Friday, August 19, 2016

Goodreads & #FridayReads & the awesomeness of sharing book picks

Who says people don't read books any more?

I was a witness (and minor participant) in a pretty awesome event on Thursday night. A friend posted on Facebook that she had just finished reading the entirety of the Harry Potter series and was seeking recommendations for other books to read. They could be anything at all — fiction, non-fiction, modern, classics, whatever. She was just looking for fresh suggestions.

Over the course of about three hours, she received a jaw-dropping response — well over 100 books and series. It seems like everyone is reading these days. And that's pretty cool.

I compiled the entire list of suggestions, and I want to leave it here for posterity. It could, in turn, inspire others to seek out books they might not otherwise have known about. (I added numerous books to my Goodreads "To Read" list while compiling this.)

  • We, the Drowned by Carsten Jensen
  • The Wives of Los Alamos by TaraShea Nesbit
  • Light Boxes by Shane Jones
  • The Shepherd's Life: A People's History of the Lake District by James Rebanks
  • The Cloven Viscount by Italo Calvino
  • Italian Folktales by Italo Calvino
  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality by Eliezer Yudkowsky
  • Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
  • The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
  • Any science-fiction by Clifford D. Simak
  • Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  • Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash by Edward Humes
  • Door to Door: The Magnificent, Maddening, Mysterious World of Transportation by Edward Humes
  • Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon
  • Candyfreak by Steve Almond
  • Stardust by Neil Gaiman
  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
  • Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  • Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
  • The Time in Between by Maria Dueñas
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
  • Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  • A Man Call Ove by Fredrik Backman
  • The Passage by Justin Cronin
  • The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Magicians (The Magicians #1) by Lev Grossman
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
  • The Shipping News by Annie Proulx
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  • The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
  • Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
  • The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) by Patrick Rothfuss
  • The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle #2) by Patrick Rothfuss
  • Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard #1) by Scott Lynch
  • The Final Empire (Mistborn #1) by Brandon Sanderson
  • Dandelion Wine (Green Town #1) by Ray Bradbury
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town #2) by Ray Bradbury
  • Farewell Summer (Green Town #3) by Ray Bradbury
  • Summer Morning, Summer Night (Green Town #4) by Ray Bradbury
  • The Crystal Cave (Arthurian Saga #1) by Mary Stewart
  • The Circle by Dave Eggers
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario
  • Yes Please by Amy Poehler
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
  • When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
  • Anything by David Sedaris
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  • Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky
  • Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Anything by Ross King (including Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling and Leonardo and the Last Supper)
  • There are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America by Alex Kotlowitz
  • The Other Side of the River: A Story of Two Towns, a Death, and America's Dilemma by Alex Kotlowitz
  • The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert A. Caro
  • Going Solo by Roald Dahl
  • In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick
  • Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal by Conor Grennan
  • Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O'Nan
  • The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis
  • Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
  • The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
  • Liar's Poker by Micahel Lewis
  • Columbine by Dave Cullen
  • Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell
  • Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell
  • Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik
  • The Son by Philipp Meyer
  • The Outlander Series (1-7) by Diana Gabaldon
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  • Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War by Tony Horwitz
  • Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War by Tony Horwitz
  • The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
  • This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz
  • Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series by Eliot Asinof
  • The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How it Changed America by David Hajdu
  • The Lord of the Rings and Philosophy: One Book to Rule Them All by Gregory Bassham
  • Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph J. Ellis
  • The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (Theodore Roosevelt #1) by Edmund Morris
  • Rice, Noodle, Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan's Food Culture by Matt Goulding
  • On the Rez by Ian Frazier
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne
  • Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan
  • Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson
  • Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson
  • One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #1) by Douglas Adams
  • Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
  • Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
  • The Passion by Jeanette Winterson
  • Your Voice in My Head by Emma Forrest
  • Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon
  • The Last Policeman (The Last Policeman #1) by Ben H. Winters
  • Countdown City (The Last Policeman #2) by Ben H. Winters
  • World of Trouble (The Last Policeman #3) by Ben H. Winters
  • The Billion Dollar Spy: A True Story of Cold War Espionage and Betrayal by David E. Hoffman
  • Seymour Hersh: Scoop Artist by Robert Miraldi

Happy reading!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

She was proud of her father,
the bookseller

This 1924 edition of A Little Maid of Massachusetts Colony by Alice Turner Curtis1 has a loose and damaged binding and will rapidly loose what remaining value it has without some repairs or reinforcing.

