I had a series of posts on my professional blog on my experiences during the Civil Rights Tour that Berea College, where I work now, organized during the summer of 2013. I wanted to put the links here in one place as another way to share those posts with readers. Feel free to click, read, and check them out. Comments are welcome here or there.
- Seminar Day 1: http://gypsylibrarian.blogspot.com/2013/08/berea-college-civil-rights-tour-2013.html. The program starts with two days of seminars on campus to set up the context of the journey. These are my notes from that first day.
- Seminar Day 2; http://gypsylibrarian.blogspot.com/2013/08/berea-college-civil-rights-tour-2013_14.html. Second day of seminar at the Berea College campus.
- Tour Day 1: First day of travel. visited the Alex Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee and the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee.
- Tour Day 2: http://gypsylibrarian.blogspot.com/2013/09/berea-college-civil-rights-tour-2013.html. Visited Birmingham, Alabama.
- Tour Day 3: http://gypsylibrarian.blogspot.com/2013/10/berea-college-civil-rights-tour-2013.html. Visited Montgomery, Alabama and Selma, Alabama.
- Tour Days 4 and 5: http://gypsylibrarian.blogspot.com/2013/10/berea-college-civil-rights-tour-2013_11.html. Visited Memphis, Tennessee, and then return journey to Berea, KY.
At the end of the day, I know a few people on campus read and/or saw the posts. As I noted in one of my posts, we did keep a group journal as well where each member of the group took a turn to write reflections on the experience. The journal notebook is now kept in the library of the Carter G. Woodson Center. I think it can be viewed upon request if you visit (for viewing in their reading room only). However, I am not aware (as of this writing) that any other member of the tour group kept any form of notes, online journal, or blog about the experience. On a side note, we did have a journalist from the town newspaper take the journey with us, and she had said she was writing for a possible article in the local weekly paper, The Berea Citizen. However, after scanning back issues (the paper is not available online), I have not seen any write up (as of this blog post) from the journalist, so I am guessing the editors did not run it given we are in October 2013 by now.
(Crossposted from my personal blog, The Itinerant Librarian)
Here is this week’s collection of stories about reading and the reading life for this week. Basically, these are items related to reading, maybe writing and literacy, that I find interesting and think my four readers might find interesting as well with a little commentary.
- I am not sure that tossing in a few books a nice looking room can really be called a library. These seem to be more reading rooms. However, at least in one case, there is a lending program arranged with a publisher (Penguin) for some kind of book lending. Does that make it a library? Maybe. I will let readers decide on this story: “Hotels Add Libraries as Amenity to Keep Guests Inside.” In the end, like much anything else, it is about making a little (or a lot more) extra money. Via The New York Times.
- This article, “Ebooks v. Cigarettes,” asks us an interesting question: how much do we spend on our books and reading? I will admit I have never really sat down to calculate how much I spend on books, though I can say I borrow a lot from libraries (my academic library where I work as well as my local public library). However, I also buy books, especially things I know libraries might not have, like certain graphic novels, erotica, and other more rare things. I think I may have to try to keep track for a while of what I spend on reading to see how I come out. On an additional note, this is the year I have gotten to use my iPad to read, although I pretty much read free items on it; I don’t buy e-books. The e-books I do read I either get as review copies from NetGalley or Edelweiss, or I borrow from my local public library on Overdrive. I will probably write more on that later. I found the story on Salon.
- Via Kaizen Reading, an article on “9 Reasons to Keep a Reading Journal.” For folks who would like to keep better track of their reading, this may be a good idea. I think it may work for students and researchers as well. I have kept track of most of what I’ve read in my personal journal, and now I supplement that tracking online. But I have done it as part of my personal journal; I don’t have separate reading notebooks, which is something I have considered. I am not sure I am ready to have more than one notebook. I like having my journal where I can write anything in it from notes to quotes to reading notes. For now, that works for me.
- Via Kaizen Journaling, here is “How to Keep an Effective Travel Journal.” This is certainly something I would like to do better. I do often write in my personal journal when I travel, though I am not always consistent. I also usually include postcards, ticket stubs, and other small mementos of my journeys, which I attach to pages in the journal to go along with my writing; this is something the blogger suggests.
