Posts Tagged ‘sex and erotica’
Welcome once again to this semi-regular feature here on Alchemical Thoughts. This time, I got a good number of reviews from City Book Reviews. They don’t always have stuff I am interested in, but when they do, it’s like hitting a jackpot for me as a reader. As always, comments are open, so if you read anything mentioned here, feel free to comment and let me know. Also, reading suggestions are always welcome.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion (link to first omnibus) is one of those series I keep meaning to read. Apparently, new omnibus editions are coming out, and this may be the excuse I need to start. A Case for Suitable Treatment recently reviewed the omnibus with volumes 7-9.
- George Mann has edited yet another collection of Sherlock Holmes tales (i.e. written by people not Conan Doyle). Knowing me, I will probably go looking for it; I like Holmes too much not to take a chance at least. The book is Encounters of Sherlock Holmes: Brand-new Tales of the Great Detective. It was reviewed here at City Book Review.
- It’s Neil Gaiman. That is usually good enough reason for me to take a look. However, these are stories selected by him, but I think I would still take a chance. The book is Unnatural Creatures: Stories Selected by Neil Gaiman. It was also reviewed at City Book Review.
- Another one reviewed at City Book Review. This is on a serious topic, food security and hunger in the U.S. The book is a companion to the documentary of the same title. Sadly I had to say that there was a screening of the documentary here in town, but I missed it because I was out of town at the time, so hoping to read the book (and maybe order the documentary and book for our library later). The book is A Place at the Table by Peter Pringle.
- Via Lambda Literary, interview with Luis Negron, author of the short story anthology Mundo Cruel. They write that “Luis Negrón’s striking debut short story collection, Mundo Cruel (Seven Stories Press [this link to their review of the book]), mines the emotional lives of ‘a small community in Puerto Rico joined together by its transgressive sexuality.’”
- Via City Book Review, this sounds like a book more people in the U.S. need to read now. Contrary to the milquetoast review of “some people believe this, others that,” let’s face facts. The U.S. was not founded as a Christian nation no matter how much the Right Wingers and fundamentalists wish it to be so. This book addresses that. The book is In Freedom We Trust: An Atheist’s Guide to Religious Liberty.
- I used to be pretty good at drawing in my younger days. I have not done it in a while. Maybe this book will help me try it out again. Reviewed at City Book Review, the book is Just Draw It! The Dynamic Drawing Course for Anyone with a Pencil & Paper.
- This time I am getting a good number of book reviews from City Book Review. Here are two comic book compilations of classics. First, a review of Tarzan Archives: The Russ Manning Years, Vol. 1 (Link to publisher. For some reason, I could not find it in WorldCat. Wait, I did find it, but apparently a few librarians gave it a whole different title in cataloging it. Accurate? Probably. Searchable? Not so much. Anyhow, link to WorldCat now). Next, a review of Flash Gordon: The Tyrant of Mongo: The Complete Flash Gordon Library 1937-1941.
- Via Blogging for a Good Book, they review Mark Kurlansky’s The Food of a Younger Land. This book seems awfully similar to America Eats!, which I read. So I may or not pick it up and compare.
- This book has trivia, something I like. Also, it may remind us of those things our parents or other elders told us when we were young. So, let’s take a trip down memory lane and see how much truth our parents imparted or not in Because I Said So! the Truth Behind the Myths, Tales and Warnings Every Generation Passes Down to Its Kids. Reviewed at City Book Review here.
Lists and bibliographies:
- The 2013 Independent Book Awards have been announced. They have a lot of categories, and this year they totaled 382 medals. Worth a look. Odds are good you can find something to read from this big list.
- Want some science fiction and fantasy? The 2012 Nebulas have been announced. The announcement includes winners and nominees.
- Via the blog Papeles Perdidos, a list of “Once novelas para descubrir el corazón del mundo” (11 novels to discover the heart of the world). Article is in Spanish. A few of the titles are basically translations of international works into Spanish, which may be useful for Spanish readers.
