June 9, 2012

At the Bookstore Café...



... you can read all day. And write some comments!


Pogo said...

Some executive wise-ass made the the Humor and Women sections separate, but adjacent for full comic effect.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Currently reading "Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History". It's okay, but probably would have been better if it weren't written by a woman who felt the need to make breasts "fun".

wyo sis said...

And, after all what would a woman know about how fun breasts can be?

wyo sis said...

Also, note the adjacency of women and criticism. That's some pretty snarky merchandising.

Pogo said...

Arts and Crafts is in the same aisle as Love and Sex.

Let's make a macrame swing!

Bertram Wooster said...

If Bradbury had written about the rise of electronic information leading to the demise of print and a government campaign of destruction undertaken as the final nail in the coffin of uncontrolled information he would have place his own work at the head of the list for destruction.

Of course, it's easy to say so now. From here we can see over the brink.

chickelit said...

Where do they shelve bodice rippers these day? Do they still have lurid covers?

Bertram Wooster said...

I suppose Fahrenheit 451 was a thrust in that direction, really. The exact form of the net was hard to foresee but the nature of the beast that animates government remains the same.

edutcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bertram Wooster said...

It's been 45 years since I read it so I looked at a synopsis to remind myself. Wikipedia points out:

Bradbury has stated that the novel is not about censorship, but a story about how television destroys interest in reading literature, which leads to a perception of knowledge as being composed of factoids, partial information devoid of context.

So Bradbury was better than I remembered. Television may have been as close as he got to the net but that's pretty close.

edutcher said...

You guys are on a road trip.

Well, stop by a shady tree, pull out the books and lean on each other as you read.

wyo sis said...

And, after all what would a woman know about how fun breasts can be?

how much fun


(sorry, sis, pet peeve)

When did fun stop being a noun and start being an adjective outside Valleyspeak?

chickelit said...

Where do they shelve bodice rippers these day? Do they still have lurid covers?

In the Romance section and, yes.

The Blonde likes what she calls a "slut book" every now and again, but only the ones that "cut to the chase". Forget the hundred pages of foreplay.

Paco Wové said...

"Arts and Crafts is in the same aisle as Love and Sex."

An overlap that can lead to unexpected results.

AllieOop said...

I've crocheted some of those for a bachelor party gag gift! Useful for the guys when ice fishing.

Dr Weevil said...

Could be worse. Last time I was in a certain bookstore near Dupont Circle in D.C., they had a single rack split between 'sexuality' and 'self help'.

Ron said...

I like to think of this as Bukowski Althouse on one of those all day Saturday benders....start in a bar...around 10AM...wind up 3 sheets to the wind on some obnoxious collection of cheap liquors...come back waxing poetic about how Dylan is the Uber-Squirrel...and worse.

Ah, good times, good times....

The Farmer said...

Quaestor , Michael, Rusty, thanks for the shotgun tips!

The Farmer said...

Bertram Wooster! I want to change my screen name to Roderick Glossop now! We can spar!

madAsHell said...

Love and Sex

It's just one book isn't it?

pm317 said...

We can read those books but will be punished if we write on them.

Jason (the commenter) said...

chickelit: Where do they shelve bodice rippers these day?

That's what Kindles are made for.

Saint Croix said...

Katie Roiphe tackles equality and abortion. And she seems to acknowledge that for the man, there is none.

Indeed, she acknowledges that there was equality before Roe v. Wade. "In a certain sense, all of this was simpler in the days when a baby was simply an accepted risk of sex—if everyone knew and understood and agreed that if you fell into bed with someone there might be a baby."

There still might be, dummy! Roe v. Wade didn't actually make the baby disappear. It just gave you ladies a kill right.

"Most liberal youngish people...operate under the general assumption, after a couple of glasses of wine, that you can go home with someone and not end up with 18 years of bills for diapers and babysitters and Lego ninjas."

If these liberal youngish people are men, they are in for a rude shock when they are made fathers against their will. Yes? That sex fantasy has been shot all to hell.