- This item is a bit older. Via Fine Books and Collections blog, highlights of the 2012 report on most coveted out-of-print books. I did try to see if BookFinder.com (link to their report), who does the list, had an update for this year, but apparently not (at least not as of this writing). What can I say? I always find trivia like that interesting, specially given that Madonna’s Sex book has remained at the top of this list for a decade or so, not bad for a book many derided then and try to forget now. I guess sex always sells.
Well, we reached a big 4-0 on this semi-regular series of posts on items about books I want to read. Realistically, yes, I know I may not get to read everything I add to these TBR lists, but as any active reader will tell you, one keeps adding to the list anyhow. So, here are the additions this week.
Items about books I want to read:
- Via Boing Boing, a short review of Witch Doctor 2: Mal Practice. The reviewer describes this series as “a kind of Doctor Who for daemonism and the occult.” There is also a review for the first volume of the series, Witch Doctor: Under the Knife.
- Also via Boing Boing, a review of Thomas Willeford’s Steampunk Gear, Gadgets, and Gizmos: a Maker’s Guide to Creating Modern Artifacts. I am not sure I am going to embark on making something anytime soon, but it sounds like an interesting book to look over at least.
- I have always liked Taschen’s art books, especially ones for vintage advertising art. Via IO9, here is a small review of Magic 1400s-1950s. The book, according to the reviewer, “is just what it sounds like: an overview of magicians from late Medieval manuscripts to the period just after World War II.”
- AlterNet has some excerpts of the book The Last Gun: How Changes in the Gun Industry are Killing Americans and What It Will Take to Stop It by Tom Diaz.
- Woodclinched reviews the parody informational book How to Sharpen a Pencil, written by David Reeds and which has a foreword by John Hodgman. I am lukewarm at best about Hodgman’s other work; I have read a bit of his books, and to be honest I was not too impressed. But the subject of pencil sharpening, of all things, sounds like something I might take a chance on, so we’ll see.
- Mitch Daniels is the asshat that used to be governor of Indiana. He is now president of Purdue University (there goes the name of that school). It was recently revealed that he sought to censor opponents of his political views, including what he saw as liberal propaganda in public schools. One of those opponents was, to him anyhow, historian Howard Zinn. Daniels did his best to expunge Zinn’s book, A People’s History of the United States, out of Indiana’s schools. All that accomplished was to create more interest in Zinn’s book. Now, knowing that censorship is often a great form of publicity, another writer begs Mr. Daniels to try to censor him too by telling Mr. Daniels that his book is dangerous too (link to Common Dreams). The author is Peter Dreier, and his book is The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame. I am definitely adding both of the books to the list. If Republican member of the Party of Stupid Mitch Daniels hates them, well, then they must be good reading for the rest of us.
- A book on the con that companies run of basically turning full time employment into part-time low paying work with no benefits. This is the sort of thing that Wal-Mart has made popular and others are now emulating, destroying the U.S. economy in the process. Tom Dispatch featured a review and excerpt of Barbara Garson’s book Down the Up Escalator: How the 99% Live in the Great Recession.
- Via A Case for Suitable Treatment, a review of the Yen Press title Olympos, which is a Japanese manga take on classical Greek mythology.
- From Manga Bookshelf, a review of Sakuran, a manga about courtesans. The review does sound like it would make an interesting reading. This is published by Vertical.
- Via Big Think, a small review and highlight on a new graphic novel about the March on Washington, which recently had its 50th anniversary celebrated. The book, March: Book One (publisher link), is written by Congressman John Lewis. The book is part of a trilogy. Given my recent experience with the Civil Rights Tour that our college sponsored, I am very interested in this book.
Lists and bibliographies:
- Dirty Librarian had a good number of graphic novels in her July 2012 list. From this list, I did read the Batman, Vol. 1: The Court of Owls volume.
- Book Riot has a list of “20 More Books to Steam Up Your Love Life.” Looking for alternatives to that 50 Shades book? You might find a thing or two here.
- Bob Sutton offers a list of “11 Books Every Leader Should Read: Updated.” I am not big on business leadership books, but there may be one or two here I might be interested in.
