Farewell to a reader’s friend

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This pillow chair, useful for reading in bed, was one of those cheap objects that prove incredibly useful and durable. My parents bought it for me for Christmas when I was about 15 and I used it ever since — until earlier this year, when I decided the poor thing had supported me, or at least my back and my reading habits, long enough.

Mine was purchased by mail order (probably Sears), and in the intervening years I never saw another one until relatively recently, when I found them at Target. Wow, they still make these things! They’re known alternately as chair pillows, pillow chairs, bed rests and reading pillows.

I resisted parting with mine, though, even after sending it through a giant washing machine at a laundromat, which got it clean but also worsened splits in the fabric. Bits of orange foam kept popping out. This thing had stuck with me and I was sticking with it. And, on 90-degree summer nights, to it.

After a couple of years of this, I finally decided to buy a new one.

I did, for a mere $10, at the Target in Pomona, and wondered why I hadn’t done this earlier. The old one went into the trash with little regret. I guess I needed to wait until the time felt right. I like the new one too. It’s a comfortable way to sit up in bed without messing with pillows.

Above is the tattered old one with what I think was the last book I read with it: Neil Young’s “Waging Heavy Peace.” Farewell, old friend, and thanks for the support.

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Reading Log: June 2014

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Books acquired: none.

Books read: “All the President’s Men,” “The Final Days,” Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein; “President Fu Manchu,” Sax Rohmer.

“Doonesbury” repeats this spring reminded me that Nixon resigned 40 years ago this August, and that made me think this would be a good summer to read the two Watergate books on my shelves. So I did.

I really liked “President’s Men,” which was published in early 1974. Told in the second person, it follows the two reporters as they chase leads, hit brick walls, knock on doors, meet a source in a parking garage and occasionally flub a story. These were two intrepid guys, and they were far more dedicated than I am, or any reporter I’ve ever known. Another thing I learned: Woodward was a registered Republican. Rather than trying to bring down a president, he and Bernstein were both shocked and disturbed that the trail of Watergate led as high as it did.

With that finished, did I want to read the 500-page “Final Days,” an inside look at the last months of Nixon’s presidency? I thought I’d read it a while and see. Well, I thought it was fascinating, and there was no question of not finishing it. In this one, private meetings and conversations are quoted as if they’re unfolding in front of us, reconstructed either by interviews with the participants or with people they shared their version of events with. It’s a neat trick that allows for privacy-invading scenes like Nixon forcing Kissinger to pray with him, and if asked Kissinger could plead that he wasn’t one of the direct sources.

Normally I’d say these sort of books aren’t my thing, but the subject was one that has always held an interest for me because Watergate occurred on the edge of my consciousness, being 9 and 10 at the time, and I was glad to finally know more about it. (I’m likely to write a column about it in August.)

Obviously I read “President Fu Manchu” the same month as something of a joke. But it legitimately was the next book in the series; I’d left off with book 7 a couple of years ago and I was overdue for book 8. In this one, the only volume set in America, the evil genius (and here I’m referring to Fu Manchu, not Richard Nixon) is pulling the strings of a populist candidate for president who would institute a dictatorship. Online sources say the 1936 novel pulls from real events involving Huey Long and Father Coughlin. So that’s neat, although the novel is otherwise the least distinguished so far.

One weird side-note: Fu has a lair reachable by a river tunnel under New York’s Chinatown, and the hidden entrance is referred to as his “water-gate.” You can’t make this stuff up.

I don’t recall where I got any of these three books, although I’ve had “Final Days” for maybe 10 years, picked up “President’s” maybe five years ago, and “President Fu” around the same time, all used.

What were you reading in June? Speak a little louder, I’m not sure my secret taping system is picking you up.

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Reading Log: May 2014

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Books acquired: “The Gateway Arch: A Biography,” Tracy Campbell; “A Farewell to Arms,” Ernest Hemingway.

Books read: “Gently Down the Stream,” Bill McClellan; “The Farther Shore,” Robert M. Coates; “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” Jules Verne; “Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys: How Deep is the Ocean?” Paul Williams; “Coming Up for Air,” George Orwell.

Ahoy, readers, it’s time for another post about our reading habits of the past month, which in my case all involved water-based titles.

(I came up with a bunch of such “theme” groupings three or four years ago, fresh from having typed up the title of every unread book on my shelves for a master list, and with connections echoing in my brain. I get to them as I can. Turns out there are only 12 months in a year. Who knew?)

