Margaret Thatcher cover

World Leaders Past and Present

Margaret Thatcher
World Leaders, Past and Present
Garfinkle
1985

Submitter: Or, as a friend put it, “Dictators and a Couple of OK People”. This is a YA nonfic series that we only weeded a couple of years ago from the Norwood Public Library where I’m the Library Assistant. They have been sitting in our book sale room ever since; strangely, nobody has bought any of them.

These books were published in the 80s, when I was in high school. Even as a voracious reader of anything I could get my hands on, these would have bored me to tears, with their dense text and black-and-white photos. The librarian who ordered them back then was probably talked into the set by a slick salesman, since she was completely out of touch with teenagers.

Holly: More like “World Leaders, Past and Past-er.” What’s up with the font styles on the spines? That’s dumb.

Meet David Cassidy

David Cassidy-Teen Idol

Meet David Cassidy
Hudson
1972

As the resident “elder” at ALB, I can tell you that Cassidy was all that and a bag of chips in the early 1970s. Since this was the early 1970s and Cassidy was about 22, so this is mostly just fluff and stuff about the television show. I would imagine this was probably done by a publicity department with stills from the shows and his concerts.

Cassidy struggled with his fame and public perception his whole life. Struggles with alcoholism, issues with his father, the actor Jack Cassidy and toward the end of his life, dementia. Cassidy did pen a couple of memoirs: C’mon, Get Happy … Fear and Loathing on the Partridge Family Bus 1994 and Could It Be Forever? My Story 2007. Cassidy died in 2017.

Daniel Boone cover

Daniel Boone

Daniel Boone
Daugherty
1939

Submitter: In Daniel Boone, Native Americans are variously described as savages, demons, “rats in the night,” “infesting the woods,” cat-eyed, and “as doomed as the buffalo.” White skin or white racial identity is frequently painted as superior to other races, for example: “The great landlords were demanding costly land titles and bringing in slave labor so that it was a disgrace for a white man to work with his hands” (page 25).

Bram Stoker cover

Bram Stoker is Possessed

The Man Who Wrote Dracula: A biography of Bram Stoker
Farson
1975

Submitter: This may not be so much an awful library book as it is an awful book cover. We can see from an inside photo that Stoker was a decent looking guy, so why the demonic possession eye treatment? I’m guessing the publishers wanted to ride The Exorcist wave as this book was published in 1975 after the 1973 film release. Better yet, the author was the great nephew of Stoker, so you think he’d want to honor his relative rather than make him look like an evil character. We have plenty of other (better) Stoker biographies so this one had to go.

Holly: What a strange choice of cover art! I swear I’ve seen this cover before, actually, but it’s not part of my library’s collection and I don’t see it in a previous ALB post. That’s a face you don’t forget, though!

Nsync cover

Bye Bye Bye

*NSYNC
Boekhoff and Kallen
2003

Submitter: This book is ‘tearing up my heart’ knowing it’s still sitting on the shelf all these years. So who’s  going to weed this book? “It’s gonna be me.” I guess I could have gone with Bye Bye Bye old book…

Holly: This was published just as the group was breaking up. I think we can safely let it go. “This I Promise You.”

evel knieval cover

Motorcycle Daredevil

Evel Knievel
Motorcycle Daredevil
Schmitz
1978

If you are of a certain age, you will immediately recognize the name Evel Knievel. I was a teen during 1970s when Evel was doing his thing. He was always in the news taking his bike and jumping over stuff. Even if you knew nothing about stunt work, motorcycles or anything “daredevil”, everyone knew about Evel Knievel.

Even as a teen I wondered about a few things. Why was his name Evel? I really couldn’t grasp why someone would choose such a name. More importantly, I wondered why someone would take a motorcycle and jump over stuff. Evel was good at self-promotion and worked hard to keep his name in the news. Each jump was more elaborate then the last.

The Cars cover

Victim of Love

The Cars
Kamin and Goddard
1986

Submitter: This was an excellent book about a local band to purchase for this library. 35 years later, the band split up, reunite under a new name, reunite under the old name, and saw two of the found members die, and all not covered here. Time to Shake It Up and replace!

Holly: This was NOT Just What I Needed. You Might Think so…but you’d be wrong. Weed it. Drive it off a cliff. Give it to My Best Friend’s Girl. Weeding is not Magic, it’s science. Library Science.

Ok, I’m done now.