- Via ALA-GLBT Roundtable, their 2013 Over the Rainbow List of GLBT titles for adults. A hat tip to Lambda Literary.
Posted August 28, 2013on:
Today is the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and freedom. The march is very often known for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech that is known now as the “I Have a Dream Speech.” But there were also other things happening and other people involved in the march. Here are then some links that may be of interest:
- You can read the text of Dr. King’s speech here at this link from the National Archives (PDF document).
- You can listen to the speech here at NPR or here at American Rhetoric.
- You can also listen to some of Dr. King’s words voiced by people in 2013 in this excellent tribute from Harmony Project (link to YouTube).
- Slate has a nice gallery of rare photographs from the event.
- The Atlantic Wire has a nice article on “How We Remember the ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech 50 Years Later.”
- The editors of Dissent magazine on why the marchers marched. The editorial includes links to various articles that may be of interest.
- John Lewis, the last living speaker of the march, reflects in an interview for PBS.
- Civil rights activist and pioneer Gloria Richardson on women in the movement, the rift between Dr. King and Malcolm X, and more. Via Democracy Now!
- Brief article out of Yahoo! News on how the march inspired Latinos. Yes, there was a Latino civil rights movement going on as well.
- Unfortunately, there is a lot of ignorance going on about the march, Dr. King, and the movement. Right Wing conservatives in the U.S. either try to diminish it, ignore it, or at times shamelessly appropriate Dr. King as if Dr. King was a conservative. Dr. King was nothing of the kind. So, in the interest of a public service announcement, I like to the Rude Pundit’s “Handy Talking Points for Dealing with Stupid Conservatives on Today’s Anniversary.” Just keep this on hand when someone tries to say stuff that is not true.
- If you want to see an example of the previously described conservative stupidity when it comes to the march and the civil rights movement, the National Review magazine has often exemplified it. Media Matters offers a summary of “National Review‘s Ugly Civil Rights History.” Another example can be found at Salon magazine, where Joan Walsh summarizes in her column how conservatives just get it wrong in “The right’s outrageous MLK ignorance.” As Walsh writes, “the truth is, today’s conservatives are the direct political and intellectual descendants of people who sneered at the King and his 1963 March on Washington.”
- In the end, you sometimes need to handle ignorance with a bit of humor. In that vein, I direct readers to Newslo‘s piece entitled “Tea Party Members Demand History Remember Brave, White Patriots Who Protested King’s Racist Speech.” It’s worth a look.
This time I am catching up with some older items I have saved on my feed reader. As often is the case when I compile these lists, there is a little bit of everything. I still hold on to the hope that I will read some of these down the road, but for the moment, I want to remember by adding them to my list of books I want to read.
Items about books:
- Via Bending the Bookshelf:
- a review of Medusa: a Love Story by Sasha Summers. This book intrigued me due to the premise. As the reviewer writes, “to think of Medusa as not just a sympathetic character, but a genuine love interest, is daring to the point of genius. . . . ” It is still retelling the myth, but it seems done in a new and different way, so I figure it must be worth a look.
- review of Alice in Fetishland (Amazon link on this one) that brings together urban fantasy and retelling of the classic with fetish, BDSM, and a few other things. In a guest post on the blog, the author discusses the novel a bit more.
- a while back, the folks at Bending the Bookshelf were waiting for Anything for You: Erotica for Kinky Couples edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel. The book is out by now. I have read and reviewed another work by Ms. Kramer Bussel, so I am willing to take a chance on this one. When it comes to good erotica, she is a very good editor with a good eye for finding the good stuff.
- this just sounded totally out there. Ok, that is the only reason it is getting on this list. That, and the title. The review is for Mother’s Shemale Truck Stop Whore. The reviewer writes, “Okay, let’s be honest here – when you are dealing with a book called Mother’s Shemale Truck Stop Whore, [link to Amazon record] you really ought to expect at least a few taboos to be bent (if not broken) and a few lines to be skirted (if not crossed).” On the one hand, I want to giggle, but on the other hand I am just curious enough to consider it.
- A Case for Suitable Treatment reviews the third omnibus volume of Alice in the Country of Hearts (link to WorldCat record for this omnibus). I need to catch up on this tale, and now that they are putting it in omnibus editions may be a good time to do so.
