Monday, March 14, 2011

Books At Work (1)

I thought I would try something a little out of the ordinary, which is giving you the reader another glimpse into the world of wonder that is me.

This particular section of the world of wonder that is me won't be about music. Instead, it will be about books, generally what I like to read and specifically, what I actually own. Today's post kicks off a five part series devoted to my eclectic collection of books that I have stored at work.

As you may or may not know, I do not purchase a lot of books. As a matter of fact, except for three large book series I purchased from Time Life back in my early 30's, I purchased a total of less than four dozen books in my lifetime, and about a third of that amount being purchased since 2008.

There are two reasons as to why I don't purchase a lot of books:

1}Public libraries. I prefer to browse the new book sections at my public library and read new books that way, as opposed to purchasing them outright.

2}Economics. My credit cards have taken such a beating over the years that the only time the major cards come out are for either special occasions, renewing important subscriptions (i.e. Norton) or car repairs.

So basically the only real way I will purchase new books is one, they are discounted up to 50% off or two, the writers themselves offer it for sale. Which means that for the most part, I use either that funny green paper or that funny rectangular piece of paper that says "pay to the order of."

However, to be upfront with everyone, there are exactly 3 books on this list in which I pay for them by credit card. The other twenty-three were paid with cash or check or given as a gift.

So, without further ado, we begin at the beginning.

1} WCW: The Final Roster by Eric Chmiell. I am a big fan of pro wrestling and up until the tail end of February 2011, I'd watched or read about it for about thirty-three years. This book was written, self published and offered by Eric through his now defunct wrestling newsletter back in 2001, and basically the book chronicles the wrestlers that were involved with the WCW from the time Ted Turner purchased it through its purchase and closure by Vince McMahon.

2} The Politically Incorrect Guides to American History and the Constitution. I found these books very entertaining, very informative and somewhat disturbing. By disturbing I mean that it's incredible the way American history is being taught and the way the Constitution is being twisted to do things the writers never intended for it to do. The series itself is highly recommended and please check for further titles at Regnery Publishing Inc.

3} The Beekeeper's Apprentice, A Monstrous Atrocity of Women, The Moor, all by Laurie King. I first got into this particular writer when I found the last book listed at one of my library's semi annual book sales. The one thing that attracted me to the book in the first place was that it featured Sherlock Holmes in it. In this particular book series he had a companion called Mary Russell and he was semi retired from sleuthing. The writer did a pretty good job of moving him up from the Victorian age to the time period just after World War I.If you're looking for a good mystery series featuring a familiar character with a new twist, this one is for you.

 4} Death by Committee, Deadmistress, all by Carole Shmurack. I picked up the first book for the simple reason that it was autographed. I also found out after reading the first book that the author is a local well-known mystery writer who happens to teach at one of the universities. I was so impressed with the first land that I picked up the second a month later. If you like murder mysteries with a local flavor, which in this case is Connecticut, then this book series is for you. One other interesting note is that I actually found these titles at Border's.

5} Final Exits by Michael Largo.This was one of my more freakier acquisitions. I enjoy reading nonfiction that is skewered towards the offbeat or the macabre, and this book is definitely a combination of the two. If you like reading or learning about the various ways that people have died throughout the centuries, then this book is for you.

The one really weird thing that I noticed while I was gathering up the necessary information to compose this particular series was that while the bulk of the selections were purchased at Border's, the remaining came from such diverse places as: a contest, a couple of discount stores, other bookstores, online and the writer themselves. Sometimes you can often find the best reading material in the most unlikliest of places.


  1. Some very offbeat but yet rewarding titles.

  2. I would be up for reading The Politically Incorrect Guides to American History. Sounds good!

    And, I understand you not purchasing books, they are so dang expensive!

  3. Pro wrestling like those guys who dress up in costumes and such?

  4. I used the library all the time as a kid because it was the only way I could get books. These days I actually own 99 percent of what I read. I just like to have them handy for reference. Of course, I also write a LOT about books and stuff.

  5. David: Thanks. It does get a bit more interesting as I go further along. These books (26 in all) are ones that I read on a weekly basis at work during my breaks and down time.

    I am, if not anything else, open minded about what I read.

    T1G: Absolutely expensive. If I had my way, I would buy them at a discount store, but some of the stuff they sell there is really bad.

    That particular book series was a real eye opener for me. Might be for you as well.

    Lynn: Yup. Back in the day before the costumes and schtick, I use to enjoy watching wrestling whenever I could. Lot of programs on when I was growing up in the 70's and early 80's.

    Charles: I used the library extensively as a kid because I had no friends growing up, so it became a second home to me.

    As for the second part, that is very true about writing about books and stuff. Some of it is actually good too. :D

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  7. I love the library. I also love it that they have a Friends of the Library book store, which has paperbacks for 50 cents and hardbacks for a buck. All proceeds support the library, and it's a cheap way to support our habit :)

  8. I like the premise of Laurie King's book as you describe it. Sherlock Holmes always intrigues me.

    So happy to be back with my blogging buddies. It was a rough 4 weeks as a trial juror. Physically and emotionally grueling. Deliberation took a toll on me, but I'm back to myself now. Hooray! I'm glad to visiting you again G. Hope all is well :)

  9. R: We have a Friends of the Library organization as well, and they organize the two massive semi-annual book sales. One year bought a bagful of books (special sale at the end, all you can stuff into a bag) for $5, which is how I found that copy of The Moor.

    Kelly: Like your new avatar photo. You look quite nice.

    The premise definitely intrigued me for that particular book and I was pleasantly surprised on how it turned out because usually when writers try to hook up a well known character with one that isn't, it never works out quite right.

    Glad you survived jury duty though. I've been fortunate, because even though I've gotten picked about a half dozen times, I've never served on a jury. I was one and done.

  10. library very cool for sure.

    You ever read Mick Foley's books? Smurfing good writer. Some nice backstage illumination,too.

  11. Darth: Smurfing? How smurfy that you think Mick Foley is smurfing good writer. :D

    I have not had the pleasure of reading his books.

    His would be on the top of my list of books written by former wrestlers. A suggestion to you would be to avoid the stuff churned out by the WWE's publishing branch and instead search out the books that were published via the small press.

    James J. Dillon has a good one, and I believe Bobby Heenan has a good one as well.

  12. I liked the library when I could borrow cds, now they've stopped doing them, my interest has faded. I'm not a great fan of used books either coz I often can't stop wondering if the last person read the book whilst sitting on the loo.

  13. For some reason, I like to OWN books -- especially really good ones. Even though I also LOVE libraries... I guess I just really love books, in general. :)

  14. Joe: That's an interesting way at looking at used books. Never thought of it like that.

    I've read that libraries in the U.K. are having issues like that, so it is a bit of a bummer. I know my library still lends out c.d.'s and what not for listening (or burning) pleasure.

    Lisa: I'm sort of in a catch 22 with books. I love owning them, but if I can find them at my public library, why buy them?

    On the other hand, why buy them if you're gonna just read it on the average, once or twice.

  15. There's a couple here that I'll try to find. Thanks, G!

  16. Mama Z: Thanks, glad I could be of service.

  17. Michael Largo's books look interesting

  18. Nurse Myra: If his other's are anything like Final Exits, then they should definitely be interesting reads.


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