BookieMonster’s Moving – and You Get the Sale!

I know I’ve tweeted this rather consistently recently… but BookieMonster’s on the move (or at least BookieMonster and Mr and Little Monster. Oh, and BookieMonster Kitty the 2nd. BookieMonster’s Henchperson is staying put).

We’re leaving Auckland behind to luxuriate in the small-town gorgeousness that is Te Aroha (East Waikato). If you’re nearby say hi! If you’re passing through after Christmas say hi!

Or just say hi, because the interwebs is everywhere!

Aaaaanyway what this means for you, dear readers, is it’s sale time! We don’t want to be lugging boxes and boxes and boxes of books around the country. Think of my friends and family who are helping us move – don’t make them carry lots of books! Don’t be cruel!

Help our friends and family from just $1 a day!

To make it easy and enticing for you to help us get rid of all these books we’ve made them mega cheap. Cheaper than a budgie in a box. (No, I don’t know what that means, yes, I did just make it up.)

We’ve got our world-famous $1 Reserve books for sale, as well as almost 600 books for under $15!

I can hear you all now. “OH MY GAWD BookieMonster ru srs??”. Yes chickadees, I am very srs.

Christmas presents! Summer reading! A chance to receive your very own world-famous BookieMonster bookmark! These are all opportunities not to be missed.

Click here and empty our shelves!

This just in: books are selling!

This week I’m selling books! Okay, I sell books most every week but this week I’m taking advantage of my own advertising space to tell you about the books I’m selling! :)

So here’s some recommendations from me of books that you can buy (now, right away, this instant!):

Classics (for the refinement of one’s mind)The Darling Buds of May

New Zealand (struth cobber!)

Coffee Tea or Me?Non-fiction (for the edumacated amongst us)

The Book of LossHistorical fiction (bodices are ripped!)

The Ghost RoadLiterary fiction (coo-er, we are fancy!)

Complete Cat BookAnimals (teh kittehs, teh goggies, teh birdies)

Weird but cool stuff (Because we’re weird. And cool. Very cool.)

BookieMonster's BookshopI know, what a selection, right? There’s more! (like, waaaaay more). Check out BookieMonster’s Trade Me Bookshop!

What’s BookieMonster reading? Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

WatchmenWatchmen! Dun dun duh duh!

It feels like I have to start like that because to many graphic novel fans and beginners Watchmen is the graphic novel. I’m guessing it’s one of the most widely read graphic novels, in part due to its inclusion in Time Magazine’s 100 Best Novels (which was admittedly the 100 best novels from 1923 to the time of the article).

And, actually, it is pretty damn good. There’s so much there, coming at you, a tonne of visual content, a tonne of dialogue, whipping backwards and forwards in time, a bit of physics, a splash of existential philosophising, a heaping helping of ambiguity, gore, psychological insight, war, and the apocalypse.

I was exhausted by the end.

But you can’t stop reading, the story is compelling, even whilst weaving in a sub-story (The Black Freighter) and annoying you with crappy female characters (yeah, Alan Moore – not so convinced you can write women). The title of course comes from the classical saying “Who watches the watchmen?” but there is much in the book concerned with not so much who watches the watchmen, but who are the watchmen? What separates them (if anything) from those they watch over and those they watch – the journey from watchman to criminal, from hero to villain, isn’t very far in this world (which is 0urs, of course). In many ways an accompanying idea would be “There but for the grace of God, go I”.

The illustration is continuously great, and so detailed – even if the women tend to look a little square jawed. But I get the impression (from my meagre knowledge of comic illustration) that there’s a deliberate 50s and 60s homage going on here?

I’m still not entirely sure of my emotional reaction to graphic novels (as mentioned yesterday). But this was just really good reading. All you need.

BookieMonster’s Recommended Reads

As most of you know by now as well as writing this blog I also sell books – a whole mixture of new and secondhand. And because I like nothing more than to convert everyone to my way of thinking, I always have BookieMonster’s Recommended Reads amongst my books for sale.

Because we don’t always have all our books listed at one time, these change quite often. There’s generally always a Jasper Fforde, or a Kazuo Ishiguro, and on rare occasions a Terry Pratchett (I tell you, people hold on to those little buggers), any number of New Zealand books and the odd non-fiction. Basically anything I like, I’ll designate a Recommended or Highly Recommended (I really like those!) Read.

It’s a good way too of browsing a list of a more manageable size. :)

P.S. The site was down for about an hour today and I originally wrote this as it was going down. And subsequently lost what was a far more original and exciting post, I’m sure. The great lost post it was… *sigh*

Secondhand books just spread the love

A few more choice selections for your purchasing (and reading) pleasure…

How to Build a Great ScreenplayHow to Build a Great Screenplay by David Howard ($16)

In making individual decisions about each element of the screenplay a writer builds a good story from the ground up. David Howard offers in-depth consideration of the many elements that make up a screenplay, clarifying his lessons through examples from the most successful films: Pulp Fiction, American Beauty, The Usual Suspects, Trainspotting and Chinatown among many others.

Accessible, clear and practical ‘How To Build A Great Screenplay’ is a working bible for the budding screenwriter. Recognising that story structure is the framework for a successful screenplay David Howard teaches how to incorporate the other elements so that the screenplay takes on a life of its own, creating the emotional connection, spectacle and intellectual stimulation that will impact on an audience.

