Monday, April 11, 2011

Books At Work (4)

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And so, having finished part three of our five part series, we will now commence with part four of our series, which will soon be followed by part five and a bonus part five a (not to be confused with seven a), which will officially end the series.

16} Cold In The Light, Bitter Steel, Write With Fire, and The Talera Cycle by Charles Gramlich. Charles is the second author that I've personally bought books from. What I mean by personal is that he offered them for sale through his blog, for which I then purchased. Most of you know the background on how I came to meet Charles on his blog, so I won't be redundant in that particular aspect of this post.

What I will say is that Charles has become one of my favorite writers in any genre, and in fact has become the most reviewed author on my blog with four books. This says a lot about a person and their writing skills, when not only do I enjoy their books but I enjoy them enough to offer my opinion about them publicly. If you want to read my honest opinions about Charles's books and his writing, please click on the tag "Book Reviews". If you click on his name, you will find links on his fantastic blog to purchase these plus other fine books/e-books that he has written.

17} The Cynic's Dictionary by Rick Bayan. This was one of my more stranger picks because basically it's a humor book and usually the only humor books that I buy have to do with comic strip anthologies. I really can't explain this one too well, so let me give you an example of what he writes for definitions in this dictionary. It's a long one but it's really funny.

Ecosystem: the environment viewed as a delicately balanced Rube Goldberg contraption. Discarded balloon (A) chokes Duck (B), which expire and pollutes Pond (C), which kills Minnow (D), which drives away Pied-billed Grebe (E), which distresses Birdwatcher (F), who contributes to Friends of Wetlands (G), which lobbies in Congress (H), which passes Antipollution Law (I), which cuts profits at Toxico, Inc. (J), which lays off 20% of its Payroll (K) including Stanley Frimko (L), who now has more time to walk with his daughter Danielle (M), who lets go of Balloon (N), which unfortunately pops in the Stratosphere (O) and drops into Pond (P), where it catches the attention of Duck (Q).
18} The Little Book Of Bad Taste by Karl Shaw. I bought this book from one of those outlet stores located in Manchester CT. There is nothing I can really add beyond saying the book lives up to the title and that the grossest and most disgusting things you could possibly imagine, be it related to a person, food, or bodily function, is contained in this book. If you think it's too far fetched, it's in this book.

19} World Mythology edited by Arthur Cotterell. This was another bargain basement job that I bought at Barnes & Noble, and this book, while small and compact, gives a fantastic overview of mythology in every section of the globe. This book not only has given me a few names to use for my stories, but also has spurred me to research a few of those mythologies for other stories as well.

20} Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Please click here for a book review and my thoughts about this pocket edition, which I picked up for my son back in the mid-nineties. No link as when I went searching the Barnes & Noble website, I came up with 855 versions of the book.


  1. I may check out #19 - I used to be fascinated with Greek mythology and so World Mythology seems interesting to me. :)

  2. Charles is one of the best. No doubt about it.

  3. Lynn: It's a nice little encyclopedia that touches on a little bit of everything. Has a decent bibliography to help you explore everything else a little further.

    David: Yes he is.

    I do not, as a rule, gush over a writer, no matter how much I may like their work.

    But I do like his stuff and I have no problem letting the regular or casual reader on my blog know that fact.

    Even though one of the genres he writes in doesn't do anything for me, overall I do enjoy reading the rest of the genres he writes in.

  4. Thanks, man. Brought a nice little smile on a day that I badly needed it. Very glad you have enjoyed.

  5. Charles: More than happy to do it.

    When I like someone or something, I have a tendency to offer a overly strong opinion on it or them.

    Writing that makes me revisit a book multiple times will always triumph over writing that doesn't.

  6. Charles, I think you and I had the same day!

    #17 cracks me up. And I'm super curious about #18 now.

  7. M: #17 was a bargain basement goody from B&N and along with the Monty Python set, is one of my favorite humor books in my collection.

    As for #18, it is both an interestingly disgusting piece of gross out literature and interesting mix of history/pop culture/news of the weird that you probably won't find anywhere else.

  8. That's quite a feat to write a book that is so popular it eventually spawns 855 versions!

  9. Jewel: I thought that was just a bit unreal when I did the initial search for the copy I got at work.

    Hopefully the heirs of Lewis Carroll are making loads of payola out of this venture.

  10. I'd like to read the little book of bad taste. pity it's not available on kindle

  11. Nurse Myra: I found that any title prior to 2000 usually can't be found in an e-book format.

    But it is a funky little book just the same. Best 5 bucks I'd ever spent on a book.


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