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Blue Collar Book Cellar Review: Last Variety | Entertainment

I’m back in blue, blue jeans. I love bookstores, but my family needs more cash flow, so I go to work. Working with my hands is in my blood. I come from long lines of manual work, from farms to factories to trucks. We all love reading.

My grandmother worked in a glass factory for many years, so the new owner thought she had come to that place. Once upon a time, grandma, mom, uncle, and I all worked in the factory at the same time. We worked in different shifts, different departments, but were all parts of the process.

I was reading a break, often referred to as factory slang, or “Benny.” I read it before the shift. If you were to save someone, it was rude to be late, who wants to go home. So I’m faster so I’m not late and read shortly before the shift. I often joked and read more at the factory than I did as a bookstore.

When I returned to work in September 2021, I started bringing books to work for more than 15 years since my last factory job. The question was “what do you bring?”

People judge you by the books you read. I didn’t want to be too intelligent, too strange, controversial, or too mischievous. Something I could enjoy, but most others could enjoy it as well.

My many years of experience in bookstores are not difficult. This column will give you solid suggestions that you can use for yourself or for the casual readers of your life.

The first book I chose was “Last of the Breed,” written by Louis L’Amour, a storyteller in the western United States. Lamour was my dad’s favorite. I wasn’t a big Western reader, but I remember buying this for my dad on Christmas in the late 80’s. It’s by one of his favorite writers, and I might want to read it too.

I’m glad I got this reissue of this L’Amour Classic that you might have missed. It begins with Major Joe Mack of the US Air Force. His experimental aircraft was forcibly shot down in Soviet Russia. He escapes from prison, but he is in the vastness of Siberia.

Joe Mack needs to get out of the wilderness and survive everything without revealing his presence to those who chase him, including the legendary native tracker. Joe would have to use all his training and the woodwork taught to him by his grandfather.

I loved this book. Written when the Cold War with the Soviet Union was still hot. It’s a simpler time, it’s a simple plot. Joe is in and he has to leave. Do you have him Read a damn book to find out. If you love action, you won’t be disappointed.

Back to work tip: If you don’t have a locker, try wrapping your book in a plastic bag to put it in your lunch box.



Kevin Coolidge is currently a full-time factory worker and part-time bookstore from My Shelf Books & Gifts in Wellsboro, PA. When he’s not working, he writes. He is also a children’s writer and creator of The Totally Ninja Raccoons, a children’s series for reluctant readers. Visit his author’s website. kevincoolidge.org


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Blue Collar Book Cellar Review: Last Variety | Entertainment

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