Lifelong Dewey

Reading through every Dewey Decimal section.

Category: 790s

790: Mongo by Ted Botha


790.132: Botha, Ted. Mongo: Adventures in Trash. New York: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2004. 242 pp. ISBN 1-58234-567-8.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 700: Fine Arts and Recreation
  • 790: Recreational and performing arts
  • 790.1: General kinds of recreational activities
  • 790.13: Activities generally engaged in by individuals
  • 790.132: Collecting

If you’ve ever seen an object on the side of the road or fished something from a dumpster or a trash pile, then you’ve engaged in mongo. In the traditional sense, mongo is any object that been discarded but now retrieved. Mongo can either be for profit or pleasure (or sometimes both). Mongo culture comes with many different subdivisions: people mongo for food, books, furniture, car parts, antiques, or just for decoration. For some, mongo is their only way of surviving, and for others, it’s a side project. Ted Botha’s Mongo is look into this often-invisible subculture.

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791: Marilyn by Gloria Steinem


791.43028092: Steinem, Gloria. Marilyn: Norma Jeane. New York: Open Road, 2013 [1986]. Approx. 180 pp. ISBN 978-1-4532-9533-5.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 700: Fine arts and recreation
  • 790: Recreational and performing arts
  • 791: Public performances
  • 791.4: Motion pictures, radio, and television
  • 791.43: Motion pictures
  • 791.43028: Acting and performance
  • +092: Biography

Unless you live under a rock, you know who Marilyn Monroe is. She was “discovered” as a photogenic face during a media session at her job at an airplane part manufacturer in 1945. At that point, she was just Norma Jeane Dougherty. For the next seventeen years, though, she would become a symbol of American sexual appeal with the name Marilyn Monroe. She had a part in 33 movies, for which she won three different Golden Globes. But not many people know her full story. Gloria Steinem, in Marilyn, tries not only to give us a full telling of her life but also sheds some light on the enduring character traits of this iconic blonde bombshell.

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793: Of Dice and Men by David Ewalt


793.93: Ewalt, David M. Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and the People Who Play It. New York: Scribner, 2013. 253 pp. ISBN 978-1-4516-4050-2.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 700: Fine Arts
  • 790: Recreational and performing arts
  • 793: Indoor games and amusements
  • 793.9: Other indoor diversions
  • 793.93: Adventure games

In 1974, there was no other game  on the planet like Dungeons & Dragons. Conceived as an imaginative role-playing game by Tactical Studies Rules, Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson’s D&D was rooted not in historical fact, but in the world of fantasy, the world of J.R.R. Tolkien, Jack Vance, and Michael Moorcock. There was no board, just a character sheet and a lot of dice. Players were free to explore the world of the game with gentle guidance from the Dungeon Master, facing adventures, monsters, and their own imagination. David M. Ewalt’s Of Dice and Men tells of tale of TSR’s creation and how it changed both the world of gaming and the lives of those who played it.

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796: The Ghost Runner by Bill Jones


796.42092: Jones, Bill. The Ghost Runner: The Epic Journey of the Man They Couldn’t Stop. New York: Pegasus Books, 2012. 264 pp. ISBN 978-1-6059-8413-1.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 700: Fine Arts
  • 790: Recreational and performing arts
  • 796: Athletic and outdoor sports and games
  • 796.4: Weightlifting, track and field, and gymnastics
  • 796.42: Track and field (running)
  • +092: Biography

He was a ghost—no number, no official listing, no limitations. John Tarrant snuck to the starting lines of hundreds of races in the 1950s and 1960s and jetted away once the starter’s pistol sounded. Race officials were always stymied when he passed; without a bib number, they didn’t know how to mark his time. His British countrymen revered him as a man who dared to stand up to the system. Even when he moved to South Africa to run against apartheid, he was still persona non grata. His past dogged him wherever he went, and no organization authorized or recognized his amazing ability on the track . Bill Jones’s The Ghost Runner is a fascinating look into the life of a man whose teenage mistakes caused a lifetime of pain and prejudice.

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794: The Turk by Tom Standage


794.17: Standage, Tom. The Turk: The Life and Times of the Famous Eighteenth-Century Chess-Playing Machine. New York: Berkley, 2003. 247 pp. ISBN 0-425-19039-0.

Dewey Construction:

  • 700: Fine Arts
  • 790: Recreational and performing arts
  • 794: Indoor games of skill
  • 794.1: Chess
  • 794.17: Special forms of chess

In 1769, the greatest invention of its age was introduced to the world. Hungarian engineer Wolfgang von Kempelen, trying to live up to a ultimatum that he couldn’t beat the best machinists and magicians of France, had built a chess-playing automaton. Never before had anyone seen anything like it; it was a wooden and metal Turkish man seated behind a chessboard containing a puzzling array of machinery.  It beat the players at Empress Maria Theresa’s court. It beat the street hustlers of Paris, the hoi polloi of London, and even graced the shores of the United States. And Tom Standage’s The Turk investigates its secrets.

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792: The Shakespeare Riots by Nigel Cliff

792.09747109034: Cliff, Nigel. The Shakespeare Riots: Revenge, Drama, and Death in Nineteenth-Century America. New York: Random House, 2007. 266 pp. ISBN 978-0-345-48694-3.

At the end of the 700s (Arts), we had the 790s for works on the recreational and performing arts. 792 is the place for books on stage presentations. This book gets a very specific call numbers because it focuses on a single event in a single place (all centered around a stage presentation). The -097471 is for an event in the Borough of Manhattan and the -09034 is for the 19th century.

In the 1840s, there were two big names in Shakespearean acting. William Charles Macready was a British stage actor was revolutionized the Bard’s public perception by returning the script back to his original writing. Edwin Forrest, thirteen years Macready’s junior, was a Philadelphia-born barrel-chested dramatic wunderkind who took America by storm with his stage presence.

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