- Via Liquor Snob, a short review of The Brewmaster’s Table, which they describe as “a treasure trove of information on beer styles, brands, and ways to pair brew with food.” Though the book came out in 2005, according to the reviewers, it still holds up pretty well.
- Bookgasm reviews the anthology The Best Horror of the Year, Volume 4 edited by Ellen Datlow. I have to admit that, as of this writing, I have not read much horror lately. I’ve read some other anthologies edited by Datlow, so I am willing to give this a shot.
- Via Guys Lit Wire:
- review a graphic novel of a mystery. The title of the book is Judge Bao and the Jade Phoenix.
- review of the new Ultimate Spider Man series featuring Miles Morales (link to volume 1 and to volume 2). I am not a big Spider Man fan, but I remember when the comics of this first came out and all the fuss over the new guy being Latino and black (for some people, especially some comics geeks, as if it was the end of the world). I am curious enough to want to give this a chance, so I will be looking for it. Nice to see compilations are coming out.
- two books by Sergio Aragones, who many people know from his work in Mad Magazine. The books are Louder than Words and Actions Speak.
- From Library Juice Press, announcement of the book Make Your Own History: Document Feminist and Queer Activism in the 21st Century. It seems to be geared mostly to archivists and such, but I think, from the table of contents, there may be a thing or two that an instruction librarian like me who has a bit of an activist streak may find of interest.
- Via Drinkhacker, a review of Vintage Cocktails: Retro Recipes for the Home Mixologist. I would not call myself a mixologist, but I do enjoy experimenting with a cocktail recipe here or there. I also enjoy looking through vintage cocktail recipe books when I can. Since I can’t always get my hands on old recipe books, this may be the next best thing for me.
Book lists and bibliographies:
- Bookgasm has a Euro Comics round up with some items I may be interested in.
- Lambda Literary highlighted some items last July. Of the list, I am very interested in No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics published by Fantagraphics, but there are some other titles I would consider from the list too.
As always, if you find something interesting from this or another post in this series of mine, feel free to comment and let me know.
Welcome to another edition of this semi-regular feature where I make a list of books I would like to read at some point. I come across books I want to read in various places, and I use these posts to make a note of them for future reference. Maybe you will find a reading idea or two as well here. As always, book links go to WorldCat to help you find it in a local library (unless otherwise noted); I figure you can find a place to purchase the books if need be.
Items about books:
- If you are a parent, you might appreciate this. If you are not, this may tell you a thing or two you need to know before you consider parenting (if you were to consider it, that is). Via Boing Boing, a review of A User’s Guide to Neglectful Parenting.
- In recent news, China was trying to buy Smithfield Foods. The New York Times has a piece in their Sunday Review on China’s rising economic power that I found interesting. I also found interesting the authors of the piece have a book out, and I might want to read it. The book is China’s Silent Army: the Pioneers, Traders, Fixers and Workers Who Are Remaking the World in Beijing’s Image.
- Librarian Avengers blog recommends the book Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City, a memoir by a former resident of Flint, Michigan. As the blogger writes, sometimes you have to leave the home you came from in order to “make some peace with the goddamned place.” I can certainly relate to that sentiment.
- Like Sean Gaffney, dystopian lit is not really my cup of tea. I may read a work in the genre here and there, and that is about it. In his blog, A Case for Suitable Treatment, he finds an item in the genre that may be worth looking at, if nothing else, for the characters. The book is the manga No.6.
- Via Guys Lit Wire, a review of the new Joe Hill book NOS4A2. It sounds intriguing, but I wonder if I really need to read Hill’s previous novels to really appreciate it or not.
- Here are three review items from City Book Review. First, we have a cookbook. But it is not just any cookbook. You stuck inside, maybe in your bunker, after some disaster and are stuck with just your rations and hoarded food? Fear not. You are not stuck just eating out of the can. Now you can make good food out of the hoarded food with The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals. Now, I made a little light out of it, but it actually sounds like an interesting book. And speaking of disasters, how about that plutonium? As in the stuff you use to make atomic bombs? Well, during the Cold War, the material was pretty popular in the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., and someone had to get it out of the ground as well as process it, so on. Those folks lived in what were basically “company towns” and the book Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters tells their history. Finally for this round, they can be disastrous, tools, collector items, or sporting gear (depends on who you ask), but guns are a part of American culture. So, what happens when a guy decides to go talk and be with people who own guns and live the culture? You get this book: Gun Guys: A Road Trip. This actually does sound interesting, and being someone who knows little of the gun culture per se, I am curious to read it.