It's another book that was in the possession of John Brake of Virginia2 in the 1970s, spent time in the inventory of a Pennsylvania bookseller and ended up in my possession via a bulk lot.

Before all of that, though, it had a family history.

At the bottom of the inside back cover, there's a small bookseller's label3 — just seven-eighths of an inch wide — for E.S. McCawley & Co. of Haverford, Pennsylvania. The label has been circled, with purple ink, and someone has written "My Father."

I discovered a little bit about Edmund S. McCawley from his March 1966 obituary in the Delaware County Daily Times. He had died at age 75 in Radnor Township. He was born in Philadelphia and lived for 40 years in Ithan (an early, unofficial name for a portion of Radnor Township). He was a president of the American Booksellers Association and chairman of its board of directors, and he was, of course, founder of the E.S. McCawley Co. bookstore.

For more, we turn to the inscriptions on the first page of A Little Maid of Massachusetts Colony...

It took a bit, but I now know what all that handwriting says:

Mary Yorke McCawley
Ithan - Penna -

From - Dady.
Christmas 1926.

Heath McCawley

"Heath McCawley" is written in the same pen and handwriting as "My Father" on the inside back cover. So we can perhaps agree that Heath (a girl) is the one who wrote on these two pages, perhaps years after the original inscription.

Meanwhile, Mary Yorke McCawley, who was born in 1917, had a very full life. Nicknamed Yorkie, she was a hospital volunteer and a lifelong gardener who sailed on the SS Normandie and was married twice. She " delighted in presiding over large holiday gatherings for extended family and friends."

Mary died in March 2014 at age 96. One of her granddaughters wrote: "My grandmother spoke like Katharine Hepburn. She had secrets. She was born in 1917. I didn’t think she would ever die."

You can read all the memories and stories of Yorkie's life on her two obituary pages, which I have been quoting, at and a blog titled "Wednesday-Night" by Diana Thebaud Nicholson.

Mary's sister, now Heath McCawley Porter of Villanova, Pennsylvania, was still alive at the time of Mary's death 29 months ago. I cannot find an obituary for her, so it's possible that she's still alive.

I would love to track her down and give her this book, which she wrote in so many decades ago.

Stay tuned.

1. According to Goodreads: "Children's and young adult author Alice Turner Curtis was born in Sullivan, ME. She lived most of her life in Boston, MA. Alice Turner Curtis is the author of "The Little Maid" Series of books. Originally published by Penn, during the period from 1913 to 1937. Reprinted by Knopf in the 1940's and 1950's with illustrations by Sandra James. Some books were reprinted by Applewood in the 1990's with the original illustrations. One books containing two original stories was printed by Derrydale Books in 1991."
2. I haven't yet found a full biography of Brake, who once collected so many early 20th century books, but I did discover that he published The History of Greenville, Virginia: the Town, Its People, Their Relatives and Friends, Businesses and Organizations — a volume of more than 1,200 pages — in 1994. According to one source, it was limited to 300 copies.
3. For other Papergreat posts featuring bookseller labels, see the list at the bottom of this November 2015 post.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Autumn Is Coming

The afternoons are still sweltering, but the end of the Dog Days of Summer is perhaps now within sight.

Soon it will be autumn, my favorite time of year. Kids are going back to school, fall fairs and festivals are on the horizon1, and I'll be able to sleep with the window open and let the crisp air in at night. Hay bales, hot chocolate and Halloween, too.

With that theme in mind, here's a Postcrossing card I received this week from Christoph, who lives in München, Germany. It's an aerial shot of the awe-inspiring Neuschwanstein Castle, shown just as the trees are starting to change color and autumn is starting to creep in at the edges.

While Neuschwanstein is the modern indulgence of an irresponsible king and by no means a historic fortress steeped to its foundations in European history, that doesn't take away from its beauty. It's a timeless wonder, in scale and setting, and it would be on my must-see list if I ever make it to Germany.

Right now, though, my "must-see" list consists of some fine autumn days, filled with scarecrows, spooks, apple cider, pumpkins and fine foliage. It's coming.

