The MST3K Bookshelf

This thread is meant for discussions about the various books either written by people associated with the show or written about the show itself.

In the past, I have read Mike Nelson’s Mind Over Matters and Mary Jo Pehl’s Employee of The Month and Other Big Deals. I remember both of them having sections that were laugh out loud funny. Mary Jo’s recounting of finding a mouse in her pants was particularly hilarious. I was reading that one on a bus at the time and people must have thought I was crazy the way I was laughing.

Currently I am reading Kevin Murphy’s A Year At The Movies. It’s my laundromat book, meaning I only read a bit of it every 10-14 days when I have to make a trip to the laundromat. It’s perfect for that in that all the chapters are short essays, mostly independent of one another, so it’s easily readable in small bits.

I’ve really enjoyed his writing and his takes on movies, the modern day movie-going experience and audiences, and the variety of theaters / movie showing venues that he visits. I wonder if readers were upset or surprised by the fact that it is not a book making fun of all the bad movies around today (well, back in 2001 when he did his 365 movies in a year project), but rather a thoughtful look at a lot of things movie related, particularly as they relate to how we experience and appreciate movies today. There is humor there to be sure, but it is a more serious book than I was expecting – and I like it because of that.

He paints some good portraits of some of the more unique theaters and their proprietors. I really liked his chapter about the smallest movie theater in the world, run by a guy in Australia out of his home. His depiction of the Cannes film festival is interesting and I was moved by his chapter about how he experienced 9/11 as an American among strangers in the Cook Islands at the time.


Conor Lastowka one of the writers for Rifftrax wrote, The Pole Vault Championship of the Entire Universe. The audio version is my go-to when I need a pickup. Voices include the Rifftrax guys, Weird Al, Paul F Tomkins, Janet Varney, and more.


Ok, now that is one I had not heard of before. It does sound intriguing. The title kind of makes it sound like a “young adult” novel, but it is intended for “adults” (not the same as “adults only)”), right?

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I recently picked up these books, which have text by Mike Nelson. I was completely unaware of them, but when they showed up my wife said “You know I already own these, right?” Turns out she’s a big fan of the artist, and didn’t realize Mike was involved.


Mary Jo Pehl has a memoir which is framed as a collection of her late mother’s [very short] movie reviews.

It’s called Dumb Dumb Dumb.


I listened to it on a long drive with my 75-year-old mother and had to distract her during a couple of parts. So, adult, not Adult.


Wow! Thanks for bringing those books to my attention. Again, these I had not even heard about before now. The illustrations alone look wonderful, but just how much "text by Michael J. Nelson"is there in these books?

You know, I can only read/hear the phrase “Fluffy Humpy Poopy Puppy” in the voice of TV’s Frank. :stuck_out_tongue:

They’re not essay length, but more than captions. Short, funny bits every few pages.

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I have the usual suspects like A Year at the Movies, Mike Nelson’s Mind Over Matters and Movie Megacheese, the Amazing Colossal Episode Guide, etc.

There’s one that I was really jazzed about…

… the 1995 to 1996 edition of The Complete Peanuts, which had an introduction from “RiffTrax MST3K!”

Basically, the RiffTrax gang took a number of Peanuts strips and wrote riffs below them as an intro for this volume, and I loved it. What made that all the more incredible is that some rather impressive luminaries were enlisted to write intros for these volumes, so for the RiffTrax gang to stand alongside those folks is something really impressive and considerable.

That, and on a personal note, my two favorite pop cultural properties are MST3K and Peanuts, so for the two to be combined like this? Well… I don’t think I have to tell you that I was surprised by the announcement about the intro and overjoyed to possess this volume!