“Stream” is a collection by a St. Louis columnist; “Shore” is a 1950s out-of-print novel about a bachelor who really should not marry, but does, with unfortunate results (telegraphed in the first sentence or I wouldn’t bring it up); “Leagues” is, of course, the famous novel about a submarine voyage led by a captain without a country; “Ocean” is a compilation of essays and interviews about the surf group; and “Air” is a novel about a middle-class Englishman who, with prewar jitters, is seized by the notion of escaping the city to his childhood village.

“Shore” came to me in an unusual way that may illustrate the happenstance way we sometimes read. I’d read two short stories by Coates in anthologies edited by my boy Ray Bradbury, loved them, especially “The Hour After Westerly,” which would have made a good “Twilight Zone,” and wanted more. He published two books of stories, it turns out, as well as several novels and a memoir; he was the New Yorker’s art critic for a time. I couldn’t readily find any of his books at used bookstores (yes, yes, no doubt I could find them online, but I wasn’t frantic for them, I just put them on my want list as something to hunt for on book expeditions). The first thing I found was “Shore,” at a St. Louis store maybe four years ago, and decided to buy it — it was only $4 — even though it was a novel. Last year, at Powell’s in Portland, I found one of his story collections and bought it. I almost put “Shore” into my “sell” box, but opened it up and saw the first page involves a guy eating in a diner. So I read it. And it was pretty good.

“Air” was my favorite of the month, though. The narrator at first seems like a dope, a guy strangers tend to call “Fatty” who sells insurance and finds his children a nuisance and his wife a bore, but his mordant sense of humor and realistic view of things set a tone unlike any book I can remember reading. The whole thing was kind of extraordinary. I was led to this book in another odd way, by an extended mention in one of the “33 1/3″ books on the Kinks album “Village Green Preservation Society.” Any book similar to one of my favorite albums was likely to be worth seeking out, and it was.

“Leagues” was both fascinating and tedious, as anyone who remembers reading it can tell you. I’d read it as a boy but had meant to reread it ever since “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” comics made Nemo seem like an amazing creation. Not surprisingly, much of that is only implied in the original. I’ve owned this copy since elementary school. The others came into my hands more recently: 20 years ago in the case of the Beach Boys’ book, the past five years for the rest.

I should mention, too, that I began and abandoned one book this month: “The Sea” by John Banville. (You can see part of the cover in the photo above.) It was too literary for me. I could have finished it had I chose, but I cut my losses about 40 pages in. A part of me thought I should read it, as the hype proclaims that it won the Man Booker Prize. Then I thought, well, am I making a survey of Man Booker Prize winners? I’ve got a lot of books around the house I want to read more than this. So into the “sell” box it will go.

That’s all from me. How was your May? Let us know what books you’ve been paging through, finishing or abandoning.

Next month: Watergate. Wait, would that have fit in during May?

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Reading Log: April 2014

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Books acquired: “Urban Tumbleweed,” Harryette Mullen.

Books read: “The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop,” Lewis Buzbee; “The Red Pony,” John Steinbeck; “Darker Than Amber,” John D. MacDonald; “The Green Hills of Africa,” Ernest Hemingway; “The Green Hills of Earth,” Robert A. Heinlein; “Outlaw Blues,” Paul Williams.

Six books read in April, each with a color in the title. What a reading rainbow, to quote a phrase. I’d plotted out potential titles three or four years ago, which made finally reading them all the more satisfying as well as something of a relief. Also, some of the books go back quite a ways.

I was supposed to read Hemingway’s “Green Hills” back in college for a Hemingway class but didn’t make it. Years ago I abandoned the other unread one on the syllabus, “Death in the Afternoon,” out of disinterest in hundreds of pages of nonfiction on bullfighting, but I did always hope to read this one, about a safari. The first chapter is where Hemingway’s famous comment about all American literature springing from “Huckleberry Finn” comes from.

Well, I learned that hunting is hard work: Even when Hemingway kills an animal, he might have to track it for hours and then never find it. Not without interest, especially some of the nature descriptions and the byplay with his father-in-law. He undercuts his own myth. But he also reinforces it, and despite the rigors he’s privileged and oblivious. A little boring, a little sad. This wasn’t for me.