- Keeping with three books at a time, here are three reviews from BDSM Book Reviews. You guys do know I read some erotica, right? Anyhow, brief warning some of this is NSFW. That out of the way, here we go. First, a review of Violet Blue’s edited anthology Voracious: Erotica for Women. Next is a fan fiction anthology, which I will admit I am a bit skeptical about, but it is edited by Laura Antoniou, who is author of the Marketplace BDSM setting, so I am holding hope. The book is No Safewords: A Marketplace Fans Anthology (Amazon link). Finally, want a bit more Laura Antoniou? Well, her new mystery novel with a BDSM twist is out. Here she is talking about it and her work. The book is The Killer Wore Leather, and by the way, I already have it on my shelf to be read soon; I will post a review once I read it.
- Another one under erotica. This one is Best Lesbian Erotica 2013, published by Cleis Press (they do put out some pretty good anthologies overall. I tend to prefer their erotica over their erotic romance, but either works to read and share with the Better Half). There is a review of it at Erotica For All.
- Via Intoxicated Zodiac, a short review of the book Happy Hour at Home. It is a book about making cocktails and small plates of food, kind of a la tapas I guess. It does sound interesting to look at.
- Via Bookgasm, a review of Fervid Filmmaking: 66 Cult Pictures of Vision, Verve, and No Self-Restraint. According to the reviewer, the book deals with “those movies which author Mike Watt believes to contain everything but the kitchen sink, as if their creators threw in every element imaginable, just in case they never got another chance to direct again.”
Lists and bibliographies:
- This may be good for some people getting ready to watch the new Superman movie (or for after they watch the movie). Via BuzzFeed, a a list of “12 Superman Stories Everyone Absolutely Needs to Read.” I would not say everyone absolutely has to read every item on the list, but there are one or two good ones. One can also argue that there are items missing. For instance, Superman for All Seasons did not make this list, and it is an excellent work. From the list itself, I have read Superman: Secret Identity and Superman: Red Son. I am intrigued by Superman: Brainiac, which I recently placed on hold at my local public library. There may be one or two others I want to read but not as urgently.
- Also via BuzzFeed, a list of “60 Comics Everyone Should Read.” Again, it is one of those relatively subjective lists. There are some good things, and there are some not so good things, but the good things can give a reader just getting into comics and graphic novels a nice exposure. There are a few in here that I have read. One interesting thing they do on this list is give you a suggestion of what to read next if you liked a particular title.
- Book Riot offers a small list of “5 Books on the Business of Books.” That kind of book for a librarian who is also a bibliophile like catnip to a cat.
- Joshua Kim at Inside Higher Ed offers his “Summer Nonfiction Recommendations.” There are one or two titles on this list that spark my interest.
Here is the question of whether I give books as gifts or not. This is in reply to this prompt on “Gifts” from Booking Through Thursday I saw a while back. For the most part, I do not. The only people I give books as gifts are the Better Half and our daughter. For my spouse, I know her pretty well as a reader, plus I know her book collection fairly well, so I am fairly comfortable in choosing books for her. For our daughter, while I know her as a reader too, we find it is better to get her a bookstore gift card and let her choose. However, once in a while she will ask for a specific title or genre; for example, art and drawing books are big with her given she is an artist.
As for other folks, I do not give books as gifts. When it comes to family, the vast majority of them are non-readers. Some may read a newspaper or news online here or there, but that is about it. As for friends, the few I have outside librarianship (and the ones who are in librarianship are few too), it is the same thing: they are non-readers. I don’t buy many gifts as it is, but when I do, books or book-related gift cards are usually not an option. In the end, I have a lot of non-readers in my life. Part of me wonders if maybe I need to make new friends. On a serious note, that is why I do a lot of my sharing about books and reading via blogging and social media. There are plenty of readers out there.