1. Here are my posts about the York Fair:

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Delving into Forty Fort's history, via an Oliver Optic novel

As I continue a sort and partial purge of some old books, I came across a copy of The Young Lieutenant or The Adventures of An Army Officer by Oliver Optic (aka William Taylor Adams).1 Here is what I discovered on the inside front cover (shown above) and the first page:

1. The book was once part of the Forty Fort Presbyterian Church Library.

2. It was once housed at Red Door, located at 1516 Wyoming, in Forty Fort, Pennsylvania.2

3. Someone named Wilcox was part of the book's provenance at some point.

4. The book was given to George Perley on Christmas Day, 1910, "from Ma."

5. The book, like many others, ended up in possession of John Brake of Greenville, Virginia, in December 1976.

6. At some point, the book was for sale for $15.00.

7. Not noted on the pages are the facts that this Oliver Optic book was once part of the inventory of a Red Lion, Pennsylvania-based bookseller before being sold to me in a bulk lot as part of the dispersal of unwanted inventory. (Should I write that in, for the historical record and/or the next blogger?3)

* * *

So, Forty Fort is an small borough in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. It was named for the fort that was built there during the time of the Revolutionary War and included, literally, 40 settlers from Connecticut. The fort no longer exists, but the borough is home to the Forty Fort Meetinghouse, which was constructed in 1807.

The Forty Fort Presbyterian Church was an outgrowth of the Meetinghouse, but I can't find any information online about when it was built. Perhaps if I attend next year's "Tour of Historic Greater Pittston," I can learn more.

The big mystery from this book, though, is the yellow RED DOOR sticker. Was it a business? A man who just happened to be named Red Door? There is a Red Door Construction, located in Kingston, which is less than two miles from Forty Fort.

Finally, through some additional diligence, I found my answer within the 2004 obituary of Eleanor Roberts Morgan:
"Mrs. Morgan was the owner of the Red Door Antique Shop on Wyoming Avenue in Forty Fort during the 1950s, '60s, and early '70s. She dealt in all aspects of the business, from fine china and furniture, jewelry and art, to first edition and historical books. After the flood of '72, she and her husband 'Phil,' 'Dake,' or 'Coach Morgan,' moved to Florida for 19 years of good dining, ocean swimming, beach shelling and their old loves, flea markets and friends."
And so there you have it. This might be one of the few remaining artifacts that can be directly linked, via its sticker, to the Red Door Antique Shop in Forty Fort. Thank you, Eleanor.

1. There is, annoyingly, no publication or copyright date on this book, which was published by A.L. Burt Company of New York.
2. I can't say "Forty Fort" without thinking of Ossie Davis' character named Portifoy from that awesome Night Gallery episode with Roddy McDowall.
3. Okay. Done.

"Was beautiful the last years we lived there."

An undated photograph from someone else's family and lifetime.

Written in cursive on the back:
"Remember this?
Mary was pretty young then. Many changes since. Place looks barren. Was beautiful the last years we lived there. Did you ever see it after you left for Baltimore?"

Monday, August 15, 2016

"The Toboggan Girl" and a message from a "P.C. Friend"

During each of the past two winters, I meant to write about this postcard, as that would have been the season-appropriate time to do so. But things kept getting shuffled and other pieces of paper kept grabbing my attention instead, and I never got around to this piece of ephemera. But it's a really cool piece. And I don't want to end up forgetting about it again next winter. So I'm presenting it tonight. Perhaps it can serve to give some cool thoughts to those of you who are suffering through the same hot and stifling conditions that we've had here in the Northeast U.S. for many weeks now.

Autumn will be here soon. Promise!

Anyway, this is a really striking postcard. The little blue blobs — which most would call a blemish and flaw — add to its appeal in my eyes.1 This is a hand-colored card, and the artist did a really fine job. There's not much bleeding or sloppy work to be noticed by the naked eye.

The caption at the top states: "Canadian Winter Sports — 'The Toboggan Girl.'" Underneath that, someone has written: "M. Edna Rourke, Montreal, Can." The back of the card has a long message and an addressee, but no evidence that there was ever a stamp or postmark. Perhaps it was mailed in an envelope or hand-delivered. There is no year or dated noted anywhere.2

The postcard is addressed to Mr. or Ms. A.S. Leid in Adamstown, Pennsylvania (a borough in Lancaster County). The message is partially obscured because the blue blobs bleed through. But here's what I could make out:
"Panama. I had quite a number of foreign cards before I joined [?] the P.C.H. [?] I often wear the costume the Toboggan girl has on during the [blobbed out — winter, perhaps?] when I go snowshoeing or any of the winter sports. We have great fun here in winter time. Hoping to hear from you soon. Sincerely,
Your P.C. Friend
M. Edna Rourke"
Postcard exchange clubs were very common in the early 1900s, especially among women. It appears as if this card might have been a part of one of those exchanges, though it remains unclear whether it was ever mailed and/or delivered. Given that the addressee is in my neck of the woods, I'm betting it was delivered, though.

