Jaquandor recently wrote about owning books. In part, he quotes from Life Itself by Roger Ebert, which makes more sense in its entirety, and really speaks to me. “I cannot throw out these books. Some are enchanted because I have personally turned all their pages and read every word. They’re shrines to my past hours.”
Looking at my bookshelves in the office, I realize the sheer number of books I am not going to get rid of, because. And that doesn’t even count the ones in the bookcases that are in the attic, arranged, BTW, and the relatively few in the living room.
Initially, I was just going to pick books as they appeared on the shelves. Then I decided to put them in some sort of imperfect order
Six and Eleven – Ed Dague (2010). Former local news anchor I hung out with him one night and have a transcript – somewhere – of that night’s broadcast in 1994
A Day Apart: How Jews, Christians, and Muslims Find Faith, Freedom, and Joy on the Sabbath – Christopher Ringwald. (2007). Signed to me. I got to hear him speak on the topic in my church a few years before his tragic death.
Figuring Sh!t Out: Love, Laughter, Suicide, and Survival – Amy Biancolli (2015). Signed to me, my wife and our daughter. About surviving the suicides in her life, including that of her husband, the aforementioned C Ringwald
O Albany – William Kennedy (1983). The greatest writer out of the city. Both he and Biancolli worked for the local newspaper, the Times Union, and both were honored by the Albany Public Library Foundation
Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II – Douglas A. Blackmon (2008) – signed to me in 2009 at an event arranged by Bill Kennedy
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness – Michelle Alexander (revised 2011). Because it makes sense.
The Sweeter the Juice – Shirlee Taylor Haizlip. when I wrote a blog post about it, I got an email from her!
Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII’s Forgotten Heroes – Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Anthony Walton (2004). Did you know Kareem was on JEOPARDY! for the first time the same month I was?
The Nearly Complete Essential Hembeck Archives Omnibus – Fred Hembeck (2008). I remember helping friend Fred unload boxes of these at a comic book convention in Saratoga Springs, NY
Xerox Ferox: The Wild World of the Horror Film Fanzine – John Szpunar. It premiered at FantaCon 2013. I got it signed by the author, plus subjects such as Steve Bissette, Tom Skulan, Dennis Daniel and Jim Whiting
Saga of the Swamp Thing: Book One – Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette, John Totleben (2009), art plate signed by Steve; I met Steve at FantaCo in 1987
FantaCo book publications, almost all of which have stories; I know I was quoted in the Washington Post about Splatter Movies (1981)
Elfquest books – Wendy and Richard Pini, the original 20 issues in four volumes. Wendy and Richard came up to FantaCo for signings thrice a year
Blues People – LeRoi Jones (1963), before he became Amiri Baraka, he wrote about “the Negro experience in white America and the music that developed from it.”
Soulsville USA – Rob Bowman (1997). The story of STAX Records
Never A Dull Moment: 1971, the year that rock exploded – David Hepworth. I wrote 10 or 11 blog posts on this book
Across the Charts: The 1960s – Joel Whitburn (2008), This a book that shows the power of songs that cross over among the pop, soul, country, and adult contemporary charts.
Plus a slew of books on the Beatles
This post is getting LONG – more books soon.