focus on marijuana

Focus on Mary Jane

Focus on Marijuana
Zeller
1990

I think a lot of folks would like to focus on marijuana. Since legalization (or decriminalizing) seems to be a trend, maybe an updated book is needed. There is also a statement about marijuana as a gateway drug. From what I can tell, this is still a debate from the scientific community. There is also no recognition of the on going research into the benefits of marijuana such as chronic pain, anxiety, and epilepsy.

I really don’t have an opinion on the benefits since my experience is limited to a shared joint in 1981. I was more worried about getting the munchies and killing any ambition to keep my ass from expanding any further.

These types of books kind of bother me. They have more of an agenda than about real information. I have had many a teen and preteen that must do a “drug report”. More than once I have had a teen question me on why marijuana is “worse” aka illegal than alcohol. Gotta say my favorite questions are ones where the teens call b.s. and ask me to help them get better resources so they make a case.

cover of what to do

Old fashioned Manners

What to do
Everyday guides for everyone
Bendick and Warren
1967

This one looks a bit sad. Highlighting and a few damaged pages make this weed worthy. I am happy to report that this book was sent to the bindery so the ugly cover is in pretty good shape. Those old bindery covers could probably withstand a nuclear explosion. That said, I think 1967 etiquette rules are probably due for some updating.

The phone advice is comically out of date. We are still over a decade from even having portable phones, let alone smart phones. Individual phones were just not a concept. In my high school, if you had more than one extension in your home, you were living the good life. I am also surprised there wasn’t a comment about calling “late” or tying up the phone by talking too long. This was a HUGE issue when I was a teen. If any of my friends called past 10 pm, I was in trouble!

complete home decorating

Retro 70s Decor

Complete Home Decorating
Devitt
1978

Looking for a retro look? Want to induce nausea or maybe dizziness and headaches? Good for you! This book has that and much more! In many ways this book is a salute to home decor for the 1970s.

  • Harvest Gold and Avocado Green
  • Giant overpowering prints for wallpaper
  • Stripes and more stripes
  • Bean Bag Chairs

There are even a few quirks, such as a doll collection,a combo TV/Sewing center, and some weird accent pieces or “Objet d’art” – particularly, that planter in the shape of a head.

Sexual harassment on the job cover

Lady Problems at the Office

Sexual Harassment on the Job
How to avoid the working woman’s nightmare
Backhouse and Cohen
1980 (originally published in Canada in 1978)

This was still in active circulation as of this writing.

When this was published, there wasn’t much talk on sexual harassment. It was mostly treated as a joke. I remember several dudes back in the 1980s constantly saying “we need more sexual harassment around here”. (Hilarious) There weren’t a lot of protections or policies in place. It’s still a decade before Anita Hill’s testimony.

The advice is lukewarm. Since there is no mechanism to report or enforce policies, anyone that complains is probably fired or harassed until they quit. This book does talk about the range of behaviors, but without the legal definitions, laws or policies, women didn’t have a lot of options. The general advice amounts to saying you have a boyfriend/husband, avoid being alone, and ignoring the overtures.

sexual fitness cover

Let’s Get Physical!

Sexual Fitness
Complete Vitality
Time Life Books
1988

Feeling sluggish and want to get back into a high intensity bedroom “workout”? This is the book for you. Grab your partner and bring on the sexy. Exercise and general fitness is essential for a healthy sex life. Getting in shape with your partner has the added benefit of getting those sexy times started.

We also have lots of options in workout gear. Ladies, break out the tights and leotards for a sleek look. Sexy exercise also includes lots of touching, so evidently the expected “workout” attire is a lace camisole.

Illustrated Patchwork Crochet

Retro Granny Squares

Illustrated Patchwork Crochet
Contemporary Granny Squares for Clothing and Home Decorating
Scharf
1976

In the land of crochet styles, nothing says 1970s like a granny square. This had a lot of influence in many of the “fashion” of the time. (I personally sported a sweater vest of granny squares in junior high.) There have been some nice modern takes since this book was published. So we will use the word “contemporary” loosely in this instance.

Aside from the very obvious 1970s vibe, this particular book was in good shape (aside from some yellowing). I have seen better and more modern takes on the granny square, but if it is still getting checked out, doesn’t smell like feet, and works in your library, then by all means hang on to this one. Granny squares will always be part of the crochet universe since they are great for newbies. Stick to baby blankets, because babies don’t care.

Every Kid's guide to the Juvenile Justice System

Criminal Kids

Every Kid’s Guide to the Juvenile Justice System
Berry
1987

Those of you who have been hanging around ALB for a while might recognize one of our “regulars”. (Here and here.) This time we have Berry tackling the serious issue of juvenile justice. To say that the look is a bit incongruous with the subject matter is an understatement.

The actual text isn’t bad for the late 1980s, but it does present a rather rosy view of how criminal justice works. I am quite certain that many non white folks are going to dispute this view. My other beef with this book is that I am not sure what age group she is targeting. The text is a bit dense for some elementary students but book looks like it might be targeting the young elementary.

Regardless of content, nonfiction or informational books really do need to define the target audience and present material in an appropriate way. I can see the older elementary crowd saying it looks young and the younger crowd becoming frustrated with the vocabulary.

male husbandry cover

Take my wife!

Male Husbandry
or Conditioning Your Man to Marriage
Ketchum
1956

If you are in the mood for some throwback humor from the 1950s, here is your opportunity to joke with those poor henpecked husbands. The premise is how to train your husband, since he is nothing but a barely civilized dolt. The author offers wives some helpful “training” tips to get your man in line-mostly through emotional manipulation and subterfuge. Hilarity at its finest. (Insert rim shot)

Since this was plucked from a university collection, I won’t say automatically weed. It might fill some research needs. I am old enough to remember this kind of humor, but this is a poor example and it goes on way too long.