1. See Papergreat's Water-Stained Works of Art series:
2. We do know that the postcard was published by The Valentine & Sons' of Montreal and Toronto.

Monday's mixed lot of ephemera

Here are a half-dozen quick-hit items for your browsing enjoyment...

Business card for Leonard's of Chester

This came from one of the many drawers at Oak Crest Lane. It's a card for Leonard's, a Chester, Pennsylvania, business that did furniture repair, cabinet work and antiques restoration. The phone number was TRemont 6-6658. Leonard himself wrote the following note on the back of the card, dated July 18, 1962:
"Mrs. Ingham
I called to tighten your poster bed at the request of your mother — all bolts are now tight except one on RH corner of foot poster — due to the nut threads being striped.

Gaylord Book Jacket Cover

Few people ever see the inside of a protective book cover, as it spends most of its life doing its job, pressed up against the covers of the book. I recently removed one of those protective jackets from a Ruth Manning-Sanders book (of course), and I thought it would be cool to post what's printed inside.

This cover was sold by Gaylord Bros., Inc., of Syracuse, New York, and Stockton, California.

Gaylord is still around, focusing now on higher-end needs for archives and preservation.

Gotochi cards & a white rabbit

Gotochi postcards are a neat series that I learned about through Postcrossing. The colorful cards, each a unique shape to suit the content, are issued by the Japanese Postal System and highlight local customs, symbols and foods throughout the nation.

The pictured Gotochi postcard celebrates the legend of the Hare of Inaba in Tottori Prefecture.

Read more about Gotochi cards on this Postcrossing blog post.

European travel snapshot

Here's one of my grandmother's travel snapshots, taken from the window of the bus she was traveling on. It's from either the United Kingdom or France. Her short note on the back indicates that the "hedge row" was the reason for the picture. The cow in the center gives this blurry picture a nice focal point, though. I have been setting aside a small handful of her travel snapshots that, unintentionally, really work nicely on the artistic level. In my eyes, anyway.

National Parks Association

And here's my grandmother's old membership card for the National Parks Association. It changed its name to the National Parks and Conservation Association in 1970 and has been the National Parks Conservation Association since 2002.

Puss in Boots, Jr.

The final item serves as a preview of what will be a full post in the future. It's the cover of Puss in Boots, Jr. In Fairyland, which was written by David Cory and published in 1918 by Harper & Brothers. The cover is awesome, and there's more awesome stuff inside — especially with regard to the illustrations — so stay tuned for a full rundown in a future post.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

1970s summer comics nostalgia with Thing and Vision, Episode VIII

Has it been a week already since the previous post in this series? My deep dive into this May 1978 issue of "Marvel Two-in-One" is reaching its conclusion (though I do have at least one doozy left), and this evening's post features the glossy back page of the issue.

It's mostly an advertisement for the Louisville Slugger brand, which has pretty much had the baseball bat market cornered since its inception in the 1880s. (The brand is now owned by Wilson Sporting Goods.)

So, two-thirds of the page is Cincinnati Reds All-Star catcher Johnny Bench discussing the importance of having the right wood or aluminum bat from Louisville Slugger as part of a successful approach at the plate. It's all about brand awareness. If Johnny Bench and, by extension, the Marvel superheroes think it's cool, then it must be a product you want to use. (Although I'm not sure how well that worked with the Twinkies.)

In addition to this, and because it's a comic book, the advertisement must also try to sell you some tchotchke or doodad — something to compete with the secret-agent telescopes, little dolls, joy buzzers, reproduction banknotes and foreign stamps hawked elsewhere in the issue.

Hillerich & Bradsby, then the parent company of Louisville Slugger, came up with a baseball bat-shaped ballpoint pen, featuring a facsimile Johnny Bench autograph, as its object to pitch (no pun intended). There's also a pen and pencil set, featuring a facsimile autograph of either Pete Rose or Reggie Jackson.

The pen was 50 cents, while the set was $1.00. Not too exciting, honestly. I can't find many memories of these pens and pencils online, so it must not have been a comic-book advertisement that resonated with kids.

Even with limited sales, though, it would have been good business for H&B. They probably included sports equipment catalogs with your order and also got to add your name and address to the Potential Client Database.