- Not quite sure what to make of this news item, but since I am curious reader, who knows. I may seek some of this out down the road. BetaBeat (being a bit alarmist if you ask me) reports on Luna Loupe, an author on Amazon who writes erotica a bit off the beaten path. Basically mermaids, tentacles, etc. I don’t think it is that big a deal, but then again, being a bit alarmist does get the eyeballs to a website I suppose. Anyhow, the story does include links if interested. Here is her Amazon page.
- A few authors and scholars come together to give their lists of “5 Arabic Books to Read Before You Die.” Via Arabic Literature (in English).
- Bobbie Newman, at Librarian By Day, has a list of “Recommended Reading for New and Not-So-New Librarians.” From the list, I do recommend Sutton’s Book, The No Asshole Rule (link to my review) though maybe not for the reasons she suggests. That is a book every library manager does need to read, but also every librarian so they know when to leave Dodge City.
A little bit of everything this time around. There are some newer items and some things I am now catching up.
Items about books:
- The Good Vibes blog features a review of Rachel Kramer Bussel’s anthology Best Bondage Erotica 2012. The review mentions that “a wide variety of bondage styles are showcased, from heavy chains to characters who can be silenced with only a stern gaze. All genders and sexualities are represented, leaving the collection feeling diverse but still focused on erotic bondage.” By the way, the 2013 edition of the book is also out.
- Another erotica anthology. This one is Say Please, which is a collection of lesbian BDSM erotica. It is edited by Sinclair Smith, and it is reviewed in Kissin Blue Kraken (warning: this blog is an adult content blog, so may be NSFW).
- Via Yes! Magazine, a review of Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels and Black Power.
- Lambda Literary reviews a new history of the gay press. The book is Gay Press, Gay Power: The Growth of LGBT Community Papers in America edited by Tracy Baim. It is one of those books someone publishes on Amazon, so it may be a while before I see it, or the book makes it out into mainstream so to speak. But it does sound interesting.
- This is a manga series I was not sure whether to pick up or not. To be honest, the whole librarian suddenly becomes some hero or heroine genre seems cheesy (and I don’t mean that in a good way). In fact, I find that stupid The Librarian series of television movies annoying and dumb, like a very poor librarian’s Indiana Jones wannabe, in spite of the fact a lot of my professional brethren somehow like it. Go figure. Anyhow, this manga seems like it might be entertaining to read. The Manga Critic is reviewing volume 9 of Library Wars (link to volume 1). Sounds like I need to catch up. It’s a series with “slight goofy premise of librarians becoming a paramilitary force to fight censorship.” Now that sounds better.
- A Case for Suitable Treatment has a review of Battle Angel Alita: Last Order, Omnibus 1.
- A discussion of the novel Magic Words and the topic of Jews in the American Wild West at The Prosen People. Here is a bit more on the novel’s author’s work.
- A different idea: taking Medusa the gorgon and making a sympathetic love story out of her tale. That is what Sasha Summers did in her book Medusa: A Love Story. The book is reviewed at Bending the Bookshelf.
- A YA steampunk fantasy novel reviewed at Ninja Librarian. The book is Innocent Darkness. I have mentioned before that I am not a big YA reader, but once in a while I am willing to take a chance.
- Via Bending the Book Shelf, a review of Adventures in Fetishland, which is a BDSM retelling of the Wonderland tale. I do find some retellings or expansions on Wonderland of interest, so we shall see on this one. It is an e-book, so again, not something I may get to right away. The book’s author describes the book’s inspiration sources here.
- And speaking of Alice in Wonderland retellings, here is Alice in the Country of Hearts (Link to first volume in the series). The third omnibus edition is reviewed at A Case for Suitable Treatment.
- The Liquor Snob reviews The Brewmaster’s Table, a book about pairing beer and food. When it comes to liquor and food pairings, most people think wine, so this book may be a way to expand horizons.
