Another post and another list of books I would like to read some day. One thing is certain. I will never run out of books to read, and that is a good thing. I also hope my four readers out there find something good to read from these lists once in a while. So, if you pick up a book from any of these posts, please feel free to leave me a comment and let me know. I would love to hear from you.
For anyone who has not read these posts before, this is about me listing books I would like to read. I include the source that gave me the idea about the book, say a review, an article, so on, in order to be able to remind myself why I included the book on the list. In these posts, I also include any lists and bibliographies on topics that may be of interest.
Items about books I want to read:
- In the United States, and let us be honest, a few other parts of the world, poverty can be big business for the right people doing the exploiting. In the U.S., they raise that to an art form when it comes to taking programs meant to help the poor and those in need and trying to privatize them to make money for exploitative corporations while taking those funds away from those that need them. Via The Atlantic, here is a discussion of the issue and highlight of the book The Poverty Industry.
- Thomas Frank, author of Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?, talks about what the hell happened to the Democratic Party in the United States. One of the things he argues is that “the problem with establishment Democrats is not that they have been bribed by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and others, but that long ago they determined to supplant the GOP as the party of Wall Street.” I would say in essence, the Democrats in the U.S. have become “Republican-lite.” Story via Democracy Now!
- On a bit of humor along with eroticism, apparently at one point hipster erotica was a thing, and Hannah Wilde wrote a few books on it to the point she has a series of The Complete Hipster Gangbangs (link to Amazon on this one. I am sure you understand this will not be in WorldCat anytime soon). The story comes via VICE. Sometimes it amazes me the things I can find out there.
- Here is a possible addition to my list of books for the 2016 Horror Reading Challenge, which I am doing this year. The book is Blood Related, and it was reviewed at Horror Novel Reviews. Here is a little something from the review: “We have a very rough-around-the-edges family. A serial killer for a father, drunk for a mother, and twin boys who witness more than any child should.”
- Laugh now, but in some distant future, men could be forced to make love to beautiful women. At least that is how Pagan Passions would put it. You can download the book for free here (it is in public domain). And yes, a few libraries still have it too. The book was featured at the WTF Bad Science Fiction Covers blog. It is a pity the blog went on hiatus. It was an amusing blog.
- Tarot with Jeff recently got a book as a birthday gift from a friend. I need to find more friends like he has. My friends do not get me jack and shit for my birthday. Anyhow, the book he received was Benebell Wen’s Holistic Tarot, and it looks like a good book for me to read to help along in my Tarot learning journey.
- Speaking of Tarot, when I started my journey to learn how to read Tarot cards, I started it with a Marseilles Tarot deck. While I do like the deck for being a classic and bringing me some pleasant memories of youth, I could not do much reading with it because the Minor Arcana is not illustrated. I was just not able to develop my intuition enough, and I had to keep constantly turning to the book. So, I switched the deck I use now, the Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti, which is a modern, more visual deck. However, I do intend to go back to using my Marseilles once I feel I have learned the basic meanings well enough to need less visual prompts. Unlike the Rider Waite Smith Tarot system, there are not many books to help you learn the Marseilles deck. Well, lucky for me, The Moon Parlor mentions a book just for that: Marseille Tarot: Towards The Art of Reading. The other big author in learning Marseilles Tarot in modern times is Alejandro Jodorowsky, who is also mentioned in the post. His book is The Way of Tarot, a book that I have seen mentioned in a few other places, and I am likely to add to my collection. When it comes to learning Marseilles Tarot, I need all the help I can get.
- Via Death and Tarot, a video highlighting the book 78 Degrees of Wisdom by Rachel Pollack. From what I understand, this is considered a classic in Tarot studies.
- Via Benebell Wen’s blog, a review of Foundations of the Esoteric Traditions. The book is a companion to the Tarot of the Holy Light Tarot deck. As it is self-published, just visit her post for links and details.
- At the Eternal Athena Tarot blog they’ve been reading the book Tarot as a Way of Life.
- Moving to other topics, Dick Gregory recently wrote an essay for college students about knowing when to pick your battles and what really matters in activism. He also mentions his autobiography, which he entitled Nigger, which the essay has inspired me to add to my reading list.