"One of Conley’s more whimsical solutions to this impasse, in the conversation we had about it, was that people should download an app, a sort of contract before having sex, in which they agree to what they would do if a baby were conceived. This seems impractical, as well as anti-romantic and anti-aphrodisiac. There are some things that are better left not talked about, and what you would do if you accidentally conceived a child seems like it might be one of them."

Yeah, so much better to be ignorant. Why bother with intimacy at all? Just drink a couple more glasses of wine, Katie.

Craig said...

The last Bradbury book I read was called Green Shadows, White Whale. It's a memoir about writing the screenplay for Moby Dick on location in Dublin. I highly recommend it.

Gahrie said...


Paco Wové said...

I also saw that Roiphe piece, and I have to say that the line

"There are some things that are better left not talked about, and what you would do if you accidentally conceived a child seems like it might be one of them."

seemed so bizarre that I had to stop and read it several times.

"Huge consequences may result from our actions, but that's such a downer, so let's just pretend they don't exist!"

What a strange attitude.

Then this line was just plain depressing:

"Now that the majority of babies born to women under 30 are born to single mothers..."

I don't consider myself a social conservative. I rarely, vote for people considered social conservatives. But damn if a lot of the things predicted by socons in my youth are, in fact, coming to pass.

ndspinelli said...

The movie Bernie is a must see for all of us enlightened people who know nonfiction is superior to fiction.

Jack Black is like Robin Williams, when you put some controls on him he's a very good actor.

JohnnyT1948 said...

Time to toss in a political comment - even HuffPost is ripping on WI Dem Chairman Mike Tate and his read on the recall polling.
"This episode teaches two lessons. First, given the historical pattern, be skeptical of publicly released partisan polls, especially if little or nothing is disclosed about their methodology. On average, they're probably skewed two or three points in favor of their sponsor.

Second, when the results come wrapped in the sort of mindless mud-slinging practiced by the chairman of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, don't trust them at all."


bagoh20 said...

Still no section on Jurassic Technology. When will we begin to really explore the world?

bagoh20 said...

I'm in the mood for a Bukowski day.

Years ago before he died unexpectedly, my best friend (who was a big Bukowski fan) and I would wander around the seedy bars of Hollywood drinking up the "culture". At times it was amazing how close it would get to a Bukowski scene, with characters and moods identical to his. I wouldn't recommend it long term, but we sure had fun with that on occasion. My friend essentially lived a Bukowski life, and it killed him in his 40's. Like I said, I wouldn't recommend it long term.

Freeman Hunt said...

I'm just back from a phenomenal used book sale. It was so good that I think I'm on an endorphin high from it.

Freeman Hunt said...

You know what's great? Dover Publications. That is unrelated to the book sale I attended, but it should be said. Dover Publications rules.

AllieOop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AllieOop said...

There is something to be said for a used book, it's like looking into the mind of the previous reader to find gems in the margins,notes, doodles, underlines, exclamation points.

I have a book on Christian eschatology in German from my Grandmother, replete with copious notes in her Gothic style scrawl. It's a massive book and it's taking me years to read it, as I have to interpret some of the German I don't understand.

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger ndspinelli said...

The movie Bernie is a must see for all of us enlightened people who know nonfiction is superior to fiction.

Jack Black is like Robin Williams, when you put some controls on him he's a very good actor.

I agree. Saw it yesterday. Hilarious. Best movie of the year ,so far.

AllieOop said...

More good news about coffee, may delay memory loss and Alzheimer's

In this newer study the correlation was the caffiene levels themselves. A few weeks ago a different study indicated that coffee drinkers may live longer, caffiene wasn't believed to be the factor in that study.

Enjoy that third cup of coffee, feed your brain.

AllieOop said...

Caffeine, going to get my third cup.

Chip Ahoy said...

I can do without novelty shapes which are altogether bad on the bookshelf but I see how they would be attractive to very young readers.

