A series of fine books preserving and protecting the recommendations of Roger Mifflin, proprietor of Christopher Morley’s Haunted Bookshop.
The Haunted Bookshop – Christopher Morley
If you’re here for a ghost story, you may be disappointed.
It’s a romance, it’s a mystery, it’s full of intrigue, it’s a celebration of the magic of books, but (spoiler alert?) you’re not going to find any supernatural beings on these pages. If that disappoints you, well, this book may not be for you.
But if you love a good book, you’re about to meet a kindred spirit. His name is Roger Mifflin, and he can’t stop talking about how books can save your life, save your soul and probably save the world.
Set in the aftermath of The Great War, still filled with the hope it was the last war, the “war to end all wars,” Christopher Morley gives us Roger Mifflin, a pistol of a fellow whose life mission is to put the right books into the right hands, with a firm belief that there’s a “right book” for every pair of hands that ever lived.
Part mystery thriller, part romance, and all fun for the book lover, The Haunted Bookshop is one of the great forgotten classics of early 20th century literature and the keystone of The Roger Mifflin Collection.
Men In War – Andreas Latzko
“… SO DAMNED TRUE THAT THE GOVERNMENT SUPPRESSED IT”
— Roger Mifflin, proprietor of The Haunted Bookshop (by Christopher Morley)
Andreas Latzko was hospitalized for malaria and severe shock after serving on the warfront on the Isonzo River during the war between Austria-Hungary and Italy in 1916. While he was recuperating he poured out his anguish over what he had seen and experienced in these six harrowing chapters.
The book was published in 1917 as the war still raged, and Roger Mifflin was not exaggerating when he said the government suppressed it. Never mind which government he was talking about; every one of the warring countries tried to censor it. You’ll understand why when you read this forgotten classic of The Great War. Barnes & Noble
Trivia – Logan Pearsall Smith
“If your mind needs phosphorus, try ‘Trivia,’ by Logan Pearsall Smith.”
— Roger Mifflin, proprietor of The Haunted Bookshop
“It would be extravagant to claim that Pearsall Smith’s Trivia, the remarkable little book from which these miniature essays are extracted, is well known: it is too daintily, fragile and absurd and sophisticated to appeal to a very large public. But it has a cohort of its own devotees and fanatics, and since its publication in 1917 it has become a sort of password in a secret brotherhood,” wrote Christopher Morley in his book Modern Essays about this hard-to-categorize collection of aphorisms that, through its title, introduced a word into the English language. Smith’s aphorisms are anything but trivial; alternately whimsical and insightful and heartbreaking, they are popcorn-sized glimpses into the human condition. Barnes & Noble
The Man Who Was Thursday – G.K. Chesterton
“If your mind needs a tonic of iron and wine, and a thorough rough-and-tumbling, try Samuel Butler’s Notebooks or The Man Who Was Thursday, by Chesterton.” — Roger Mifflin (Christopher Morley), The Haunted Bookshop
“It is all a huge joke, a quite absurd and laughable fantasy – or it is a sermon – or it is even an explanation. Read the book and make your choice.” — Hildegarde Hawthorne, New York Times, May 2, 1908
“Mr. Chesterton has done an admirable thing, and probably knows it.” – Austin Harrison, London Observer, March 1, 1908
The Demi-Gods – James Stephens
Roger Mifflin, proprietor of The Haunted Bookshop, said it best: “If you need ‘all manner of Irish,’ and a relapse into irresponsible freakishness, try ‘The Demi-Gods,’ by James Stephens. It is a better book than one deserves or expects. It’s a good thing to turn your mind upside down now and then, like an hour-glass, to let the particles run the other way.”
Three angels come to Earth to learn more about people. They land in the Irish countryside and encounter a nomadic man and his feisty daughter, and what happens next is what happens next. The latest volume in The Roger Mifflin Collection, classics of the early 20th century as curated by Mifflin himself in The Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morley.
The Story of My Heart – Richard Jefferies
“In the history of literature one happens, from time to time, upon a book which has been written because the author had no choice but to write it,” biographer Walter Besart said of Richard Jefferies’ The Story of My Heart. “He was compelled by hidden forces to write it. There was no rest for him, day or night, so soon as the book was complete in his mind, until he sat down to write it. And then he wrote it at a white heat. For eighteen years, Jefferies says, he pondered over this book—he means, that he brooded over these and cognate subjects from the time of adolescence. At last his mind was full, and then—but not till then—he wrote it. Those who have not read it must understand at the outset that it is the book of one who dares to question for himself on the most important subject which can occupy the mind.”
Or, as Roger Mifflin put it more simply, “If your mind needs a whiff of strong air, blue and cleansing, from hilltops and primrose valleys, try “The Story of My Heart” by Richard Jefferies.” Book 6 in the Roger Mifflin Collection of vintage classics.
The Note-Books of Samuel Butler
To be determined