Books

Random Book Sale Score

There's nothing like scoring some fresh used books at an unexpected book sale. Today was the annual library book sale at the nearby central university library here in Atlantic Canada. Thank goodness I had some cash.

The books were roughly categorized and stuck on spare shelving carts, with colored dots stuck on the covers to indicate prices. I picked up a ten year old marketing textbook for fifty cents that probably cost a hundred dollars back when there wasn't a newer edition. I might use it for one or two projects and then release it back into the wild.

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A cheap Dover thrift edition of Jane Austen's Emma set me back a dollar but I'm pretty sure I don't have a copy and I know I've never read it, so I picked it up because it looks brand new. There were quite a few beaten up hardcover mass market novels from big name authors, but the only one that caught my eye was Misfortune (2005) by Wesley Stace. The dust jacket was interesting enough to make me pick it up, and the premise was interesting enough to merit forking over another dollar. The paperback reprint has four out of five stars on Amazon, and five of five on Barnes & Noble's website, but of course I didn't know that at the time.

My big purchase was a two dollar guide to grammar and the major writing styles; indispensable when you have (as a humanities student) long been accustomed to using the MLA guide and suddenly professors want APA style and ix-nay on the passive oice-vay. A small price to pay for an almost current grammar and style guide!

A recommended management text for a current course that I didn't purchase at the start of the semester because funds were tight was meant to be mine. For another fifty cents, it'll be worth it for the next assignment alone, because normally I would be trekking back to the library to take a look at the copy on reserve.

Total cost for five books: $5 Canadian. An excellent start to the weekend.

The City Beneath: A Century of Los Angeles Graffiti (By the Book)

With discussions of characters like Leon Ray Livingston (a.k.a. "A-No. 1"), credited with consolidating the entire system of hobo communication in the 1910s, and Kathy Zuckerman, better known as the surf icon "Gidget", Susan A. Phillips' lavishly illustrated The City Beneath: A Century of Los Angeles Graffiti, excerpted here from Yale University Press, tells stories of small moments that collectively build into broad statements about power, memory, landscape, and history itself.

Susan A. Phillips
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