FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Keeping Your Mind Off Japan

Amenities turn into luxuries as you suffer a class fall.  Buying fresh-cut flowers and newly published books requires more “discretionary” income than you have. You either give them up or find other options. Access to a backyard, for example, can close the flower gap. And Edward R. Hamilton, Bookseller, can, for a relative pittance, fill your shelves with coveted tomes of recent vintage. We call it “Eddie’s Hot Deals” in honor of an Inner Sunset corner grocery that sells $2.95 wooden-handled gardening tools, imitation-Felco pruning shears, discount American Spirits, etc.

From his headquarters in Fall Rivers, Connecticut, Eddie sends out a catalog filled with “publishers’ closeouts, overstocks, imports, remainders, and current titles at special prices.” Shipping costs $3.50 no matter how many books you order.

The catalog is approximately 8½-by-11 inches on glossy stock. The list of books for sale starts immediately below the banner, which proclaims, “Bargain Books.”  The list continues —I’m looking at the Jan. 28 edition— for 114 pages. Each page contains three columns of enticing one-inch synopses, each synopsis accompanied by a picture of the book’s cover and ends with the original price and —flush right, in red— Eddie’s price.  Some 72 category headings guide you to areas of interest, enabling the rational reader to skip “Occult,” “Religion,” “Self-Help,” etc.  Almost all the other categories are worth a browse, even if you’re not that into “Civil War” or “Fishing & Hunting.”

“Cannabis” is not yet a subject unto itself. Under “Your Health” there’s a listing for the Marijuana Medical Handbook by Dale Gieringer et al, published by QuickAmerican. A star at the start of the summary indicates that this is a “current title” with a minimal discount —down from $19.95 to $13.95.  The experienced Eddie’s customer knows that the price is likely to come down to $7.95 in a future catalog, and then, perhaps, to $5.95.  On the other hand, it could sell out before you spring for it.

It seems like a misuse of Eddie’s Hot Deals to buy a book that is not at least two-thirds off cover price. Better yet, three-quarters off, like “Patently Erotic,” published by Plume at $13, now $2.95. Synopsis: “Collection of actual patent applications for devices that treat sex as a science. Erotic? Maybe. Funny? Always.”

 “Vietnam: A Natural History,” was published by Yale at $45 and is now available from Eddie’s for $7.95. There’s a lot of book for the buck. “Provides the first guide to Vietnam’s spectacular flora and fauna… regions that encompass tropics, subtropics, mountains, wetlands, coastal areas and more. Color illus. 423 pages.”  If you still see images of defoliant being laid down on the jungle canopy, maybe this could cheer you up.

Also from Yale ($25 reduced to $5.95) is “Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice” by Janet Malcolm. “‘How had a pair of elderly Jewish lesbians survived the Nazis?’ Macolm asks at the beginning of this work of literary biography and investigative journalism.”  Malcolm is the NYer writer who argued in court that quotation marks mean not what the person said, but what she, Janet, figures the person meant.

 “Faberge’s Eggs… recounts the remarkable story of these masterpieces, taking us from the circumstances that inspired each egg’s design, through their disappearance in the trauma and revolution to the eventual reemergence in the global marketplace. Illus. in color. 302 pages. Random. Pub at $30.
$9.95.”

“Sunflowers: The Secret History,” down from $22.95 to $4.95. “The unexpected and highly entertaining social history of this scandalous flower.” What’s scandalous about sunflowers? It’s almost worth $4.95 to find out.

As the seductive synopses take over your brain, topics you never think about start to fascinate. “Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences,” becomes a must-have. “Explores the sentence diagramming phenomenon, including its humble roots at Brooklyn Polytechnic.”  Published by Harcourt at $14.95, now only $3.95!  Get this one for the grand-kids.

Anderson Valley Advertiser readers, exposed for years to poignant filler quotes from Smedley Butler, might flash on “Devil Dog: The Amazing True Story of the Man Who Saved America” by David Talbot. “Smedley Butler took a bullet to the chest at age 18, ran down rebels in Nicaragua and Haiti, and saved the lives of his men in France. But when he learned that America was trading the blood of Marines to make Wall St. fat cats even fatter, Butler went on a crusade. He threw the gangsters out of Philadelphia, faced down Herbert Hoover, and blew the lid off a plot to overthrow FDR.”

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately for Talbot, Simon & Schuster has not yet remaindered “Devil Dog,” so Eddie prices it at $13.95 (down from $20).  We’re going to wait for a deeper discount. Same for the biography of Giordano Bruno from FSG.

