cricketmuse

a writer's journey as a reader

Last Chance Rack Finds


When the progeny were young enough to tote to the grocery store I used to dread the inevitable trial of the checkstand gauntlet: the Last Chance Rack. You know, the racks of candy, toys, geegaws, magazines that all whimper at worn out consumers to be taken home. Their whimpering frequency is especially tuned to children’s ears. “Pluheeze, Mom?” I did have a stock phrase for surviving the ordeal which consisted of “Sorry, I don’t have money for (fill in the blank) today.” No arguing with that. And very true–I tended to stick to the budget because I had to back then.  Actually, I still should as an empty nester. Never mind that.

The Last Chance Rack I refer to today does not promote cavities or wasteful spending. This is a positively good rack in that it promotes reading. This is the LCR of the library. Our library has prominently planted two double-sided racks near the checkout area. They probably meant it as a way to display new titles as a greeting for patrons. On the flip side, the racks serve another purpose, one I think of more significance. While patrons await their turn to check out their basket of literary goodies they  find themselves next to the LCR and can’t help but browse titles.  I usually end up taking home an extra yummy or two.  Who can resist? The books are especially trained to Book Booster frequency.

This last week I went in for my one hold–akin to going in for that one quart of milk. I came out with two extra books.  No complaints about the extra calories needed to read my found treasures.  Thought I would share my finds:

image: amazon.com

 

As a Book Booster it’s difficult to pass up a book about making books. Like any conniseur, I appreciate the art and skill that goes into making something I so regularly consume. The books contained within this palm-sized tome focus on the artisans and their craft. Flipping through the pages and savoring the renderings of featured artists inspire me to try my hand at making my own book or two. There are handy directions included. Sounds like Christmas presents to me…

Another LCR item practically jumped into my arms as I passed the rack. This little goodie knew a Bardinator was in hailing distance. I need to subscribe to the NYT bestseller list. I always hear of these amazing books waaay after they’ve been out and then feel so silly when I find them and gush about them. No wonder I get those looks of–“That was so yesterday’s book.” or “You are just now hearing about that one?” I’m so glad the Book Booster Brigrade is disbanded. I might be in violation of section 31-A (best seller awareness).

Ready for this companion to the NYT bestseller? (just roll your eyes if you are already oh-so-aware of it):

How can you resist a book from a publisher called Quirk Books?(from which this image cometh)

Without slavering too much about how it’s so absolutely genius to mash-up Shakespeare with Star Wars, I will say Ian Doescher manages to pull off the feat of presenting *the best episode* of the Star Wars trilogy in iambic pentameter with dextrous aplomb. Not that I’m an expert at iambic pentameter, but I do appreciate how tough it is to write it. I teach it as the “heartbeat” meter and the students understand that. Shakespeare understood that writing his works in a meter close to the essence of being alive meant his words would be as easy to remember as breathing. Doescher gets that concept too, and understands the devotion of Stars Wars fans. Bringing Shakespeare into our century in a new and absolutely true and original way always gets a round of applause from me. What I really appreciated about Doescher’s mirthful approach is how he skillfully inserted references to the Bard’s other works. Here is my unabashed shopping list of “Where’s Willy?” finds:

  • Leia’s rant about Han’s ego is reminiscent of Beatrice
  • Hamlet’s “A hit! A very palpable hit!” uttered by Luke as they attack AT-ATs
  • C-3PO’s parts with sorrow from his loyal R2-D2 is so R&J
  • As Luke wings his way to learn the ways of the Jedi from Yoda he speaks of the affairs of mean
  • And Leia swoons upon discovering her nice scoundrel kisses by the book–that Han, he’s such a bad boy Romeo

The book trailer is as delightful as the book:

 

 

Anyone else have a library with a tempting Last Chance Rack?  Don’t resist the Force of a good book that needs to go home with you…

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15 thoughts on “Last Chance Rack Finds

  1. I don’t think we have a Last Chance Rack at our library, but they do have some shelves near the checkout table with various books on them. Perhaps I’ll have to give them a closer look next time!

  2. You are not alone in the dark. I have not heard of this Shakespeare tome either. It looks pretty awesome though!!!

  3. I haven’t seen one, but I’m jealous of your bookmaking find!

    • I’ve made journal books, but then never use them because they are so pretty! I’d like to make an art sculpture out of a damaged book, if only I could get past cutting up a book even if it’s for art’s sake.

      • We bought a giant, ancient unabridged dictionary for my son to turn into a “fake-book secret storage compartment.” From the excised pages, I made a costume for our school’s annual fundraiser. The theme? Superheros. So I was a library superhero, wearing a mask made from dictionary pages and a cape with a giant lightning bolt and “L” emblazoned on it. I consoled myself with the thought that the dictionary was going to get recycled if it wan’t used in this way. 😀

      • Okay–where are the photos? Need some show with your tell😉

      • Oh geez. I’ll have to see if I have any. Stay tuned….

      • I’ll listen to the hold Muszak in the mean time…

  4. Epic books! I need to find me a last chance rack, our library doesn’t have one which is a sad shame as book like this should be there for all. I am glad yo couldn’t resist otherwise I would never have discovered such gems.

  5. On Hoth does Luke talk about the winter of our discontent?

  6. What fun finds! Our library has a rack like this too (it also has a rack of dvds too). I always end up grabbing a couple of quirky books and a movie (the selections always seem to be quirky). And as you point out, calorie free!

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