Jan 212015
Paperback 852: Pocket Books 6093 (PBO, 1962)

Title: The Astronaut
Author: Hank Searls
Cover artist: Uncredited

Estimated value: $5-10

Donation to the collection from The Second Reader Bookshop (Buffalo, NY)


Best things about this cover:

  • It's the touching story of a lonely Stormtrooper and his inflatable girlfriend…
  • If you're gonna fall to your death, may as well go out ogling bikini-clad blondes.
  • This must be just before he captures her and puts her in a bottle and makes her wear pajamas all day long.
  • The design here is actually spectacular. It's got that wackadoodle '60s vibe. Nice incorporation of the letter "O" into the spacesuit design. Stars in her eyes are a little cheesy / spot-on, but her little green bikini makes a nice visual impact, and the overall sun-drenchedness of the thing is a nice counterbalance to my mostly Dark cover collection.


Best things about this back cover:

  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, Literally.
  • "You down with M.P.P.?" ("M.S. Ph.D.!")
  • Whoa, "hanky-panky at the motel"!? Tell me more. Seriously, if it happens at motels, I need to know.
  • Project Head? Really? No one batted an eyelash at that? OK, then, '60s, carry on …

Page 123~

Straight in front of him were the retro-rocket controls, welded immovably in place so that the chimp could not override ground control.

Chimps? It's got chimps? Talk about burying the lede…


P.S. Many thanks to John from The Second Reader Bookshop in Buffalo, NY, who reads my crossword blog and responded to my fund-raising drive there with a donation of books for here. Two more coming later this week.

P.P.S. John also sent me this postcard, which … well, if you all won't appreciate it, I don't know who will:

[Miss Lube Rack]

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Jan 082015
Paperback 849: Pocket Books 328 (1st ptg, 1945)

Title: Warrant for X
Author: Philip MacDonald
Cover artist: Uncredited

Estimated value: $10-15


Best things about this cover:

  • "Light, damn you! Stupid modern, flame retardant bodies! I want s'mores now!"
  • By far the fanciest lamppost you're likely to see on any of my covers.
  • I genuinely love how the body spills out of frame. And the color scheme. And the "X".


Best things about this back cover:

  • "Kidnapping!" is pretty anti-climactic. "Cannibalism!" was about what I was expecting with that build-up.
  • They used to tell you how much it would cost to ship the book to a soldier overseas. Now it's just "Share it with anyone in a uniform, don't ask us what it costs, how should we know?" I hope people gave books to their diner waitresses.

Page 123~

He said: "I'm a busy man. Great matters hang upon my every word and action." He drank coffee. "I might justly be likened to the spider."

Though not lacking in confidence, Anthony was still working on his metaphor skills.


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Jan 052015
Fernanda, by Victor B. Miller November, 1976  Pocket Books With a cover and slugline that could come off a lurid men’s detective magazine (“She taunted the twisted rapist to trap and silence him forever!”), Fernanda is a PBO suspense thriller which is narrated by our heroine, New York City private eye Fernanda (no last name given). At 157 pages of big print, Fernanda itself is pretty
Dec 312014
Paperback 846: Pocket Books 4604 (1st ptg, 1963)

Title: Bachelors Get Lonely
Author: A.A. Fair (Erle Stanley Gardner)
Cover artist: photo cover

Estimated value: $10-15


Best things about this cover:

  • I can confirm the basic premise of this title.
  • I find this cover oddly sexy, if wildly implausible.
  • Pink. I dig it. At least it's different.


Best things about this back cover:

  • You had me at "Stripper Daffidill (sic!?) Lawson"
  • What an odd photo choice. Random stock photo, faded and blued.
  • Lam's pretty light-hearted for someone trying to catch a murderous voyeur.
  • "Swell."

Page 123~

"The walls are terribly thin," she whispered. "People will know that … that I'm having a visitor."


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Dec 222014
The Smack Man, by Jack Cannon July, 1989  Pocket Books (Original publication March, 1975  Manor Books) Originally published as the first volume of the Keller series, The Smack Man was later revised and reprinted as a Ryker novel, author Nelson DeMille crediting himself as “Jack Cannon.” Ironically, these 1989 Pocket Books reprints are sometimes more scarce and expensive than the orginal
Oct 302014
The Smuggler #5: The Crystal Fortress, by Paul Petersen January, 1975  Pocket Books Perhaps proving out my theory that the Smuggler series actually had two authors, with Paul Petersen and David Oliphant trading installments, this fifth volume sort of returns to the sleazy feel of the second and third volumes, whereas the first and fourth volumes were anemic in that regard. But it’s nothing
Jul 242014
The Ski Lodgers, by William Hegner December, 1976  Pocket Books Despite the unassuming title and cover hyperbole (“Hegner sales now over 1,000,000!”), The Ski Lodgers is one of the most lurid and outrageous trash novels I’ve ever read, William Hegner in the scant course of 175 pages graphically detailing everything from incest to bestiality, not to mention a whole bunch of regular sex. And
Jul 072014
The Rapist, by Don Logan October, 1975  Pocket Books Jeez, here’s Don Logan with the feel-good book of the summer!! Seriously though, The Rapist is another of those lurid crime paperbacks copyright Lyle Kenyon Engel, just like Manning Lee Stokes's Corporate Hooker, Inc. And, according to Hawk’s Authors’ Pseudonyms III, “Don Logan” was none other than William Crawford. Last year I read the
Apr 282014
Corporate Hooker, Inc., by Manning Lee Stokes February, 1975  Pocket Books One of the last novels Manning Lee Stokes published before his death in January 1976, Corporate Hooker, Inc. is copyright Lyle Kenyon Engel, the book packager who gave us The Baroness, John Eagle Expeditor, Richard Blade, and many other series, employing Stokes on most of them, the latter two in particular. Given the
Apr 082014
Paperback 761: Pocket Books 1098 (1st ptg, 1955)

Title: Guys and Dolls
Author: Damon Runyon
Cover artist: photo cover / unknown

Yours for: $15


Best things about this cover:
  • Brando unsure about quality of doll's breath!
  • I sort of kind of love this art/photo hybrid. Also, the Vincent Price-esque title font. Random.
  • LOVE the full-body "fuck off, boys" pose of the be-stoled smoking doll. Classic.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Well, it's … uh … not particularly soiled or torn. That's something.
  • "Master of the Main Stem" — not a phrase I'd ever really want to be called.
  • Lusty Slice was my favorite Slice Girl.

Page 123~

Dave the Dude is more corned than anybody else, because he has two or three days' running start on everybody. And when Dave the Dude is corned I wish to say that he is a very unreliable guy as to temper, and he is apt to explode right in your face any minute. But he seems to be getting a great bang out of the doings.

When your corned, a great bang is just the thing.


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