052023 • Thrift Store Finds

I left three of these books at the ARC last week because they didn’t have the half-price color… they were still there this week! It’s always nice when that happens!

Das Reich: The March of the 2nd SS Panzer Division Through France, June 1944 • Anything by Max Hastings is gold… but the topic of this book is one of my favorites. Interesting, is the retreat of the Germans late in the war.

A Question of Honor: Forgotten Heroes of World War II • First-hand accounts, another of my favorite topics.

Bitter Glory: Poland and It’s Fate 1918-1939 • It’s no surprise why Poland is currently on it’s way to having the biggest military in Europe, and is one of the biggest backers of Ukraine against the Russian Federation.

Of Arms and Men: A History of War, Weapons and Aggression • As I always say to those people who are perplexed as to why I read so much about military history; there are so many ways to look at it, and this is the logistical side. There’s the personal, empathecial, political, humanitarian, what-if, etc.

One Square Mile of Hell: The Battle for Tarawa • I read about this in the books that The Pacific were based on. It will be nice to have another take on it.

Who Financed Hitler: The Secret Funding of Hitler’s Rise to Power 1919-1933 • One of the often overlooked topics regarding Hitler.

Clues to America’s Past / The Vikings / The Wild Shores America’s Beginnings • These are three of the National Geographic books that I have a lot of already, but they are so good, and cheap! Also interesting in that they were published around the time I was born.

I never get this many DVDs or Blu-rays, but that’s the way it goes. And if the ones I puchased to simply try out don’t work out, they can go back without an issue since I didn’t pay more than a buck-fifty for any of these! No subscriptions, nothing that disappears from a service, and all for the price of one month of any given streaming service!

Also: Over the past few years, there are more and more movies that I would usually watch, just because of the franchise, character, or actor. But now, with the way things are goign in the movie industry, I have learned to only see movies that I know are going to be good. That don’t ruin classic characters, overuse Member-Berries, etc. So, I’ll never see the new Indiana Jones, most of the newer Marvel movies, etc.

Also, this is because I’ve seen enough movies by now to just naturally have a lower tolerance for bad stories as I’ve seen so many. It’s way past time to start being more selective. Even Action Jackson below is a better watch than something like The Last Jedi or the Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey, Predators, The Eternals, etc. A comprehensive list would be long and not worth putting together, but you get the idea.

Action Jackson • I haven’t seen this since it first hit video in… the late 1980s? I don’t think it was that good, but I want to see Carl Weathers in what would have been his franchise character.

052223 • Just tried to watch this. Not a good movie, which is too bad, because I like Carl Weathers. This DVD actually sells pretty high online, and the Blu-ray is far more expensive. Which is now, not an issue because it isn’t worth having.

Fargo • They’ve done such a great job with the series, I need to see the original again, and I didn’t own it.

Good Will Hunting • Always hear about how good this one is… I watched this when I got home, and it I really is well-written. It is even better when you consider the level of quality stories that aren’t told these days. It actually deserves the awards that it won, and it’s neat to see these actors in their prime.

Creed / Rocky Balboa • I almost have all the Rocky movies on Blu-ray now.

The Jackal • Like Action Jackson, something to watch, but not a top-quality movie. Interesting to see Bruce Willis when he was so young, and Richard Gere try to pull off an Irish accent. Or Scottish. Same thing. Also, one of Jack Black’s early roles. He was also in some Will Smith movie around this time as some minor character.

The Greater Glory • Just a risk that it is any good, it was like brand-new, and I like the actors in it.

The Manchurian Candidate • I have always read about how great this movie is, and since it was like-new, I’m going to give it a try.

Amazing War Machines / Legends of Air Combat: Jets Over Vietnam • War Machines was still in it’s wrapper… these things are hit-or-miss (no pun intended), either cheaply put together, or well-done.

Mad Men: Season One • I re-watched this show a year or two ago, it holds up well. By the creators of The Sopranos. I have Season Two on Blu-ray, but the rest are on DVD still.

