We have received from the American Book Co., "Myths of Greece and Rome," and "Myths of Northern Lands," edited by H. A. Guerber. These books possess special merit, and are worthy of a much more extended notice than we have space to give. The subjects treated are of the first importance in laying the foundation for a proper interpretation of the literatures of the world. So equal in importance are these subjects that it is time wasted to discuss which should have the preference. We hope soon to make separate and distinct studies of both.
We have also received from the same house, "Illustrated School History of the World," by J. D. Quackenbos, and the "New Eclectic History of the United States," by Mr. E. Thalheimer, both of which we have under examination with a view of introduction. We think them eminently worthy of such consideration.
Of the "Eclectic English Classics," issued by the same publishers, we cannot speak too highly. The selections are fine, the editorial work good, the mechanical execution sensible, and the cheapness of the whole series is a marvel. There is nothing that can meet the literary needs of our time like old English —" pure and undefiled." To pass these books by is certainly not to know a good thing when you see it.
The "Primer" series, published by this house, comprehending Science, History and Literature, are already known by those who know anything about books, to be unrivalled. To this series is now added "Primer of American Literature," by Mildred C. Watkins. It is not so great a book as Stopford Brooke's "Primer of English Literature," in the same series, because if it was, it would be the recent best book on a given subject in the world. It does not make emphatic enough what is essentially distinctive in American literature and American thought, but it is ahead of any summary we have yet seen, and plenty good enough for the use of those who want and deserve the best. From the same firm also comes Milne's High School Algebra, which certainly has the appearance of a first-class text-book. Its commendatory claims are simplicity, clearness and thoroughness. These are, of course, the essential features of a good book, and in this one they are noticeable in a marked degree. Also Seidel's " Die Monate," a charming story for students in the German language, is right in line with the linguistic proprieties and advantages of our time. This is the secret of learning a modern language with thoroughness and profit—translating good stories, told in simple, graceful language, rather than blundering over didactic verse and philosophic disquisition. The study of language and literature can never be successfully united in the same recitation.
Grimm & Co. are deserving of all praise from educators everywhere, and that without stint. Their books are in use the world over, and ought to be, and the house is fully deserving of all the success that attends it. They have shown the right kind of "push;" that is, they have "launched out into the deep," and disclosed thereby a multitude of books that make glad the heart of every true teacher. Wentworth's Higher Algebra, and, in fact, everything that this author does in the line of mathematical text-books, suggests perfection.
Auerbach's Brigitta, for German students, is admirably adapted to sight reading. Von Daell's Preparatory German Reader for Beginners. This is a selection of some of the simplest and best of German lyric poetry, with a complete vocabulary at the end
W. C. Collar's abridgment of Eysenbach's German Grammar, limited to a year or two of study, and entitled "A Practical German Grammar," is in many respects a timely work. The author evidently believes in the superiority of Eysenbach's method.
D. C. Heath & Co.'s Modern Language Series is to be commended throughout. Gerstacker's Germelshawsen is a wonderfully interesting story of an adventurous German who came to America in 1837, returning in 1843, and having in the time lived a more varied life than could be imagined. No better plan could be conceived of for learning the German language than this series. The mechanical make up of all these books is unique and tasty.
But to the making of books there is no end, and in all departments of use, great care is needed in their selection. They are like the deeds of men, wise and otherwise. H. W. H.