A Piece of Cake by david Pelham is a good example with fine little mechanisms inside for such a small book and excellent art besides. Plus a good story and poem. Astute readers will see the denouement a mile away, as they say, but so. It also has simple mechanism ideas not seen elsewhere that can be easily incorporated into cards. In one instance a little mouse pops up and sits on the edge of the page with its feet hanging over, a very simple mechanism with a single fold. My used copy was rated 'very good' but it still needed several repairs that showed me where a little kid somewhere sat there and used the shit of them until they broke. But the little book is in the shape of a slab of cheese and it does not set well with other books so I cut out that gimmick from the cover and now it is flat. That part was like surgery on a box.

Pelham is big on these gimmicks. He must have a higher appreciation for the things that attract children along with a streak that is subversive to librarians. The Sensational Samburger is in the shape of a hamburger. Nothing can be done with it. It must sit there like a hamburger. Terrible shelf footprint. In the book, someone kept stealing Sam's sister's hamburger so he fixed them good by putting all kind of icky bugs in a hamburger for a trap. Each page of the book is a hamburger layer with a hidden layer concealing something gross. Spoiler alert: the thief turns out to be their dog and he loved all the extra goodies.

Methadras said...

I went to Barnes and Noble today in the engineering section and it is scant and piss poor in terms of selection. No wonder we are diminishing as a country.

wyo sis said...

You're right about odd shaped books and libraries. I love them, but they present a dilemma. Pop-ups are a seldom-if-ever purchase because they just don't stand up to multiple check-outs.
I have to admit to purchasing Samburger, Jolly Postman, Dream Snow and several Sabuda essential classics, but I treat them like little gold nuggets and only use them for storytime. There is just something delightful about books with mechanisms.

Richard Dolan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman Hunt said...

wyo sis, you're a librarian?

If you're inclined to answer, what are you favorite books about math, languages/writing systems, and history for elementary school students?

I asked our librarian, but she didn't have any favorites, she just told me where to find those subjects. (Which seemed like a strange thing to say to an adult, but so it goes.)

Richard Dolan said...

Nice close-up of the Everyman's classics. A great series, both for the titles they've chosen and the production values of the books-as-objects (paper, type, binding, book size are all very user friendly).

The Strand was selling them very inexpensively for years here in NYC -- less than $8 a title, which Strand was able to do because they were imported from England where the publishing cost had been subsidized using gov't lottery funds. The low-cost Brit imports didn't have colorful dust jackets -- just simple black type on white background, giving the title and author, with a border framing it all. I preferred that look to the tarted-up norm for most book jackets (including those featured by Ann's pix today). I bought well over a hundred titles in the hope that, if the book were on the shelf, someone in the house would pick it up (preferably one of my daughters, but it didn't much matter who). Alas, that experiment has had only limited success so far. But the books aren't going anywhere (except perhaps to college with one of my kids), there's plenty of time for it to play out, and I'm not in any rush.

It's also the only popular book series that I recall ever seeing used by an author as a way to comment on the characters in a novel. I remember a description of a domestic scene where the author points out that the shelves are filled mostly with everyman's classics, as a dismissive way to suggest that the house's residents were solid and respectable middle-brow strivers. II suppose that's what a too-focused attention on the classics will get you in the estimation of a certain Oxbridge crowd.

I don't recall the book anymore (perhaps one of the EM Forster novels -- something like that anyway). Another reason to be thankful for the favors we've obtained from Jolly Old

Paco Wové said...

My favorite picture of the past week, a propos of yesterday's firearms discussions.

I sometimes wonder if historians of the distant future will say that the two Elizabeths bracketed the beginning and the end of England's greatness.

wyo sis said...

Freeman Hunt
Never ask a librarian unless you want to listen all day.
Here's a pretty good list but by all means not comprehensive.

I’m an elementary school librarian. My favorites are going to be slanted toward K-6, but I like :
Math Poetry by Franco
Attack of the Chicken Nugget Man by Sathy
The Librarian Who Measured the Earth by Lasky and she has written others as well.
Sir Cumference by Neuschwander
Math for Smarty Pants by Burns is old but many of my students have loved it so much they wore it out. There are others in the series from Brown Paper School book.
Math Curse by Scieszka is a loony little gem.
Henry Pluckrose, Stuart J Murphy, Tana Hoban, Amy Axelrod, Eve Merriam, Virginia Kroll, Loreen Leedy and Steve Jenkins all have written some good math concept books.