I hadn’t read a Heinlein in two years so this seemed like a good month to read his “Green Hills,” a collection of short stories from the 1940s. I liked it. Most have a cheerful optimism about space flight, human relations and the promise of the 20th century that, while dated, scratches a certain itch. The final, and longest, story, “The Logic of Empire,” is an anti-slavery allegory and a worthwhile early attempt at melding politics and SF.

“The Red Pony” I’d read as a teen, but I read it again as part of a Steinbeck omnibus of short novels that I bought in 2009. All I’d remembered was the birth scene. I liked it this time, and even found it reminiscent of Bradbury’s (later) “Dandelion Wine,” particularly the section about the old man who’s a little like a time machine.

Buzbee’s “Yellow” is a memoir about his days as a bookseller and publisher’s rep in the Bay Area, as well as about his lifelong love of bookstores and books. He sprinkles in a history of books and bookselling. Unexciting, but a gentle, reflective tome for those who like bookstores and the sense they impart of being alone among others.

“Amber” is the seventh Travis McGee mystery novel. As with Heinlein, it had been a couple of years since I’d read one, and I’m glad to have finally cleared whatever mental block had kept me from progressing. That said, this one had its unsavory aspects, so that even though I like the series, this may not be among the better entries.

Lastly, “Outlaw Blues” is a collection of writings circa 1967-68 by the man who may qualify as the first rock critic. Offers a look at how a segment of hippie rock intellectuals viewed the scene, when each release seemed to be advancing the youth movement: Loved the Byrds, Dylan, Jefferson Airplane, Beach Boys and the Doors, had no use for the Beatles. Idealistic, woolly-headed, charming.

As mentioned, Hemingway’s book dates to college, although I’ve switched editions since then. Williams’ was bought at a used bookstore in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury perhaps 15 years ago. Heinlein’s is of more recent vintage, also used, as was MacDonald’s; and Buzbee’s came from a visit to Powell’s in Portland in 2010.

Your turn: What have you been reading?

Next month: In which I’m all wet.

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Reading Log: March 2014

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Books acquired: “Who I Am,” Pete Townshend; “Walkable City,” Jeff Speck.

Books read: “Silverlock,” John Myers Myers; “Tales From the ‘White Hart,’” Arthur C. Clarke; “The Woman in Black,” Susan Hill.

Only a three-book month here. Is that better or worse than a three dog night? Regardless, all three of my reads last month had significance for me.

“Silverlock” I’ve owned since the early 1980s but never got around to reading. For one thing, it’s 500 pages; for another, the hype that helped sell it — separate introductions by SF heavyweights Poul Anderson, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle — also inhibited actually reading the thing. “You’ll get drunk on ‘Silverlock,’” “an odyssey of the human spirit,” etc., etc. I could never bring myself to read it, yet I could never bring myself to sell it either.

Now that I’m back to taking my bookshelves seriously, I read it, and you know, “Silverlock” was darned good, a picaresque adventure in the Commonwealth of Letters in which nearly every character is taken from literature or legend: Don Quixote, Paul Bunyan, Robin Hood, Leatherstocking, the Green Knight, and dozens more. Great fun, and recommended if you’re well read, or if like me you can fake it.

That book consumed nearly four weeks. I managed to squeeze in two short books on vacation, a collection of scientific shaggy dog stories by Clarke, told by a tall-tale spinner in a London pub, and Hill’s Gothic horror novel, set in England, from 1992. I liked both of those. (The latter was made into a slightly creepy, slightly silly movie in 2012.)

They meant a little more to me because in London two years ago I’d stumbled across a White Hart pub in the vicinity of the one Clarke frequented; research shows that this one is modern and Clarke’s hangout was really named the White Horse, but no matter, I wanted to read the book ever since. Hill’s book I bought during that trip at Foyle’s; I used the receipt as my bookmark. Happy sigh.

Clarke’s book was bought used at a Bookmaster in Arizona some six years ago, and “Silverlock” came from a used bookstore of my youth, the Double R Book Nook in Olney, Ill.

All three books have a color in their title, and I have so many more of these that April looks likely to have more “color books.” I’m wrapping up a yellow and have started a green, with a red, a blue and an amber in the wings, and a white, a black, a gold, another blue and another green probably out of reach unless April has 60 days.