The pens were about 5½ inches long and made of plastic, and they were about as cheap-looking as they sound. Here's an image of one from an eBay listing.

From the readers: Pack-o-Fun, book clubs, Reddy Kilowatt & more

Here's the latest collection of great things sent in by Papergreat's readers...

Plenty of projects in Pack-o-Fun: Deana David found this 2011 post and wrote: "What a fantastic blog. I collect these Pack-O-Fun's and have always wondered about their origins. I don't collect as late as the 1970s — although I think I'll start — so I really appreciate you taking the time to put up something like this with charm and social importance that other people can benefit by — thanks!"

Thank you for the nice note, Deana! It means a lot. When I'm not being silly, I do try frequently to create posts that lay out some of the history behind the items I'm writing about.

1970s Woodsy Owl bookmark: "Give a Hoot! Don't Pollute." Anonymous writes: "There was a boy at MY school, St. Roberts grade school in Shorewood, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee, who came up with that exact slogan for a contest several years BEFORE Earth Day 1970. Not sure if it was the same contest."

We are clearly in need of a national commission to investigate the true origins of this slogan.

Stock up cheaply with the Science Fiction Book Club [circa 1971]: Tom from the awesome Garage Sale Finds blog writes: "I joined that club in the 1980s. The initial offer is a good deal, but they start sending you offers every month and if you don't mail back a rejection in time, they ship the books to you, which of course is how they make their money. After accepting a few unwanted shipments, I started marking the packages 'delivery refused' and returned them to the mailbox. After a few times of that, the company sent a letter that said essentially, 'Hey, how about if we just send you books that you request?' Perfect."

Photos: Dilapidated Souvenir Land near Lawtey, Florida: Joan writes: "I love all these photos, but especially the owl, which reminds me of our famous Auction Owl Antique Store Item."

Children of America Stories: 5 awesome vintage covers: Anonymous writes: "I have 6 of her books which were my mother-in-law's. I recently dug them out of her old trunk. Should I sell or hang onto? My kids are teenagers and too old now to enjoy."

There's no right or wrong answer. Hold onto them if they interest you. Keep them for your grandchildren to look at. Sell them to a local dealer. Put them on eBay. (Though I'm not sure they will net a huge return, unless they are pristine.) Donate them to a book sale. Place them in a Little Free Library and let them wander the world.

Colorful gallery of vintage Cinderella stamps: Tom from Garage Sale Finds writes: "'Cinderella Stamps.' I learned a new term today. Thanks! The Christmas seal ones are great."

Reddy Kilowatt & the Tower of Light at the 1964 New York World's Fair: Sandi writes: "My parents attended that fair ... the biggest event I ever remember them attending (since they weren't interested in Woodstock ... crazy!). They brought home gifts for my brother (only boy) and baby sister ... whom ironically enough we nicknamed Reddy Kilowatt because of her deep red hair."

Mystery photo that might have come from an early photo booth: If you've read the post, you know that my lame guess is that the name scrawled on the tiny photo is "Lois Lane." Here are two better guesses:

1. Mom thinks the first word is "love," rather than a name. So perhaps the writing states: "Love, Anne." Or something along those lines.

2. Tom from Garage Sale Finds writes: "It looks like 'Lois Mue' to me. There was a Lois Mue who would have been about the right age (born 1908) who lived in North Carolina in 1940."

These are much more helpful leads than my thought that it was a reporter from The Daily Planet.

Five random old postcards: With regard to the postcard of United Witch Hazel Distillers in Trumbull, Connecticut, Mom writes: "Grandma always had a bottle or 2 of witch hazel in the medicine cabinet, using it for what was described in your blog. We probably tossed some!!!"

Indeed, I can confirm that some witch hazel was tossed during The Great Oak Crest Lane Cleanout.

Order "The World's Last Mysteries" for just $11.97: James Cobalt writes: "I had this book as a little kid. It made me unreasonably anxious about black holes. And yes, I am googling the stuff [listed in the post]."

The (new) oddest stuff I've found tucked inside a book: Matthew writes: "I was just given a few cards of mending wool from an aunt that came from Cynthia Mills that seems to be of great quality. Not sure what I'll do with it though."

Mystery photo: Going on a bus trip: Kate writes: "Love finding old photos and imagining the stories behind them. Wouldn't it be cool if someone did recognize them? Would love to know where they were going!"