I have less to offer in the languages area, It’s harder to find good stuff.
If you want dictionaries/ABC types some of the best visually are done by DK Publishing.
Ruth Heller has written some very visually pleasing books about parts of speech.
Steve Jenkins has some good books in this area as well as almost any science related area.
Comparing Languages by McGurn
Small, Medium and Large by Emily Jenkins is delightful with math words and gatefolds. Alas I didn’t buy it for school because gatefolds die quickly.
Kathleen Connors, Brian P Cleary, Nancy Jean Loewen, Loreen Leedy (again), and The Word Fun Series by Capstone Press, are all good.
I’m not at all familiar with foreign language books for children.

Now there’s a big subject!
DK’s Eyewitness books are very eye catching and give wonderful overviews of history and virtually any other thing that can be visually presented.
The old children’s biographies Childhood of Famous Americans that used to be in the orange bindings have been rereleased and updated and kids with a historical bent love them. There are some very good biographies for children called Who was …? published by G&D.
Kathleen Krull is the biography queen in our middle grade schools.
A Really Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson is excellent.
The Don’t Know Much About… series by HC is great.
Horrible Histories Series appeals to a certain group that’s sometimes hard to reach.
There is so much in history I’d have to have a better idea of what you want to be very specific.
I hope Ann doesn't kick me off for the long comment.

wyo sis said...

And, as you mentioned Dover Books are wide ranging and wonderful. I don't get as many Dover books as I'd like because they are so often very specific and children tend not to be attracted by them in general. I sometimes get them for teachers to use for research.

Indigo Red said...

We no longer have a bookstore that sells new books in my town - Auburn, Ca. The nearest B&N is nearly 20 miles away. We only have a handful of used bookstores and even those are having trouble staying in business. My favored UB store actually is having more people come in to sell their book collections than to buy. Too many folks here using Kindles and buying from Amazon.

Michael K said...

"We only have a handful of used bookstores and even those are having trouble staying in business."

The used book business is booming on the internet. Now Amazon has snapped up a lot of that business but it pays well, like eBay. Of course, the state would like to put them out of business by taxing them.

The brick and mortar book business is dead, not least because they fiddled with the books written by anyone perceived as conservative. Those were all on back order or hidden in the corner. Lefties are incurably dumb.

chickelit said...

Paul's Books on State St. used to have an eclectic collection of used books in Madison. Are they long gone?

Michael K said...

"the end of England's greatness."

That was clearly the First World War. It's difficult to imagine the cost of that war to England. I once shocked a friend who is retired British military (a doctor) when I said we should have stayed out of WWI. I quickly added, "You should have too."

It would have been Franco-Prussian #2. Unfortunately, Bismarck was gone. Someone should have done Germany a favor and assassinated Wilhelm.

Deb said...

@Wyosis: that makes two librarians who hang out here.

Marc said...

Bukowski's name prompted this; what has happened to... I cannot think of the commenter's name. She is or was loathed by many for her rambling incoherent posts that did sometimes succeed in making an intelligible point or two. Was she-- I'm sure it was 'she' not 'he'-- proscribed?

Paco Wové said...

Now that we're talking books, England, and WWI, I recently read The Great War and Modern Memory. It really does seem like WWI killed something in the western European spirit, much more than WWII did. It makes me wonder how the US would have been affected in the long run if we had been in it from the beginning -- and lost an equivalent number of young men.

chickelit said...

Wilhelmine Germany actually gave the world lots of good things: Krupp steel, Haber-Bosch munitions and fertilizer, Planck and Einstein, lots of invaluable chemistry and technology,..etc.

We should have intervened to stop the French from exacting revenge--could have prevented WW II.

chickelit said...

Paco Wove wrote ..and lost an equivalent number of young men.