JPod : A Novel by Douglas Coupland ($11)JPod

Ethan Jarlewski and five co-workers are bureaucratically marooned in JPod, a no-escape architectural limbo on the fringes of a massive Vancouver video game design company.

The six jPodders wage daily battle against the demands of a bone-headed marketing staff, who daily torture employees with idiotic changes to already idiotic games. Meanwhile, Ethan’s personal life is shaped (or twisted) by phenomena as disparate as Hollywood, marijuana grow-ops, people-smuggling, ballroom dancing, and the rise of China. JPod’s universe is amoral and shamelessand dizzyingly fast-paced.

I just <3 Douglas Coupland so much. He’s damn funny and damn weird. Recommended!

The Chimney Sweeper’s Boy – Barbara Vine ($11)

Bestselling and critically acclaimed novelist Gerald Candless dies suddenly, and leaves behind a wife and two doting daughters. To sort through her grief, his daughter Sarah puts aside her university studies and agrees to write a biography of her famous father. But as she begins her research and pulls back the veil of his past, her life is slowly torn apart: a terrible logic begins to unfold that explains her mother’s remoteness, her father’s need to continually reinvent himself — and sheds shocking light on a long-forgotten London murder.

Regular readers will know that I discovered the amazing writing of Barbara Vine only last year (the shame, the shame!) and this is a fantastic book – highly recommended by me.

Virginia Woolf – Hermione Lee ($10)

While Virginia Woolf–one of our century’s most brilliant and mercurial writers–has had no shortage of biographers, none has seemed as naturally suited to the task as Hermione Lee. Subscribing to Virginia Woolf’s own belief in the fluidity and elusiveness of identity, Lee comes at her subject from a multitude of perspectives, producing a richly layered portrait of the writer and the woman that leaves all of her complexities and contradictions intact. Such issues as sexual abuse, mental illness, and suicide are brought into balance with the immensity of her literary achievement, her heroic commitment to her work, her generosity and wit, and her sanity and strength.

One of the best biographies I’ve read, Lee delves so deep into Woolf’s life and character you feel like you’ve somehow known her.

Hey! It's That Guy!Hey! It’s That Guy! : The Guide to Character Actors ($8)

So you’re watching Full Metal Jacket and there he is that guy! What’s his name? You know, that guy who always plays a drill sergeant! Or you’re watching Fast Times at Ridgemont High and there’s another one that creepy science teacher! That guy always plays a creepy somebody! What’s his name?

We’re talking about R. Lee Ermey and Vincent Schiavelli, of course and you can read all about them in Hey! It’s That Guy!, a guide to identifying “famous” character actors and actresses.

From Steve Buscemi and Philip Seymour Hoffman to J. T. Walsh, Judy Greer, and Amy Aquino, they’re all here. You may not know their names, but you’ll certainly recognize their faces! 

Hilarious. And I love Steve Buscemi. Mwah, mwah, mwah.

Them burlesque ladies and their decorations

I wanted to draw your attention to two more secondhand books we have for sale this week which are rather amazing books!

Fashions in MakeupFashions in Makeup : From Ancient to Modern Times by Richard Corson (start price $40)

Fashions in Makeup is a unique book in its field: a comprehensive history of cosmetics. In this highly praised volume, Richard Corson chronicles the pursuit of beauty from Ancient Egypt to the present day.

Concentrating mainly on makeup traditions of the Western world, with examples from other countries included for comparison, Corson describes the cosmetics with which men and women have decorated their faces, how they have applied them, and what they looked like as a result.

This is a huge book! And it’s really amazing, full of photos and pictures and totally comprehensive. In fact I don’t really know how much more comprehensive you could get on makeup.  Historically intriguing, very learned… and kind of fun. Great stuff. And if you want to buy this from overseas, new or used it’s pantsically expensive.

And this leads me to…

Pretty Things : The Last Generation of American Burlesque Queens by Liz Goldwyn (start price $30)Pretty Things

Liz Goldwyn’s lifelong fascination with the inimitable glamour of classic burlesque inspired her to spend the past eight years corresponding with, visiting, interviewing, receiving striptease lessons from, and forming close relationships with the last generation of the great American burlesque queeens. Goldwyn invites us to step back into an era when the hourglass figure was in vogue and striptease was a true art form.

Meet Betty “Ball of Fire” Rowland, who was known for her flaming red hair and bump-and-grind routines. (It turns out she once sued the author’s grandfather, Samuel Goldwyn Jr., for using her stage name and costume in his Hollywood picture, Ball of Fire.)

Meet Sherry Britton, who, with her long black hair and curvy, trim physique, was among the most stunning of the burlesque stars before Mayor LaGuardia outlawed burlesque in New York.

Meet Zorita, whose sexually explicit “Consummation of the Wedding of the Snake” dance (performed with a live snake) and other daring performances earned her legendary status.

Goldwyn draws back the curtain to reveal the personal journeys of yesteryear’s icons of female sexuality and power, restoring their legacy to an age that has all but forgotten them-despite today’s resurgence of burlesque.

I originally imported this as a new book but it arrived with a cover that had a faded edge on it, so I’m selling it as a secondhand. Still, don’t let that put you off. The insides are immaculate and dripping with photos, drawings, memorabilia – this is an awesome record of burlesque and burlesque queens. And their costumes were outstanding. Plus, despite the fading, I still love the cover. Pink and gold and peek-a-boo.  *sigh* Just so lovely.