House: Seasons Two through Seven • Thanks to clips off of YouTube, I bought Good Will Hunting, and now House (Suits is next, but I doubt I’ll see that at a thrift). It’s a shame that the first and last seasons were missing, I really looked for them but they weren’t there. No matter, the rest of them were only a buck-fifty, so I can deal with it. Most series can still be enjoyed even if one doesn’t start at the beginning. I remember getting into 24 in season four, it was still great, and it was neat going back to the earlier seasons… like actual, well-done prequels when watched this way.

The Vivaldi Album • I have a lot of Cecilia Bartoli, and I had to check my list several times to make sure I didn’t have this one. I’d be more familiar with this if I didn’t listen to Magdalena Kozená as my primary female vocalist.

J.S. Bach: 3 Concerti After • I have been listening to a lot of organ music over the past few years, and I listened to this one right away; although I have a lot of albums like this, this one was really easy to get into.

Denon: New releases: Classical Sampler 1995-1996 • I left this one last week, because the line was so long. Still there! I like mixes like this and don’t see them that often.

051323 • Thrift Store Finds

On To Berlin • Turns out, I already have this one. Forgot to check my list.

The Other Victions / The Unforgiving Minute • Two books with first-hand accounts, my favorite!

The Legacy of Conquest • What I read of this before purchasing, the author was making examples of perspectives in history, such as the Indians vs settlers, and why they each thought the way they did. This makes the argument of simple conquest much more difficult to explain. So many details to simple assumptions about controversial historical events.

Post War: A History of Europe Since 1945 • A topic that is under recognized; what happened within Europe after the war ended; a big book, and from the short amount I read before purchasing impressed on me, a bargain.

Battles That Changed History • One of those big, well-illustrated books that I used to buy at Barnes & Noble or Waldenbooks, when they had discount sections of great books. They don’t do that anymore.

Beethoven: String Quartets – Takács Quartet • All three of these multi-disc sets were in perfect condition, the best deal of the day!

050623 • Thrift Store Finds

The Air War: 1939-1945 • This is one of those thinner hardbacks that is three or four decades old, maybe from a book club. I like finding these, and the fact that I haven’t seen it before makes it an easy choice to buy.

Rise of the Fighter Aircraft: 1914-1918 • I read a book on this topic in elementary school, and it was really interesting back then, and even more so now. Just trying to understand what it was like to fly this kind of plane in the kind of situations they had to deal with, is just amazing stuff. One of the planes only had ninety horsepower, that is the same horsepower as my parent’s 1989 Ford Escort, back in the day. In just four short years, planes went from a short-distance novelty, to being able to cross the Atlantic Ocean. They went from trying to hit each other with handguns, and hand-dropped bombs, to double-machine guns that were timed to shoot through the propeller. Tactics improved, too, of course, and so many of them were re-learned in later wars.

Men O’War: Stories from the Glory Days of Sail • I wish there was a modern re-print of some quality of the Horatio Hornblower series, as I really enjoyed the A&E Networks’ rendition of it, and would like to read the books. Barnes & Noble Collectors Editions would be great for these. Until then, I can go with this book, which I left at the store last week because it wasn’t half-off. It is like new, and was a great buy.

042923 • Thrift Store Finds

One of my favorite topics is first-hand accounts, especially regarding The Great War. To go into a thrift and find a book like this, a book I was totally unaware of, and in great shape and on sale? it is comparable to the Gulag book I bought last week! And, it turns out that I have the same authors’ book on World War II already!

Surviving Hitler • Amazing that I didn’t have this book already.

To the Shores of Tripoli • Again, amazing how I didn’t have this book already.

The Life of Andrew Jackson • I like older books, in both good shape, and bad. This one is in great shape, but I really don’t like the way thrift stores just slap their super-sticky price stickers on old books. I was able to get the sticker off with no problem this time, luckily.

041523 • Thrift Store Finds

Ultimate Visual History of the World • This was published only two years ago, and doesn’t sell for less than twenty-five dollars on Amazon! It is a big, thick book, and a great deal.

History: The Definitive Visual Guide • I would guess this belonged to the same person who gave the Ultimate Visual History of the World to the ARC, as it is the same size. Both of them together were really heavy to hold with one arm while in the long check-out line!