Bibliographies and lists:
- The United States Naval Academy’s “Reading List for Life.” A few of them like Ayn Rand’s works (at least one of the professors gushes about how wonderful the book is), which may go to prove that just because they may be military folks does not mean they have good reading taste let alone good critical sense when it comes to books. Still, the list is worth a look.
- The Slog provides some brief reviews of three comic and graphic novels. From the list, I already read My Friend Dahmer, which I do recommend.
- Via the blog Write to Done, a list of “Top 10 Books for Writers You Need to Read Now.”
- In her July 2012 list of books read, the Dirty Librarian has some items of interest.
This time around I have a few books related to information literacy and librarianship; I keep on reading articles, but I have not tackled too many books on this topic, so I am jotting them down to help remedy that. In this installment, you will also find some science fiction and some graphic novels and manga. As always, if you read any of these, feel free to let me know if you liked them or not. You can also share in the comments any suggestions for things you think I should read.
Items about books:
- Via the Journal of Information Literacy (which is open access), something that is directly related to my work and sounds like something I have to read. This is a review of the book of the book Transforming Information Literacy Programs: Intersecting Frontiers of Self, Library Culture, and Campus Community.
- Here is another one from the Journal of Information Literacy, a review of the book Engaging First-Year Students in Meaningful Library Research.
- One more from the Journal of Information Literacy, a review of the book Information Literacy Beyond Library 2.o. The whole 2.o thing seems to be moving on (though some of the bad attitudes seem to remain).
- The Information Literacy Weblog mentioned the book The Busy Librarian’s Guide to Information Literacy in Science and Engineering.
- Via Marketing Matters for Librarians, a review of Building a Buzz: Libraries & Word-of-Mouth Marketing. This may be one I move up the queue a bit sooner. It would have been timely in my previous job, but I think I can still get something out of it now.
- Via A Case For Suitable Treatment, a review of the first volume of the manga Angel Para Bellum.
- I have mentioned now and then that I read Warhammer 40,000 novels, and they often feature the Space Marines, which are armored genetically engineered super soldiers. However, others have done tales of highly armored soldiers such as Robert Heinlein’s Starship Troopers (the book, not the movie). Now, there is an anthology dealing with armored warriors. The title is, well, Armored, and it is reviewed at Bookgasm. This sounds like one I do have to pick up soon.
- John Joseph Adams has another themed science fiction anthology, this one on mad scientists. John Scalzi featured the book in his big idea series. The book is The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination.
- A book that may be helpful if you want to cook and make more things at home. The book is Make the Bread, Buy the Butter by Jennifer Reese. It is reviewed over at Blogging for a Good Book.
- The Prosen People highlighted the cover of the book Electric Dreamland: Amusement Parks, Movies, and American Modernity. At the time they posted, the book was not out. Looks like it is out now, though looking at WorldCat, it does not seem too many libraries have it yet. I may have to investigate some more.
- Via National Public Radio (NPR), a discussion with the author of the book Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution. It is a history of gay rights that draws on in-depth interviews and a lot of archival material. A hat tip to Lambda Literary for this story and the next one.
- Via Edge on the Net, a review of Spandex, a comic collection about a gay superhero team.
- Via My Favourite Books, a review of The Punisher: Girls in White Dresses.
- Via Contemporary Japanese Literature, a review of Speculative Japan 2. The reviewer describes it as “an excellent anthology without even a single dull story. The premise or idea behind each story in the book is uniquely fantastic.” That sounds encouraging.
- Bob Sutton suggests that you check out the book Do Nothing! How to Stop Overmanaging and Become a Great Leader.
- Via Drinkhacker, a review of Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage. The reviewer states that “quite simply, it’s a fantastic read for anyone with even a remotely passing curiosity about bourbon’s expansive history.”
- Via Manga Report, a review of Alice in the Country of Joker, Vol. 1: Circus and Liar’s Game. Sean Gaffney also has a review of this.
- Via A Case for Suitable Treatment, here is a review of Emerald and Other Stories.
