Category Archives: Books: General

The Brady Mysteries: Casual Racism For Fun

I came across this extraordinary collection of dime novels (actually they cost a nickel, but let’s not quibble) on Google Books, called Secret Service, featuring the exploits of Old and Young King Brady.

Here’s some information first from two sites:

Old King Brady
Public Domain Super Heroes: Old King Brady

According to this site, it was published from 1899 to 1925 — 1,374 issues in all! — which has to be some sort of record.

Out of that huge run, Google Books has one hundred issues. Of course I grabbed all of them.

What no site really mentions is just how absolutely racist this publication was.

It was basically these two white guys beating the shit out of Chinese, Blacks, “Hindoos,” dwarves(!), and Mexicans — with the stray white guy here and there.

I’d never seen anything like this before in my life. Cover after cover with non-whites as the villains. And this was considered mainstream entertainment!

After the break, some of the jaw-dropping covers.

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A Plague Of Words

A Plague of Words

To wit, I’m simply blinded by choice. I can’t make up my mind what to read because there’s so fucking MUCH to read and I want to read ALL of it…

From writer Alan Glynn, whose excellent novel The Dark Fields was transformed into the rather shallow movie, Limitless.

He has a full-blown blog too, with several short stories. All this time I didn’t know — because he sucks at promoting himself.

Anyway, what Alan says is what most readers can identify with. And what’s weird is that while I sit here typing this, I realize I don’t have the same impulse towards TV and movies. I haven’t yet seen all of Breaking Bad, but I’m not in any panic to do so — as I am to get to all the books I have waiting to be read.

Previously here and at my other blogs:

Crime Always Pays: Origins: Alan Glynn
Limitless, The Movie
Lose Your Mind
Go Buy Winterland By Alan Glynn!
Writer Alan Glynn Speaks!
Calling Alan Glynn!

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Set Cudgel On Repeat

Baldur Bjarnason has taken up the book publishing cudgel I’ve more or less abandoned in disgust.

This is a must-read: Except, except, except

There’s nothing there I disagree with. Some of it I’ve said myself years ago.

And that’s the fucking thing with book publishing: People have to say the same thing over and over again because it never sinks into their lizard brains.

No. Not picking up that cudgel again.

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Bookish Dumped By Its Founding Partners

Zola Books Acquires Bookish.com

The site that was supposed to save the asses of the Big 6 (now 5) of publishing against that meanie Jeff Bezos and his ferocious beast Amazon, was dumped in what looks like a fire sale price to a non-publisher.

I never got around to checking out this site in depth. That is, beyond its WTF TOS.

Now I am pleased that I will never have to look at it ever again.

Amazon wins again.

Next!

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When I Was A Kid: Book Edition

Carl

Books didn’t tell you how long it took to read a chapter.

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An Immortal Reader Review

The Art of Writing by George Randolph Chester was originally published in 1912.

ArtOfWriting8

Before we get to the first word he wrote, we get a review from a reader that is now immortal.

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1911: Surface Japan

A gorgeous book available free (download the PDF) at Google Books.

Update: For those outside of the U.S., I’ve uploaded it to my Google Docs for downloading.

SurfaceJapan19112

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Not Books — Knowledge

Fighting The Pointless Fight: Books Come Back And Hit You, You Know

They say when you have a baby – when you hold it in your hands and feel how tiny and fragile it is — certain feelings well up in you that you have never felt before, which change you forever. I say when you look at a dumpster full of ancient books, you can’t possibly come away the same person. I have stood in front of mountains of discarded clothing higher than my head; I have seen warehouses of food sloughed off by supermarkets to go to food pantries; I have eaten freegan bagels and revived dumpstered computers; and I was not prepared for this.

Today I held a book in my hands from 1829 that was bound in leather – in actual dead animals. Its cover was scarcely bigger than my hands. The grain of the leather was so fine and soft. Its spine was torn away, leaving a mass like the inside of a squash. I opened it and could barely turn the pages out of fear I would kill its ideas with my clumsy futuristic hands.

I’m a digital book/eBook militant. But seeing books — knowledge! — discarded like that does drive me crazy.

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Wake Up: Real Writers Are On Their Own

The Outrage of the Week is the revelation that Random House is out to screw people with their new self-publishing scheme.

Just Shut the Fuck Up. No, really.

For years I have screamed — screamed! — about how the Big 6/4 are out to screw writers.

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The 1920s Scheme To Create A National Bookstore Chain

Continuing my research into Napoleon Hill, I came across a remarkable thing in an issue of American Stationer and Office Outfitter:

Prospectus of United Bookstores Co.

The following prospects, printed on a page leaflet, has been sent out by the United Bookstores Co. of America:

Organization Syndicate

An opportunity is presented to a limited number of persons interested in wider and more profitable book distribution to participate in a strictly business enterprise for this purpose by becoming members of a syndicate to promote the United Bookstores Company of America.

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