It wasn't just the number but the kinds of men killed too. Yale historian J.M. Winter wrote:

Social class position determined military rank in the early days of the war. Men from the upper and upper middle classes were likely to enlist earlier than men of more modest means; elites passed the rudimentary medical examinations at greater rates and joined the officer corps largely because they were deemed the right sort of people to do so. Since the officer casualty rates as a whole were about twice as high as those of men in the ranks, it follows that the higher a man was in the social scale in 1914 Britain, the greater his chances of joining the 'Lost Generation.'

God said...

I am not really God; I am just a showroom shopper browsing the bookstore of life.


Today, for the first time in 22 years, I went to ye' ole Saturday Catholic confession.

I confessed to my local parish priest that I felt I had been possessed by a demon for these decades, having experienced nothing but terror and horror nearly every day as a young person, and carrying this demon forth ever since. Worst was when I sought help in the Catholic Church; instead of help, I got a completely insensitive lecture on how damned my soul was because I considered my own feelings too important.

But the Catholic Priest who gave me that lecture, and who indeed helped to terrorize my young soul, is now dead and gone.

I asked my local parish priest, with invocation of his full name, to take this evil demon that I had carried for so long from me. (I have felt for some months that this demon wanted to go home-- back to the church where he belongs!!!)

The priest commented on how beautiful it was that I made this confession on Corpus Christi. I had no idea that this day had the same label as some city in Texas.

He told me to say three Hail Marys and three Our Fathers sometime later today. That seemed like a very light penance to me, considering that I had carried a demon around with me for twenty-some years. So I said triple just to be on the safe side.

And I left that demon down at the local parish. He's still there, I'm sure, waiting to inhabit a new soul.

Meanwhile, I am relieved to be free of that burdensome demon. And I have a new-found respect for this whole Corpus Christi thang...

Erika said...


My older kids (ages 6, 8 and 10) love Susan Wise Bauer's Story of the World series. They're primarily meant for read-out-loud, and they are long format. We read a little bit each evening. My kids will also pick up the volumes we've finished and browse through them; there are also activity books that go along although we haven't used those. We don't homeschool, but I feel that public school history curricula leave a lot to be desired, so that's what we use to supplement.


Jim in St Louis said...

This is where we are going tonight:


God said...

Story of the World is very good.

The adult version is very good too; although Miss Susan has only completed half of the four volumes.


He's Mormon. He's gay. He's been produly married for ten years and is a proud father. And he wrote this blog post with his wife.

He's coming out of the closet.

Surely, this sort of post will piss off some religious conservatives who think that having homosexual urges, even those which are deliberately sublimated and not acted upon, makes someone less than human...

Still, it's quite a post. An admirable post. A confession, in a way. Fitting for Corpus Christi.

Michael K said...

"We should have intervened to stop the French from exacting revenge--could have prevented WW II."

The Versailles conference, and Wilson's naivete, turned off a lot of Americans. The 1920s were a very anti-military period with lots of disarmament conventions and treaties. "Daddy Warbucks" came to the comic strips.

The French were petrified that Germany would do it again, and they were right, but they did bring some of it on themselves. I read a book recently about the summer of 1914. It made the French much more villainous in the period just before the war. They had a lot of resentment about 1870 although they had started that war. If the book is true, and it is exhaustive in detail, the French ambassador to Russia had serious responsibility for the war.

Erika said...


Your accusation is unkind and false. Religious conservative types, including my fellow orthodox Catholics, do not think those with homosexual urges are less than human. We think they are struggling with sin just like everyone else, and are to be treated with love, prayer and respect, like everyone else. Perhaps you could go see that priest again and have a discussion and get to a better understanding of that which you don't know much about?

Alex said...

Enjoy some Chicago

I've Been Searchin' So Long

Lem said...

Gay Mormons..

Kushner should have registered the idea..

There are probably more gays than Mormons.. I dont know what that means but.. to my mind the Mormons are more of the the 1 percent.. or something.

I'm not good at math.. thats what we have rh for.

God said...

@Erika -

I'm sure that you and the orthodox Catholics you personally fellow sincerely believe what you write-- that we all struggle with sin etc...