Beethoven: Triple Concerto • I started listening to this concerto a year or two ago, so this was a good find. And the only disc of the day that was worth buying!

The Walking Dead: Season Four • I found season three on Blu-ray a week or two ago, so now I have the first four on Blu-ray. I stopped watching the show a few years ago as it lost its groove, but it was really good for a long time. Negan was the only plot-line that was worth anything by the time I stopped watching.

Dancing in the Dark • I haven’t read much on the Great Depression, but I mean to.

The Second World Wars • I’ve heard Victor Davis Hanson a lot here and there, and I really like his take on things. This is a very recent book, 2017, I think, so that also makes it a good find.

Big Week: The Biggest Air Battle of World War Two • This is a great topic to read about, also a recently published book.

Poland, 1946: The Photographs and Letters of John Vachon • First-hand accounts are something I really like to read, and the photos are extremely professional and come from one of the more tragic locations of the war. There’s no shortage of tragic locations in World War II, of course, but Poland is definitely one of them.

Ray Donovan: Season One • I watched all of these online a few years ago, it’s something along the lines of The Sopranos. I doubt I’ll find the rest of them at a thrift, but this is a start.

032523 • Thrift Store Finds

Guderian: Creator of the Blitzkrieg is one of those books that, if I’m correct, came from a military book club. This means that I’d never see this again at a thrift unless I was very lucky, based on the fact that I have never seen it before, or I’d have it by now.

Vietnam: The Secret War • I have plenty of books on Vietnam, and was going to pass on this one, but upon opening it… well, it’s a worthy buy. I have to stop opening these books.

Aces Against Japan: The American Aces Speak • I really like books that have the actual stories from the people who lived them.

The Day the Red Baron Died • The arial battles of World War I are fascinating, as is the Baron.

300 • Troy: Director’s Cut • Alexander Revisited: The Final Cut • I have been eying this for a few weeks, and finally got someone to help me get it out of the display case, which is tough to do on a Saturday. I already have 300 on Blu-ray, and Troy on DVD, but this is the uncut Troy, and I get the Alexander movie tossed in as part of the deal. I don’t think Alexander will be a great movie, but I’ll at least take a look since this kind of epic doesn’t happen too often, especially lately. At only two dollars, this was a great deal!

I was going to get The Grey and Mad Men: Season 5 on Blu-ray as well, but they were missing discs. Boo! At least I have them on DVD.

031823 • Thrift Store Finds

I’m a big fan of audio drama and used to listen to a ton of it back in the day. I found the below Ray Bradbury Science Fiction Theatre set on cassette, for a buck-fifty (Half-price Saturday). What a deal! I just have to record it into my computer (I’m no stranger to doing this).

We went to the new ARC on 44th and Wadsworth. Just what we need, another one to visit!

Putin’s World was published recently, right before the current war escalated last year. I bought another recent book on Putin just a week or two ago as well. I’m surprised people aren’t reading these.

Public Enemies: Mobsters. Interesting stuff.

Can’t have enough Ninth Symphony. Beethoven.

Berlioz in Paris is part of a series (Residence) that, back in 1990, I started buying brand-new with Albinoni in Venice. It looks like there are eighteen of these, and I have nine.

The Mozart Divertimenti is a double-disc for the price of one, in perfect shape.

Point of No Return Soundtrack: I am a fan of this movie and the movie it is based on, La Femme Nikita, and the first series from the early 2000’s (Not the second series that ran on network television; awful in comparison). I didn’t remember much about the music, but Hans Zimmer was involved and I had been listening to the Christopher Nolan Batman soundtracks all week, and I had actually come across this Point of No Return Soundtrack when I was looking up other things he’d composed. And, that same week, I find it at a thrift store. Wow! But, unfortunately, there are only a few good tracks on it, the rest are all vocals in a style I don’t care for. At least I only paid a buck-fifty for it.

Grieg: Symphony in C minor: Everything Grieg is good; however I haven’t really connected with his symphony. but I won’t stop trying.