Of my two acquisitions this month, the first was a birthday gift and the second was bought at BookPeople in Austin, my first book purchase of 2014. I’m trying to cut down.

What have you been reading? And has anyone read, or even heard of, “Silverlock”? It’s kind of a cult classic, hence the hard-sell introductions in my 1980 edition, but deserves to be better known.

Next month: a riot of color.

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Reading Log: February 2014

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Books acquired: none.

Books read: “Ubik,” “Ubik: The Screenplay,” Philip K. Dick; “Waging Heavy Peace,” Neil Young; “The Swerve,” Stephen Greenblatt; “Stranger Passing,” Joel Sternfeld.

Welcome back to my monthly recap of what I read the previous month, as I navigate among the shocking number of unread books on my shelves and share the results.

As the shortest month, February would have been a good time to devote to extremely short books. Instead, as it was the month before my birthday, I opted to read books friends gave me for my last birthday.

(I’m terrible at reading books gifted to me, I’m ashamed to say, and I could profitably spend five or six months catching up on past gifts stretching back a couple of decades. Well, here’s a month, and that will have to suffice.)

Three of my books this month were gifts: “Ubik: The Screenplay,” “Waging Heavy Peace” and “The Swerve.”

Sensibly, first I read “Ubik,” the novel on which the unproduced screenplay was based. Even more shamefully, this is another of the books I’ve owned since I was a teenager and never read. Is my entire reading life about guilt? Anyway, this month provided an excuse to read it, and I’m glad I did, because it was the best book all month, one of Dick’s wackiest, full of humor and contemporary-seeming concerns about privacy in a world in which telepaths are everywhere.

You know it’s going to be great when a CEO, confronted with a vexing problem, tells his underlings, “I’ll consult my dead wife,” and it’s only page 2. He does it, too: The dead are kept in glass coffins in “moratoriums” — ha! — and awakened upon request for conversation. The plot involves a group of people who find the 1990s fading around them as 1939 re-emerges. Is reality changing, or does it only seem to be changing because they’re actually dead and don’t know it? It’s the usual mind-bending stuff. Dick’s screenplay wasn’t as good as the novel but made for a good companion piece.

Neil Young’s memoir hops around in time and place as the muse takes him. Similar to Dylan’s “Chronicles,” in that it’s not a straight autobiography but a book that focuses on random moments; dissimilar, in that it’s shaggy, off-the-cuff, overlong and kind of a mess. Young comes off as a big dork with his Lionel trains and other geeky projects and yet as far more normal than you’d expect. Refreshingly relaxed, but at 500 pages, maybe too relaxed. A sequel is promised/threatened.

I’d never heard of Lucretius or his poem “On the Nature of Things,” so everything in “The Swerve” was new to me. Yes, yes, the subtitle (“How the World Became Modern”) is awfully bold, but then, it’s a subtitle, meant to hook you to buy the book. Personally, I got the book as a gift (maybe the subtitle hooked the friend who bought it for me) and, as it’s not the sort of thing I normally read, I was dubious. But I’m glad I read it: It was fascinating.

Lastly, “Stranger Passing” was loaned to me by a friend last month. Random-seeming portraits of people around the country, doing whatever it was they were doing: shopping, sitting, buying gas, nursing a child. The individual photos didn’t make an impression on me, but collectively it’s a portrait of America. All the subjects retain a certain dignity, even the shopping cart wrangler on the cover.

(That book was so large I couldn’t fit it flat on a shelf for the obligatory spine photo, so I propped it up. The weird cover deserves to be seen again anyway.)

So that was my February in books. How was yours? As always, you’re encouraged to share your own reading below.

Next month: 31 days of colorful books, i.e., with a color in their title.

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Column: Betsy-Tacy writer embraced Claremont and her fans

Sunday’s column follows up Wednesday’s, on Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy-Tacy children’s books, by recounting her years as a Claremont resident, from 1954 to her death in 1980, and gathering up stories from a couple of people who met her. They contacted me after my Jan. 1 column asking for information about her. I’m glad I did, because this whole thing worked beautifully.

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Reading Log: January 2014

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Books acquired: “Orange Blossoms Everywhere: The Story of Maud and Delos Lovelace in California, 1953-1980,” Mary Thiessen.