It's more the likes of Kansas pastor Curtis Knapp that I worry about, since he implores the American government to start systematically killing people who exhibit homosexual urges.

What I witnessed, as a young Catholic, was somewhere in between Erika's enlightened open-mindedness and Knapp's murderous harangues.

Synova said...

Everyone plans their own bookstore, don't they? Like little girls planning their wedding day. You decide if yours will have a bookstore cat or not, and coffee, and what sort of books.

(I refuse to believe everyone does not do this and I'm some sort of freak.)

Anyhow... my bookstore has big windows and a garden, and it might have a cat, but it's certainly got a huge fish tank. There's tea, coffee, hot cocoa and green chili stew.

It's called Dreadful Penny and only sells genre "pulp" fiction. There are stained glass windows and heavy beams to give it a somewhat gothic look. Each section has a big gaudy poster to announce what is there... no tasteful signage that says "women" or "humor". Romance has a huge Fabio book-cover, Mystery has Sherlock, Science fiction has one of those golden age babes in bikini space suit things, Fantasy goes to Frazetta. Westerns, something similarly pulpy. There would have to be a pirate section, just to have a pirate poster, Vampires too, because people loooove vampires, even if I don't.

Visiting would be an event! And there would be event space. Have your book launch at my store. Or at least your book group.

I even worked out a modest merchandising plan. Penny, our Dreadful icon, is half sweet girl and half exposed evil robot with a hint of fangs. There are reusable fabric book-bags and genre specific coffee cups.

Those book store pictures up there are sort of... dull.

Synova said...

Dang it... now I want to change my major to business.

Lem said...

If I'm killed, I hope I'm in the "systematic" column..

Accidental death would not give me much in the way of preparation.

Bertram Wooster said...

@ The Farmer

Don't forget that Bertie and Sir Roderick ended up bosom pals following their shared misadventures in Thank You, Jeeves and teamed up later in Jeeves in the Offing, where the spirit of brotherhood was cemented by the discovery that as children they had both been caught sneaking into their headmaster's study after hours to steal biscuits.

Indigo Red said...

Synova said...
Everyone plans their own bookstore, don't they?

I was 12 yrs old in 1966 when I planned my book store that would also sell good coffee, but I was told it was a dumb idea because no one would buy books in a coffee shop nor coffee in a book store.

wyo sis said...

See that, librarians show up in all kinds of places! I sometimes think I'm not at all a typical librarian because I'm far more conservative than most, at least the ones who write blogs and articles. The ones I know personally are most likely like me and keep their political views to themselves in public.

I have the bookstore fantasy, but mine is for kids and much less interesting. I'd love to do story times all day, but I suppose I'd have to do paperwork in a bookstore too.
When I decided to be a librarian it was because I love to read and I love books. I found out that time to indulge in both loves gave way to time spent doing paperwork and management. But, it's still the best job in education and I love it.
WV sushacs 1---Not kidding how did it know this was written by a professional susher?

The Farmer said...

Bertram Wooster said...

Don't forget that Bertie and Sir Roderick ended up bosom pals following their shared misadventures in Thank You, Jeeves and teamed up later in Jeeves in the Offing, where the spirit of brotherhood was cemented by the discovery that as children they had both been caught sneaking into their headmaster's study after hours to steal biscuits.

I havent read Jeeves in the Offing yet but it sounds like you and I are headed for big things!

bagoh20 said...


I think your are referring to Carol Herman, but I don't know why she's gone. Maybe the same reason Bukowski is.

Palladian said...

And, as you mentioned Dover Books are wide ranging and wonderful.

I second this. I absolutely love Dover books! As an artist, technician and person interested in hyper-specific esoterica, Dover reprints some of the most wonderful books that would otherwise be unavailable except to those with access to a rare book library.

chickelit said...

i third FH's and Palladian's appreciation of Dover Press. Just tonight and by pure coincidence, I noticed something in a footnote which they had rescued from obscurity: Lecture notes given by Max Planck at Columbia U. in 1909.