Han Solo Adventures by Brian Daley

When I was in elementary school in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Star Wars was the biggest thing ever. Who had what Star Wars toys (that is a huge story on its own), what Star Wars was on the way, etc. Every boy had something Star Wars… show-and-tell was dominated by us bringing in our Star Wars toys to show off.

And in the school library, there was one single copy of Han Solo’s Revenge. Everybody would check it out, including myself, but I never read it. I find this hard to believe, since I was going through Hardy Boys books like crazy, but I just couldn’t get into it. I remember thinking about how many words there were in the thing. The Hobbit was the same way, except I did get through that, but stopped cold with the huge Fellowship of the Ring right after.

What is funny is that Han Solo’s Revenge is a really fast read now, it just isn’t that long. The Hobbit, that epic tome, is amazingly shorter than I remember. And the Hardy Boys? Those are nothing to go through now!

So, when I reached Junior High School, I was able to acquire the rest of the Han Solo Trilogy through flea markets, and I remember reading all three at least three times before I was out of Drake Junior High. They were so much fun!

I re-read them in High School, and a few years ago, I started again and am almost finished. Just great stuff.

Somewhere along the line, I was able to get (and I have no idea where I bought them) the hardback versions of these books, along with Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, (Which, if Star Wars didn’t do well, was going to be made into the sequel instead of Empire Strikes Back, and was specifically written with minimal characters and special effects for that reason) and the Alien and Aliens novelization. This makes for a really great set!

Now, these Star Wars books that I have are just four out of seven. There was a trilogy of Lando Calrissian books as well, in paperback. Of course, I now want the hardbacks to complete my set. But Lando’s books didn’t sell as well, and the hardbacks are incredibly hard to find. I’ve never actually seen any in real life before.

And so, this is one of my life-long quests… to get the final three. Tonight, on eBay, I found two options for one of the Lando books, and one option for another, and zero for the third book. All were over a hundred bucks.

And I haven’t even read the paperbacks (I have an omnibus reprint of the Lando trilogy, too) of Lando yet.

I did buy the Barnes & Noble leather-bound deluxe volume of the second Han Solo trilogy last year, this one written by A.C. Crispin, the author who did the V novelization that I read many times back in the 1980s (that one was enormous compared to books like The Hobbit! I haven’t read that, but apparently it is well regarded.

This, however, is as far as I go into Star Wars books. The Expanded Universe of Star Wars isn’t a place I have enough interest in going, for several reasons, but I really do enjoy this old-school stuff. The very first books in a very, very large fictional universe. It is also very nice to remember how tough Han Solo’s Revenge was to read in elementary school, and now easy it is to read now! As if I’m so much smarter than I was then!

Also, the above Alien and Aliens books, I actually read those before seeing the movies! The books were frightening on their own! In the early 1980s, there was a summer or two where every Saturday, we would go to the huge Mile High Flea Market, my dad would give me some money and we would just go buy stuff. If you scroll way down, you’ll see the antique World War I painting I bought for a dollar, that some guy tried to buy from me for two dollars. No way, bud!

I was always on the prowl for comic books… five cents per was ideal, ten cents was a lot, but a quarter for a comic book? You can keep it! I would sometimes come back with a stack of great Uncle Scrooge, Archie, or Richie Rich and would read them over and over, keeping a stack to read, and when I got to the bottom of the stack, I just started over. Good times. During the winter, I’d go into the bathroom with a blanket, sit on the floor over the heating vent, and read in the heat. I’d read the stack every day over cereal during breakfast.

Anyway, I would always see a lot of this Alien novelization, it was everywhere, and the cover and title were really intriguing. Eventually, I bought it, read it, and read it again. Then I got the Aliens novelization. Eventually, my sister and I rented both movies and watched them with the lights out, sitting in our recliners and as the movie went on, we were both rocking our respective recliners faster and faster out of nervousness as the movies played on, and if you’ve seen them, you know why!

It was so neat to just find some book that I didn’t know anything about, get it for next-to-nothing, and have it be one of the best books I’d ever enjoyed, leading to two of the best movies ever made, movies that I never, ever get tired of watching.

So, getting the hardback versions was a no-brainer, and there is no way I’d ever part with these books. Especially if I can land the Calrissian set at some point!