- Something a bit different. I do enjoy some reading about food. I have read works by Anthony Bourdain and some others. So, I am willing to give this collection of essays a shot. The book is Best Food Writing 2012, and it was reviewed at City Book Review.
- Via Bookgasm, a review of the first volume in the manga Knights of Sidonia.
Bibliographies and lists:
- A set of three reading lists on Jewish topics, such as Jews and politics, via The Prosen People.
- A set of reviews of lesbian and queer erotica from Lambda Literary, their Cliterotica issue for summer 2012. Ran a bit behind in jotting down this list.
- Via the Food Politics blog, a couple of books on the food industry reviewed.
- Bookgasm highlights a trio of graphic novels from the Dead Space video game franchise. I am not big on video game novels, but once in a while you find something interesting, so I am willing to take a chance.
- The Dirty Librarian has some items that I may be interested in on her list of books she read for January of 2013. From the list, I already read Gonzo.
(Crossposted from my personal blog, The Itinerant Librarian)
I do enjoy reading erotica now and then, and so does The Better Half. However, it is not something I have reviewed in the blog before, though I do always post the reviews on my GoodReads. I figured I would give it a try and post an erotica review now and then to go along with all the other kinds of books I read. I do try to read broadly, so why not reflect it here? Besides I do enjoy this kind of book.
So, let’s start with this one:
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I finished reading this anthology last night. It is a lesbian erotica collection with a sports and female athletes theme. Jocks do have a prominent presence, so I will admit I was a bit skeptical as jocks are not always my thing. However, there is no need to worry. This anthology features 16 stories by authors presenting tales of various female athletes and the women who admire and crave them, or the female athletes who admire and crave other women. I think readers who enjoy the themes of sports and female athletes will find something appealing in the variety of takes on the female athlete: soccer, tennis, swimming and hockey are some of the sports represented in the anthology. There are also boxers, ice skaters, and even classical era female gladiators. As for the sensual element, you will find tales that go from sweet to very hot and heavy to no holds barred sex. I can say that some stories left me wanting more, and that is a good thing. Some stories worked for me better than others, but overall this collection’s stories are smart and well-written.
Let me take some time to comment on some of the stories that I really liked:
* Gina Marie’s “Blood Lust” was the story of the female boxers. It was a sensual story. It also had a small twist where I thought the story would take one direction. Instead, the story went in a different and very delicious route. This was one of my favorites.
* Ily Goyanes, the anthology’s editor, gives us the story of an athlete and an artists in “No, Tell Me How You Really Feel.” I really appreciated how Goyanes, largely using the artist’s point of view, set up the contrast between the two women and led us to a hot and erotic scene. It build up a lot, but when it got there…oh boy! This is a tale that left me wanting more.
* Kiki De Lovely’s “Facing the Music” about a lesbian couple attending a high school reunion was amusing. I think readers who have faced this prospect of attending a high school reunion will relate, especially if the idea is not the most appealing thing. For me, the story worked because the characters fall within my generation, so some of the pop culture references made me feel at home. This story does feature a very nice, quick and hot scene that makes it well worth it.
* And I definitely have to mention Paisley Smith’s “Cymone’s Dominatrix.” I was not expecting a story about female gladiators in some ancient time given all the other stories are more contemporary in setting. I am glad the editor included it. If you like some kink, some dominance and submission between strong females in a very hot, sensually charged setting, then this is the story for you. Add to it that the tale is very well-written with a lot of detail, and you can see this story is not just an erotic story; it is a well-crafted fantasy. As for the tale’s end, all I will say is it reminded me of Frank Stockton’s short story “The Lady or The Tiger,” and I mean that as a compliment.
Overall, if female athletes are your thing, if you fantasize about that strong, confident female at the gym or the soccer field, or maybe you find ice skaters hot, this is a collection for you.
(In compliance with FTC rules, also known as keeping The Man happy, I disclose this book was provided to me by the publisher for review purposes).