“Booked to Die” Revisited

Booked to Die, first edition
Booked to Die, first edition

When I first started working in a used bookstore, the shop keeper assigned me two books to read before starting. The first, ABC for Book Collectors, was a thorough encyclopedia of the terminology of the trade.  It supplied me with a solid foundation on which to build my knowledge of used and rare books. The second book I was given was John Dunning’s Booked to Die.  That little page-turner mystery gave material to construct spires on that original foundation.

For those who haven’t read Dunning’s Bookman series, you should get a copy of Booked to Die as soon as possible. John Dunning managed to draw on his real life experience running a bookshop in Denver to create a detailed portrayal of the strange and sometimes seedy world of used and rare books. Booked to Die introduces police detective and book-collector Cliff Janeway working a murder case revolving around rare books. (more…)

Girls and Comic Books

581951141.0.mTop 5 Comics to get girls into comic books

Being an adult female comic book reader is not as rare these days as it used to be. I was introduced to comics at the age of 8 by my older brother. I first read the well known staples like Wonder Woman, Little Lulu, The X-men, The Fantastic Four and so on. When I was a girl it was harder to find comics geared towards a female reader as the comic book world was dominated by male writers and artists. Over the years, many more comics have been released that appeal to female readers, at last! (more…)

Five Books to Help You Deal With Stress!

stressed out student

Are you stressed out?

Do you have the back to school blues?

Learning how to relax and focus on the positive is very hard when the world is pressing down on you at every turn. Sometimes a good book can be a guide to help you set your mind straight and keep your heart rate from blowing through the roof. Here are my top five books that I have read to help deal with stress. (more…)

What Not to do to a Book: A Top Ten List

Water-damaged Book
Oh, this poor thing.

Books, especially old and antique books, can be finicky and temperamental. To keep your collection in pristine condition, be sure to avoid the following pitfalls of book ownership.

1. Do not expose to water or damp atmospheres

When wet or damp, pages quickly wrinkle and become brittle. In some cases, the ink can run and spill onto other pages.

 2. Do not place pressure on the binding

Age, quality, and use can all result in weakened binding, and undue pressure can cause pages to fall out and the binding to split.

 3. Do not subject to harsh or ultraviolet lights

Books with hand-drawn or fragile illustrations and platings can become dull when exposed too frequently to ultraviolet lights or camera flashes.

Top 10 Holiday Food and Wine Books

Holidays are nearly synonymous with great food, but somebody has to make it. Rachel Jagaresky provides us a top ten list of cooking and wine books that is sure to help you get through a savory holiday season.

The Allure and Abuse of Power

So many well-researched, well-written investigative books on important topics have been published that achieving consensus on a “best-of” list is unlikely. The following books include a small percentage of the “best-of” published since 1965, which marked the start of investigative journalism’s modern era.

A Report on NSA, America’s Most Secret Agency
By James Bamford (1982)

Bamford, a self-trained investigative journalist, exposed the inner workings of the National Security Agency. Reportedly larger than the CIA and FBI combined, NSA was so secretive it often failed to appear in official U.S. government manuals; commentators joked that the acronym stood for “No Such Agency.” Bamford later joined ABC News, while continuing to write books and articles about governmental espionage. His most recent book is A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq and the Abuse of America’s Intelligence Agencies(2004). (more…)