Bob on Books Best of the Rest


The front page of one of the hometown newspapers I delivered.

Each year I post summaries of my best books of the year and my best Growing Up in Working Class Youngstown posts. Here is a list of the “best of the rest,” posts on reading, current events or observations about life. Hope you enjoy this sampler from Bob on Books.

  1. The Death of my Hometown Paper. On August 31, 2019, The Vindicator, under the ownership of the Maag and Brown families, ceased publication. Since then, the Warren Tribune Chronicle has picked up publication under The Vindicator name, but something died that day for me.
  2. It’s Not Hoarding If It’s Books. This received a good deal of reaction. Secretly, many of us bibliophiles use this rationalization, but I suspect we still feel uneasy about the amount of books around us.
  3. What Happens to Unsold Books? This arose out of some idle curiosity, but it appears that many worry about the fate of the unsold!
  4. Why I’ll be in Church This Sunday. Attendance at Sunday worship services has been dropping. I don’t try to answer why this is, but rather why I keep showing up.
  5. Getting Impeachment Right. Before impeachment proceedings began, I outlined the conditions I thought necessary for this to be done properly. I don’t think Congress has paid any attention! I wrote at the end of my post, “While we have survived past crises, that does not mean we will this one. All I can do is hope. And pray.” If anything I feel this more than when I wrote the post.
  6. Counterfeit Books on Amazon. A good friend’s book was counterfeited by third-party sellers using Amazon’s platform. In my outrage, I looked into this and wrote about it.
  7. Why Are Prisons Banning Used Book Donations? I learned that my own state, along with others to ban the donation of used books to prisons. When I looked into this, I became even more disturbed as I realized the commercial interests and the state’s financial interests involved in this decision, and the deleterious impact on those in our state’s prison system.
  8. Toxic Masculinity? Following a controversial commercial by Gillette last January, I wrote about my own reactions to this commercial. This was one I received a fair amount of pushback on as well.
  9. Do You Own Your E-books? Many people were surprised to discover that they do not and why this is.
  10. Memo: To the New CEO of Barnes & Noble. When James Daunt became the new CEO of Barnes & Noble, I asked those on my Bob on Books Facebook page what advice they would have for him. This post summarized their responses.

For my most faithful followers, this list will be a visit with old friends. For others, it might be an interesting read to discover what you might have missed on the blog in 2019. I so appreciate all of you who follow, read, and comment on the blog. Over 100,000 people (for the first time) visited the blog this year and made nearly 160,000 visits (so far). I appreciate all the interactions–not only those who agree but those who write with everything from grammar corrections to disagreements with what I’ve written. You force me to be a better and more accurate writer and thinker, and hopefully a better person. I hope what I write has some of that effect on others as well!

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