Bookshelf Report: Staying Fit With Superheros, R. Kelly and Tacos

The Bookshelf Report is an ongoing series where a Bushwick reader invites us into their home and shares a little bit about the books that occupy their shelves.

Today’s bookshelf  comes from one of our very Bushwick Blog writers, Kerry Garvin. She has recently moved and her bookshelves are as pristine as ever. Let’s take a look and what she’s got going on.


How do you organize your books?

I organize my books by category or genre. All the cookbooks are on a shelf in the kitchen and all the craft books are on a shelf in the craft supplies cabinet. In my living room, I have a pile of comic and cartoon related coffee table books for easy access and in the hallway I have two small bookshelves of books I’ve read and want to reread and books I haven’t read yet. The top shelf here is devoted to children’s books I’ve found at used bookstores and want to reread and write Bushwick Blog posts about. The other shelves are mostly Young Adult novels, but there are some non-fiction and fiction for grown-ups mixed in as well.


Be honest. What percentage of the books on this shelf have you actually read?

10-20%. I don’t keep most of the books I’ve read. I either pass them to a friend, give them to my Mom for her Little Library, trade them in at a used bookstore or donate them to the library. I also love going to used bookstores and poking around, so I end up with a large stockpile of books to read.


What’s your favorite book on the shelf?

My favorite book on my shelves is the Mighty Marvel Comics Strength and Fitness book. It’s a book that features Marvel super-heroes doing calisthenics that are ridiculous and sometimes even dangerous. Many also don’t seem to be actual workouts or exercises either, such as one by J. Jonah Jameson where you just need to kneel down and open your mouth really wide. Oh yeah, did I mention a lot of the pictures and poses could also be used in a Marvel Karma Sutra? I bought the book at an antique store for $25. I thought it was over-priced and I waffled on it for a few minutes before I decided I would be crazy not to buy it. Every few months, I pick it up and flip through a few pages and it still makes me laugh. The book is even the subject of its very own Buzzfeed list.


What book do you plan on reading next?

Next, I plan on reading The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger. I’ve been thinking a lot about epistolary novels lately, so I want to read a current example of the style. This one is from the library, so I have to read it soon to avoid late fees!


How many of the 300 best taco recipes have you tried, and which one was the most delicious?

I’ve made just over 30 of the recipes in that book. My favorite is the Machaca soft tacos because it has a delicious warm salsa that you put over the beef. There are a lot of good recipes in that book and some that aren’t really tacos per say, but more like things that can be served in a tortilla, such as meatballs or a hamburger.

And also, I see you have a copy of R. Kelly’s Soulacoster. What is your favorite R. Kelly song?

Picking a favorite R. Kelly song is nearly impossible. He has written so many gems. I have a huge Best of R. Kelly playlist that I listen to often. I think I can narrow it down to three.

1. You Remind Me of Something : It’s the first R. Kelly song that I remember loving and the one that convinced me that I needed give any new album he makes a look. Also, it cemented my love of 1990s R&B.

2. Echo : The song is a great example of all the things I love about R. Kelly’s music. It’s overtly sexual and sets the scene with many TMI details. Also, the video is hilarious.

3. In the Kitchen : Maybe the most ridiculous of all of Kel’s work, it throws innuendo out the window and just goes for it right there on the counter next to the butter rolls. It also features the water drip sound effect which is ubiquitous throughout his catalog.

Thanks, Kerry. You are #1.

Now, if any of you out there would like to be featured on the Bookshelf Report feel free to contact me here. We would love to have you!

Read on.