Seasons, Quilts from Japan’s Quilt House Yama.  Her store in Japan opened in 1976 to a puzzled but increasingly enthusiastic clientele, and her quilts blend traditional American patterns and techniques with Japanese materials, themes and design.  It all comes out well, and makes for interesting reading!

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For you practical minded quilters, we have a slew of inspired pattern books, from Beyond the Blocks, Quilts with Great Borders by Nancy J. Martin, to Quilts for Baby, Easy as ABC by Ursula Reikes, or Chameleon Quilts, Versatile Looks Using Traditional Patterns by Margrit Hall.  It is amazing how different a basic Log Cabin quilt can look with different treatments!  Advanced quilters will appreciate the plethora of unique combinations in A Colourful Journey, including items like pillows and table runners as well as bed quilts and throws.

I’ve seen memory quilts made from dad’s shirts, T-shirts,  baby clothes and of course crazy quilts made from lovely scraps.  Shirley Botsford’s Daddy’s Ties book presents patterns forDaddy's Ties quilting with the gorgeous silk patterns from dad’s old ties.  These are some great ideas, from Christmas ornaments, to lampshades to full quilts.  There are some practical considerations too, like how to take apart a tie and wash that fragile fabric.  These are pretty unique!  If you need more unique quilting design ideas, try one of the design coloring books like Swirling Designs by Get Grama.  These would look fantastic quilted!

Quilts from Larkspur FarmOne last favorite to consider,  Quilts from Larkspur Farm by Pamela Mostek and Jean Van Bockel.  Larkspur Farm is a beautiful flower farm, cottage rental and wedding venue.  Flowery quilts are spread around the grounds with patterns and instructions on other enhancing projects, like holding a garden tea party or making a blackberry pie.  Big sigh, everyone would like to move in here I imagine.

Did I mention all Quilting books are on sale this month?  15% off!


History Buffs and Scholars – Exceptional Middle East Collection Coming In

We recently acquired an unusual and extensive collection on the Middle East, including religion, history, folk tales, sociology, and a little of everything in between.

Books include university press publications as well as more current popular works, and represent about 40 years of study.  If you have an interest in that region, the three major religions represented there, or would like to have a better background on events of the world today, please come check out this collection.

We are just now getting it sorted and priced, and may have to store some upstairs, so please ask if you are interested in seeing more!


Enjoy the Rain with a Poem by Dr. Nellie

dr. nellie 1Dr. Nellie, Helen MacKnight Doyle, MD, was one of the first women physicians in California.  Surprisingly enough, she opened her practice at age 21, right here in Bishop.  Her autobiography, originally titled A Child Went Forth was later renamed just Dr. Nellie, with a forward by Mary Austin.  It is a well written and popular local read, but also acclaimed by the California State Library, where Dr. Nellie has been honored as one of California’s “women trailblazers in science, technology, engineering and math”.  I know at least one other customer agrees with me that it would be a wonderful Inyo Reads book!

Doyle’s brief bio states that , Dr. Helen MacKnight Doyle, a Pennsylvania native,  moved to Bishop in 1887. She later attended UC Berkeley at age 17 and received her medical degree in 1894 at age 20. Too young to get her medical license, she interned at Children’s Hospital in San Francisco where she treated children with tuberculosis. At 21, she returned to Bishop with her license in hand and opened her own practice.

I frequently recommend Dr. Nellie, but this week I came upon a little xeorox copy looking book titled A Child Went Forth, from Gotham House.  Not the autobiography though, this is a book of poems and anecdotes, with a personal note from well recognized local author Genny Smith in 1985 describing this as a collection of poems written by Helen Doyle and saved by her daughter and granddaughter.   I love the connections and personal tidbits that turn up in used books! 

To celebrate our local trailblazer and our blessed spring storms, here’s a quote from one of Dr. Doyle’s poems, titled helen doyleDesert Rain.


Gray ghosts glide down the mountain side/ To wash the desert’s dusty face./ On kind, caressing winds they ride/ In clouds of misty, silver lace. / With airy banners floating wide/ And pennants of sunshine-tinted gray/ Their errand still they strive to hide/ In seeming heedless disarray/

……………….Gathering up the wavering mist/ They swept it over the desert floor, / Each eager blossom, swiftly kissed/ Raised its thirsty cup for more. / And o, the perfume of the sage, / O, mighty miracle of rain!/ The desert , gray as though with age,/ Behold — he is a youth again!               

We can certainly appreciate that perfume of sage about now!   

( I apologize, I can’t get the poem’s spacing right in this program.)


Now Available- Pottery from Cooke’s Clay



Good news!  We now have pottery from the talented local artist Michael Cooke for sale in the store!  Currently there are mugs, cereal bowls and flatter salad bowls in both the Harvest, Galaxy and Ocean glaze designs.

Michael Cooke is a professional photographer in the Eastern Sierra well known for gorgeous wedding photography with his wife Diana, and natural setting family photos.  His education in natural resources influences both his photography and his appreciation for the organic texture of the clay. The clay, he says, is his hobby, but clearly he puts a lot of energy, creativity, and talent into this pastime. Plus, they are lead free, dishwasher and microwave safe, so very practical and functional as well.  A mug would be a lovely gift for a graduate, or fill a bowl with brownies for dad on Father’s Day!

You can see more of Michael Cooke’s work on his Facebook page or website.


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Exciting Collection Now Hitting the Shelves – Starting with Yosemite and John Muir

Of course given our location, some topics are always in hot demand, and we can never keep enough books in stock from our normal used book sources (again, valiant effort though, right?).  John Muir and the Sierra Nevada top that list of sought after topics.  Well we are pleased to tell you we have acquired a VERY comprehensive collection and will be adding stacks of interesting books on Mr. Muir himself, Yosemite, Owens Valley history, Sierra history, Western history, trains, and much more to our shelves in the coming weeks.

If you have been waiting for a certain local book to turn up, or are interested in Muir’s more obscure travels and letters, now is your chance to put your name in or browse the newly shelved sections.  It will take awhile to get these all processed, but what a treasure trove!  I’ll give you a sampling here from the first box!image