My Books


In 2014, I published a memoir called The Long Hall. It’s available from in both softcover ($12.95) and Kindle ($3.99) editions.

I’ve also published six books to help make learning easier and more fun.

You can find out more about them on the Mostly Bright Ideas website. To purchase any of these books quickly and easily, go to (If you get a message that a book is out of print, you’ve landed on an old edition. All six are definitely available.)

Update: Learn This is now out of print, but Rainbow Resource Center has plenty of copies.


Click the titles below to see sample pages:

500 Key Words for the SAT,
and How To Remember Them Forever!

Uses visual and verbal mnemonics and stories to help create bridges
between unfamiliar words and their meanings. A powerful
vocabulary-building tool, in print since 1992, with well over 100,000 copies sold!
2013 edition now available. (120 pages, $12.95, ISBN 0965326330)

100 Math
Tips for the SAT,
and How To Master Them Now!

Devotes an entire page to each of 100 questions and provides
thorough explanations, alternate solutions, practice questions,
a comprehensive glossary, and plenty of wisecracks.
2013 edition now available. (120 pages, $12.95, ISBN 0965326349)

Writing Rules!

Explores spelling, grammar, punctuation, standardized test questions,
and essay writing — but it’s much more fun than that sounds.
(120 pages, $12.95, ISBN 0965326373)

One Thousand Words

Presents eleven hundred essential words, with definition, pronunciation,
and part of speech. Each is used in a sentence that clearly illustrates its meaning.
No jokes and no cartoons in this one. (120 pages, $9.95, ISBN 0965326365)

Learn This!

(Stuff You Need to Know, and Mistakes You Need to
Stop Making, Before You Step Foot into High School)

Introduces a wide range of subjects — including astronomy, geography,
history, science, writing, languages, religions, and much more.
(64 pages, $8.95, ISBN 0965326357) Now available exclusively through Rainbow Resource Center.

Who Knew?

My reluctant journey to blogging addiction

52 essays from

(116 pages, $14.95)

Thank you for your interest!
Feel free to email me:

Charles Gulotta

27 Responses “My Books” →
  1. This is a great page, Charles! I’m so happy to see links to your books here on your blog. I previewed some of them on your website and you’re right. This is the perfect way to learn. When you say, “You learn the words once and remember them forever. Really.” you are right! I wish I’d had these books during my high school years, and will recommend them to those I know studying for the SATs or writing college essays. (And the math tips one will come in handy for me, too, as my children grow and I realize I’ve forgotten everything I only sort of knew before.) Helpful, useful books, full of good tips and your characteristic wit.


  2. I am a big fan of yours, Charles. If my child ever wants to take a test, or doesn’t want to, I’ll make sure she/he reads your books. I hope you’ll keep them available for the next numerous years.

    This page is cool!

    P.S. I did tell you Learn This! is my favourite out of the ones I’ve explored online, right? Just so you know. Also, I think Who Knew is going to be my all-time favourite forever.


  3. Just discovered your beautifully written and very touching blog. Loved the story about the pretzel machine. I too pined for a Barbie Dream House, and once I got it found that I preferred to make my own Barbie apartment from boxes and stacks of books for beds. Will look forward to reading more from you!


  4. Hi Charles,

    How do I get a copy of your books? I’m interested in signed copies. ^_^



    • Thank you, Nel. The best way to get the books is by ordering them from They’re now being produced with a process called print-on-demand, which means they’re printed as they’re ordered (no inventory), and that’s done in South Carolina, US. So I have no practical way of sending signed copies. (Believe it or not, I don’t even have copies of the current editions myself.)

      Where are you — what part of the world?


      • I see. I’m based in Taipei but will be travelling to the US for short vacation in a few months. I will be staying in the West Coast.

        So I’ll purchase this from Amazon then. Thank you for the information. I’m looking forward to reading more of your mostly bright ideas (although I think they’re straight out bright).


  5. Sir Charles, it’s needless to say i am a big fan of yours. But what’s wrong if i will say the truth. I am really a big fan of yours. I think, I really need your book “Writing rules”. Being a computer engineer, practicing all those programming languages all the time from past few years;I have forgotten all those grammar rules. As there is nothing called grammar in programming languages, there only syntax matters. May be to make computer understand grammar is not required, but in case of human being it is required for sure.
    So I hope 26 years is not too late to learn these things again 🙂


    • Arindam, I don’t see the grammar problems you’re referring to, but there’s always room for all of us to learn something new. One of the things I discovered when working on that book was that many of the rules I’d learned aren’t rules at all.

      Thank you again for your kind words.


  6. Charles, I should email this…but I don’t have your email address. We’ll see what happens:

    First let me compliment you on Who Knew? I like how you arranged and paced your selections. As a matter of fact, I’m giving a copy of the book as a gift.

    Several of the people in my writer’s group are on the verge of publishing. One lady just published her book. The others are teetering, looking at all the various publishing options in dazed confusion. I will be showing your book to them and am anticipating questions. If you have a bit of time during this hectic season, would you allow me to pick your infinitely bright brain?
    •Why did you choose to self-publish and do you expect to recoup your expenses?
    •How much do you think your experiences in advertising and marketing helped you negotiate the details of self-publishing?
    •Did you use Amazon’s CreateSpace? If not, was it difficult to get Amazon to take on your book?
    •Did you design your own cover?
    •Did you use any special software to format the layout of the book?
    •Do you see any advantage to e-publishing first to test the waters…(the idea being if you could sell 100 e-books, it would be worth it to publish a hard copy.)

    Just between you and me, I like the look and design of your book better than my friend Rae Ann’s finished product. She used a local publisher at a pretty low price point. I think she has put about $4,000 into this book of about 250 pages. That got her 100 copies. The editor that works with the publisher did, I hesitate to say this, … a lousy job of editing. That said, Rae Ann’s work needed heavy editing and this editor only charged her $1.50 per page. I did a little editing on the project myself, and I figured that at $1.50, the woman was only making about $1 an hour, if that. So maybe it was a fair deal. But further problems have meant that her second printing has not shown up in time for her to hit the Christmas market.

    I’d like to help steer my fellow writers in a better direction, so I appreciate any advice you can provide.

    BTW, I was astonished to see my measly little blog noted in your book. I thank you for the recognition!

    Hope you’ll enjoy a wonderful Christmas with your family. And I look forward to future stories as a result. 😉


    • Linda, I’m replying here in case anyone else is interested. I hope that’s okay.

      1. Your reference to my “infinitely bright brain” immediately caused me to wonder if you’d sent this message to me by mistake.
      2. Self-publishing gives me complete control over the process. It’s an exciting thing, but of course, the flip side is that anything that goes wrong is my fault and I have to fix it. There are no expenses worth mentioning, other than time.
      3. My experience in advertising gave me a basic understanding of layout and design. I’m clearly not a graphic designer, though, and I sometimes wonder if I’d be smarter to pay someone to at least do the book covers. Everyone says not to judge a book by its cover, but I think most of us still do.
      4. I use CreateSpace and think they do a great job. The service is excellent and so is the print quality. The books automatically become available on Amazon.
      5. I did design the cover, and that’s why it’s kind of boring.
      6. I used to use a program called Pagemaker, but it’s been replaced by InDesign. It takes some time to learn it, but once you do, it’s hard to imagine doing a book any other way.
      7. I’m still not that familiar with e-books, even though mine have been available in that format for years. With print-on-demand (CreateSpace), the books are printed as they’re ordered by customers. So there’s no inventory and no risk of spending a lot of money printing books that no one will buy (and that’s the Big Fear).

      I’m sorry to hear about Rae Ann’s experience. That’s a lot of money to spend on a hundred books, especially if they didn’t come out so great. Maybe there’s another business opportunity in here somewhere?

      Here’s my email address:

      Your blog is not measly. It’s well-written and very insightful. At least that’s my opinion, for what it’s worth.

      Happy New Year!


  7. Hi Charles, acutely aware as I am, of the (too much) space I have been occupying in your blogging life lately, I still can’t stop myself from saying some more.

    Even though I had read these pages before becoming your follower, I kept forgetting that you have been a professional writer for 30+ years. That’s my whole life..!!


  8. I’m definitely planning on doing an publication like this. That, and planning to post an array of my comics in one book, like a collection of the strips I’ve drawn in one year.


  9. CONGRATS on being self-published not only ONCE but 6 times! You are a brilliant writer and you are on to something because learning should ALWAYS be FUN! And you’ve nailed it! I am not a teacher, but I think school curriculums should use your books!


    • A few schools use the books, but it tends to happen through a series of accidents. My sales skills are pretty weak, and selling takes a lot of time and persistence, so it’s been difficult getting the books into the hands of teachers and students.

      Thank you, as always, for your kind words and encouragement. It really helps.



  10. Marie M

    January 6, 2013

    Hi–just saw these comments . . . . I thought for sure I’d visited this page some time ago, but don’t remember this format or the remarks . . . . anyway, was looking for a place to mention an author/colleague’s blog on publishing options, which reminded me of you, and since my e-mail account isn’t yet set up on my laptop, I ended up here. (Not that it’s at all a bad place to be.) When you have a few moments, you might visit There are interesting comments there, too.

    All the best, as always!



  11. reinventionofmama

    August 23, 2013

    Holy maccaroni I hadn’t seen this page before your comment on the math questions. I’ve struck blog-friend gold!


  12. Pleasure to meet you, BB. :0) Impressive collection of books you’ve got there. I’ve (self) published one- still haven’t promoted it- and I couldn’t imagine pushing more than that. So, yes, way to go. I don’t get around much in Bloggie-land (full-time college student/photographer/artist/writer/etc., but aren’t we all writers these days?) and am taking a moment to say that I’m glad I’ve come across your blog. I’m not sure how I ended up here now; I was reading Rough Magic (biography on Plath) and giving my new laptop a whirl (researching Plath) and somehow, I ended up here. Anywho, it’s great to meet you. Hope to see you again. 🙂

    (Back to Plath.)


    • It’s interesting how we end up on certain websites and meeting certain people, often through a series of apparently random decisions. No matter how it happened, I’m glad you found your way here. It’s great to meet you, too, and I hope you’ll be back.



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