Dead Dead Dead Dead Dead

May 11, 2018

I have a toy. A fun toy. A toy that gives my little librarian heart a hop, skip, and a jump whenever I get to use it. The name of my toy? Collection HQ. It’s a program that allows me to see exactly how well the books in my library do or do not do in a given year. The best part is that the folks that created it (who are Scottish, oddly enough) keep updating it with cool new features. Here’s an example: I can see titles that are “Dead On Arrival”. What does that mean? It means that when a book comes in and doesn’t get checked out for 6 months (or is only checked out once) it is officially DOA. And now I can see the names of those very titles. This is a good indication of where I need to control my spending.

Which areas of the library circulate the least? Apparently I’ve been a bit too profligate with Religion, Sociology, and Biographies. Photography, Medicine, and Economics are also a bit on the chunky side too.

I can control my spending from here on in, but what to do with the books I already purchased? They’re good books, after all. They received stellar reviews, else I wouldn’t have bought them. The solution? Well, I can make displays of them, of course. And why don’t I highlight some right here today? Books that deserve a second chance at life, doggone it. *makes sad puppy dog eyes* Won’t you check out these lovely books from your library today?

Photography

Cindy Sherman, Imitation of Life by Cindy Sherman

This magnificent book encompasses the full scope of Cindy Sherman’s career, with a special focus on the cinematic quality of her oeuvre.

Music

Beatles Vs. Stones by John Campbell McMillian

A lively examination of the most legendary (and least understood) rivalry in the annals of rock ’n’ roll. As the Seattle Post-Intelligencer said, “If you thought you knew everything there was to know about these two groups, think again.”

Performing Arts

All About “All About Eve” by Sam Staggs

A gossipy, anecdotal look at the Oscar-winning film All About Eve offers a look at the background and filming of the 1950s backstage movie starring Bette Davis and Marilyn Monroe, detailing the behind-the-scenes squabbles, romances, and drama that took place.

Political Science

Look for Me in the Whirlwind: From the Panther 21 to 21st Century Revolutions by Sekou Odinga

As Kirkus said of it, “This book demonstrates the scope of the Panthers’ intellectual gifts as well as the compassion and revolutionary spirit at the center of their radical grassroots activism.”

Psychology

Situations Matter: Understanding How Context Transforms Your World by Sam Sommers

A lighthearted exploration of the unconscious forces that influence a life reveals the unrecognized power of context in everyday situations while sharing recommendations for using contextual insights to reshape how one sees the world and improve personal productivity and relationships.

Biology

Deep Life: The Hunt for the Hidden Biology of Earth, Mars and Beyond by T.C. Onstott

This unforgettable book takes you to the absolute limits of life—the biotic fringe—where today’s scientists hope to discover the very origins of life itself.

Biography

My Father, the Pornographer: A Memoir by Chris Offutt

In “one of the most sensitive, nuanced examinations of father and son relationships” (The Boston Globe), award-winning writer Chris Offutt struggles to understand his recently deceased father, based on his reading of the 400-plus novels his father—a well-known writer of pornography in the 1970s and 80s—left him in his will.

Economics

Where Am I Wearing? A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People That Make Our Clothes by Kelsey Timmerman

Enlightening and thought-provoking at once, Where Am I Wearing? puts a human face on globalization.

Criminology

Crash Override: How Gamergate (Nearly) Destroyed My Life, and How We Can Win the Fight Against Online Hate by Zoe Quinn

An up-close look inside the controversy, threats, and social and cultural battles that started in the far corners of the internet and have since permeated our online lives.

Comics

The Lost Work of Will Eisner: The Earliest Comics of the Legendary Cartoonist by Will Eisner

The comics collected within document the genesis of one of the most iconic and brilliant cartoonists of all time.

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