The biography of Thucydides, however, published by Viking at $26.95, is down to a reasonable $5.95.  “Cheech & Chong: The Unauthorized Autobiography,” published by S&S for $23.95 is $5.95.  “Man of Constant Sorrow: My Life and Times” by Ralph Stanley recounts his life on the road with the Clinch Mountain Boys ($27.95 down to $7.95). “Gorgeous George: The Outrageous Bad-boy Wrestler Who Created American Pop Culture” was published by Harper’s for $25.95; Eddie can get you a copy for $5.95. Did you know that James Brown took to wearing sequined capes on stage after seeing George perform in the ring?

We have a son in Japan. Tuesday morning he got on a train from Tokyo heading south to a friend’s farm. The situation in Japan is all I can think about. I was going to pass on Eddie’s offer of “Hiroshige: The 69 Stations of the Kisokaido” by Keisi Eisen, because it’s $39.95 (Braziller, Pub. At $80). “Offers an unforgettable portrait of daily life in 19th-century Japan. Each of the 71 color plates teems with characters, from beggars and brawling men to boaters and finely clothed women.”  Better order it.  You only live once.

FRED GARDNER is the editor of O’Shaughnessy’s, the journal of cannabis in clinical practice.  He can be reached at fredgardner@projectcbd.org.

 

 

More articles by:

Fred Gardner is the managing editor of O’Shaughnessy’s. He can be reached at fred@plebesite.com

Weekend Edition
June 22, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Karl Grossman
Star Wars Redux: Trump’s Space Force
Andrew Levine
Strange Bedfellows
Jeffrey St. Clair
Intolerable Opinions in an Intolerant Time
Paul Street
None of Us are Free, One of Us is Chained
Edward Curtin
Slow Suicide and the Abandonment of the World
Celina Stien-della Croce
The ‘Soft Coup’ and the Attack on the Brazilian People 
James Bovard
Pro-War Media Deserve Slamming, Not Sainthood
Louisa Willcox
My Friend Margot Kidder: Sharing a Love of Dogs, the Wild, and Speaking Truth to Power
David Rosen
Trump’s War on Sex
Mir Alikhan
Trump, North Korea, and the Death of IR Theory
Christopher Jones
Neoliberalism, Pipelines, and Canadian Political Economy
Barbara Nimri Aziz
Why is Tariq Ramadan Imprisoned?
Robert Fantina
MAGA, Trump Style
Linn Washington Jr.
Justice System Abuses Mothers with No Apologies
Martha Rosenberg
Questions About a Popular Antibiotic Class
Ida Audeh
A Watershed Moment in Palestinian History: Interview with Jamal Juma’
Edward Hunt
The Afghan War is Killing More People Than Ever
Geoff Dutton
Electrocuting Oral Tradition
Don Fitz
When Cuban Polyclinics Were Born
Ramzy Baroud
End the Wars to Halt the Refugee Crisis
Ralph Nader
The Unsurpassed Power trip by an Insuperable Control Freak
Lara Merling
The Pain of Puerto Ricans is a Profit Source for Creditors
James Jordan
Struggle and Defiance at Colombia’s Feast of Pestilence
Tamara Pearson
Indifference to a Hellish World
Kathy Kelly
Hungering for Nuclear Disarmament
Jessicah Pierre
Celebrating the End of Slavery, With One Big Asterisk
Rohullah Naderi
The Ever-Shrinking Space for Hazara Ethnic Group
Binoy Kampmark
Leaving the UN Human Rights Council
Nomi Prins 
How Trump’s Trade Wars Could Lead to a Great Depression
Robert Fisk
Can Former Lebanese MP Mustafa Alloush Turn Even the Coldest of Middle Eastern Sceptics into an Optimist?
Franklin Lamb
Could “Tough Love” Salvage Lebanon?
George Ochenski
Why Wild Horse Island is Still Wild
Ann Garrison
Nikki Haley: Damn the UNHRC and the Rest of You Too
Jonah Raskin
What’s Hippie Food? A Culinary Quest for the Real Deal
Raouf Halaby
Give It Up, Ya Mahmoud
Brian Wakamo
We Subsidize the Wrong Kind of Agriculture
Patrick Higgins
Children in Cages Create Glimmers of the Moral Reserve
Patrick Bobilin
What Does Optimism Look Like Now?
Don Qaswa
A Reduction of Economic Warfare and Bombing Might Help 
Robin Carver
Why We Still Need Pride Parades
Jill Richardson
Immigrant Kids are Suffering From Trauma That Will Last for Years
Thomas Mountain
USA’s “Soft” Coup in Ethiopia?
Jim Hightower
Big Oil’s Man in Foreign Policy
Louis Proyect
Civilization and Its Absence
David Yearsley
Midsummer Music Even the Nazis Couldn’t Stamp Out
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail