Wow, that's a smorgasbord of a post. History books and triceps - I like it!
I just finished reading the following books and I highly recommend all of them:
War Trash by Ha Jin
Genghis Khan by Jack Weatherford
The Iliad by Homer (I know, I'm late in the game with this one)
Also, on deck is 1776 by David McCullough. He's the godfather of American History writings. I suggest you check him out.
As for the lockouts. Usually, I recommend starting and ending from the position where the BB rests on the pins. I don't recommend racking and re-racking during this exercise since the loads can get very high. In addition, there's just no need to do so. The fact that you can't lock-out more than you bench means your triceps are weak. It's good that you're performing this exercise since it's one of the best. Read my Primed for Muscle article for a supramaximal hold technique that will further your gains.
Yes, extra posterior chain work is a damn good idea.