Books read: “Alone Against Tomorrow,” “Deathbird Stories” and “Shatterday,” Harlan Ellison; “18 Best Stories,” “The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Tales,” Edgar Allan Poe; “Obsolete: An Encyclopedia of Once-Common Things Passing Us By,” Anna Jane Grossman; “Betsy-Tacy,” “Betsy In Spite of Herself,” Maud Hart Lovelace; “Orange Blossoms Everywhere,” Mary Thiessen.

A new year! A fresh start! I had a busy reading month, and much of what I did was mop up a few books begun last year. The fresh start must begin in February. Also, I read some children’s books. And I thought my 2013 reading list had some whimsical choices.

As you’ll see from the above, I read three by Ellison, two by Poe. These were the leftovers from last year, all of them story collections on which I’d made some or much headway but hadn’t got around to finishing. It was satisfying to complete them.

Of the Ellisons, “Tomorrow” and “Deathbird” are classic collections, relatively easy to find at used bookstores, and worth tracking down. The Poe “18 Best” collection, with an introduction by Vincent Price, lives up to its title. It’s got all the major stories and two or three so-so ones. Some collections miss a good one or two or, more commonly, tack on an extra 15 or 20 very minor ones. “Usher” skips “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar,” which is among Poe’s best, and has a couple of head-scratchers.

But “Usher” does include Poe’s only novel, a seafaring tale with supernatural elements; Lovecraft’s novel “At the Mountains of Madness,” which I read a couple of years back, is an obvious homage. If you read enough, suddenly everything makes sense.

Poe is a writer I read as a boy, and returning to his work has been illuminating, as well as entertaining. He’s as good as you remember, at least until you get into the weedier stuff. And have you read “The Tell-Tale Heart” as an adult? I don’t know if I got as a boy how hilarious that story is. The narrator is a nutcase who wants us to believe he’s sane. It’s almost like Poe is ribbing his own style.

I also read two of the Betsy-Tacy children’s books, and a little book about their author, for a couple of columns I’m writing. Look for those soon. It was research, but enjoyable research. If you’ve read these, you’re encouraged to comment.

Lastly, “Obsolete,” a pseudo-encyclopedia of things passing us by, was okay, but a bit thin and strained. If I could, I’d take back the time I spent reading it. “Going, Going, Gone,” from 1994, is along the same lines and much better done.

Let’s see, the three Ellisons, and Poe’s “18 Best,” all date to my Illinois days; “Usher” was bought at Powell’s in Portland in 2010; “Obsolete” I got from Amazon a year or two ago; the Betsy-Tacys were checked out from the Pomona Public Library; and the book about their author was a gift from the Betsy-Tacy Society.

So that’s January. What have you been reading? Do you have any reading goals for the year? I’m going light on those myself after last year almost obstinately ignoring most of the goals I’d sketched out. Although I do have ideas of what I want to read, especially in the next three or four months, my only specific goals are to read Ellison’s first “Dangerous Visions” anthology, one Shakespeare play to be determined and — why not? — “The Three Musketeers.” How about that?

Next month: a few books given to me as birthday gifts…a year or more ago.

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Books read, 2013

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I don’t mean to seem to be all about numbers, but when you’ve let your unread books pile up, as I’ve done, measuring your progress takes a higher priority than it would otherwise. For this photo, I piled up the books I read in 2013. Since I began reading intensively again, I’ve read 75 in 2013, 80 in 2012, 60 in 2011, 52 in 2010 and 58 in 2009. Hey, that’s five years! Five years and 325 books. No sense in stopping now, so I’m going to keep reading.

Authors most represented in 2013: two each by Suzanne Collins, Nick Hornby and Jonathan Lethem; three by Dave Barry; and, er, 16 by Harlan Ellison. (Or 15. “Ellison Wonderland” and “Earthman, Go Home” are the same book with different introductions. I count them as one.) Last year, this author list was longer, with multiple authors in the two-, three- and four-book list. I guess this means, Ellison aside, that a lot of my reading was one-offs.

How did I not read any Mark Twain for two straight years?! Definitely I’ll read “A Tramp Abroad” this year. Of course, last year in this space I said I’d be starting it “any day now.” I won’t make that promise, but I will read it.

Sunday’s column is about my reading from last year. Below is a list of every title.

1. “Around the World in 80 Days,” Jules Verne

2. “We’ll Always Have Paris,” Ray Bradbury

3. “The Brazil Series,” Bob Dylan

4. “Slouching Toward Bethlehem,” Joan Didion

5. “Holy Land,” D.J. Waldie

6. “America (The Book),” Jon Stewart and The Daily Show

7. “On the Road,” Jack Kerouac

8. “Icons of the Highway,” Tony and Eva Worobiec

9. “Exile on Main Street (33 1/3 series),” Bill Janovitz

10. “Angry Candy,” Harlan Ellison

11. “Strange Wine,” Harlan Ellison

12. “Cat’s Pajamas and Witch’s Milk,” Peter De Vries

13. “Smith on Wry,” Jack Smith

14. “The Hunger Games,” Suzanne Collins

15. “A Moveable Feast,” Ernest Hemingway

16. “The Accordion Repertoire,” Franklin Bruno

17. “The Pearl,” John Steinbeck

18. “Selected Poems,” e.e. cummings

19. “Kafka Americana,” Jonathan Lethem and Carter Scholz

20. “Adventures in Pet Sitting,” Michael Arterburn

21. “From Bauhaus to Our House,” Tom Wolfe

22. “Anguished English,” Richard Lederer

23. “The Elements of Style,” William Strunk and E.B. White

24. “How to Kick the War Habit,” T. Willard Hunter

25. “Leaves of Grass” (1855 Edition), Walt Whitman

26. “The End of the Tether,” Joseph Conrad

27. “Ask the Dust,” John Fante

28. “An Education: The Screenplay,” Nick Hornby

29. “Our Town,” Thornton Wilder

30. “Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway,” Dave Barry

31. “Housekeeping vs. The Dirt,” Nick Hornby

32. “The Rock Snob’s Dictionary,” David Kamp and Steven Daly

33. “Candide,” Voltaire

34. “Dylan: The 5 Minute Visual Bob-ography,” Roy Gyongy Fox

35. “The Mezzanine,” Nicholson Baker

36. “The Early Worm,” Robert Benchley

37. “The Columnist,” Jeffrey Frank

38. “The Best of Jack Williamson”

39. “Over the Edge,” Harlan Ellison

40. “The Planet of the Apes Chronicles,” Paul Woods

41. ”The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” Michael Pollan

42. “Ulysses,” James Joyce

43. “Boogers are my Beat,” Dave Barry

44. “Ellison Wonderland”/”Earthman, Go Home,” Harlan Ellison

45. “Paingod and Other Delusions,” Harlan Ellison

46. “The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World,” Harlan Ellison

47. “Love Ain’t Nothing But Sex Misspelled,” Harlan Ellison

48. “Stalking the Nightmare,” Harlan Ellison

49. “The Kinks: The Official Biography,” Jon Savage

50. “Approaching Oblivion,” Harlan Ellison

51. “Spider Kiss,” Harlan Ellison

52. “Phoenix Without Ashes,” Edward Bryant and Harlan Ellison

53. “The Book of Ellison,” Andrew Porter, ed.

54. “Elvis: The Illustrated Record,” Roy Carr and Mick Farren

55. “Much Ado About Nothing,” William Shakespeare

56. “Troublemakers,” Harlan Ellison

57. “Googie Redux,” Alan Hess

58. “Diners,” John Baeder

59. “Dave Barry’s Money Secrets,” Dave Barry

60. “The Murders in the Rue Morgue: The Dupin Tales,” Edgar Allan Poe

61. ”The House That Sam Built: Sam Maloof and Art in the Pomona Valley 1945-1985,” Harold Nelson

62. ”The Shuttered Room and Other Stories,” H.P. Lovecraft with August Derleth

63. “No Doors, No Windows,” Harlan Ellison

64. “A Room With a View,” E.M. Forster

65. “Catching Fire,” Sizanne Collins

66. “Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY and the Bittersweet Story of 1970,” David Browne

67. “Vertigo: The Making of a Hitchcock Classic,” Dan Auiler

68. “Henry Bumstead and the World of Hollywood Art Direction,” Andrew Horton

69. “The Art of Alfred Hitchcock,” Donald Spoto

70. “The Films of Alfred Hitchcock,” Robert Harris and Michael Lasky

71. “Mudd’s Angels,” J.A. Lawrence

72. “Casablanca,” Richard Anobile

73. ”Everything is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson,” Kevin Avery, ed.

74. “Chronic City,” Jonathan Lethem

75. “The City on the Edge of Forever,” Harlan Ellison

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