- I find old paperbacks and their covers fascinating, including the so-called sleazy ones. Well, there is a book out on those covers highlighted at Bookgasm. The book is Sin-a-Rama: Sleaze Sex Paperbacks of the Sixties edited by B. Astrid Daley and Adam Parfrey. The book is also highlighted in this article from Dangerous Minds.
- Like tacos? Want to learn more about tacos? Then maybe the book Tacopedia could help. It was featured at Wink Books.
- The Library Juice blog points to a new journal in library science, the Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy. Sounds like one to add to my reading list. Their first issue has a review of one of Library Juice’s books, which is of interest to me. The book is Where are all the Librarians of Color? The Experiences of People of Color in Academia.
- The Rural Blog has a post on “Book about extended Appalachian family helps explain trials of the lesser-educated working class.” The book is Hillbilly Elegy.
- Via Democracy Now!, a discussion on how Donald Trump made his fortune with public subsidies and political favors with a reporter who has tracked and covered Trump since Trump early days. That reported is author of a Trump biography: Trump: The Greatest Show on Earth: The Deals, the Downfall, the Reinvention. The book was published in 1991, but it has recently been released again as an e-book with some updates. For those wanting to learn more about the man, this book is a possibility, and in the report, the author provides various updates.
Lists and bibliographies:
- My friend Mark Lindner read and reviewed the first two books of the manga series Black Butler. This is one I have had my eye on for a while. My daughter has read some of it, and she also has good things to say about it.
- June is LGBTQIA Pride Month. Library Juice highlights some books that may be of interest to librarians and information professionals during that month and the rest of the year.
- Signature Reads every so often puts out some nice articles with book lists on various current topics of interest. Here are some of their recent lists:
- “Come November: 5 Books to Understand the Modern World.” These are books you may want to read to get ready for the U.S. 2016 elections.
- “7 Books to Understand Our Shaky Relationship with Law Enforcement.“
- “The Islamic State: 4 Books to Understand ISIS.”
Getting this done on time this time. This is the list of books I reviewed at The Itinerant Librarian for June 2016. If you missed any, please click on the book title links to check out the reviews. As always, if you read any of the books, you are welcome to comment and let me know your thoughts on the book.
- I continue my journey of learning how to read Tarot cards. I acquired the Easy Tarot kit published by Llewellyn Worldwide. The kit includes the book Easy Tarot Handbook, which I read and reviewed. It also includes a deck of the Gilded Tarot cards by artist Ciro Marchetti, and I reviewed the deck with the book review.
- I enjoyed reading about Lando Calrissian before he ran Cloud City in Star Wars: Lando.
- I finally finished reading a big Warhammer 40,000 book. This month I reviewed The Blood Angels Omnibus. This book contains two novels, a short story, and an appendix.
- This next book about Tarot was just a nice little art book, and it probably ignited my collector lust a bit more. The book is simply titled Tarot Cards.
- I finished reading the Battle Pope series. Here are my reviews for Battle Pope, Volume 3: Pillow Talk and Battle Pope, Volume 4: Wrath of God.
- I read Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, the FBI, and a Devil’s Deal, which is the book that was basis for the film Black Mass starring Johnny Depp. In the review, I also include some additional thoughts on the film, which I watched after reading the book.
- And the last review for this month was The Creative Tarot. This is not just a book about Tarot. It is a book about creativity, so writers and artists, whether you use Tarot or not, you can still get some good use out of this book. For me, it is a great book for writers as well as a good resources for learning Tarot.
I recently came across this list of “100 Must-Read Books About Books.” I tend to be very skeptical when I see one of these 100 books lists of whatever the topic is that inspired the compiler because very often the stuff on those lists is just not that great. In the case of some so-called classics that are being forgotten, perhaps they are best left forgotten. Now in terms of books about books, as a librarian and as an avid reader, I find the topic interesting. I do read some books about books, mainly nonfiction. I have found that fiction “about books” is not really that great, and often the “books” are actually tangential and not the main focus even. In terms of the nonfiction in this topic, there are some books I even reread now and then.
So, what have I read from the list? Not as much as you would think. Some of what I have read is good, and there are even one or two I might recommend. Others not so much, and there are even books I have abandoned because they were just bad. I am going to comment a bit on the ones I have read, that I may have tried to read, or have on my TBR list. If I reviewed the book, I will link to it.
From their fiction list:
- Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie. I read this eons ago (I think it was before I started reviewing books), and I remember hating it. I mainly hated the ending. Yea, there is something about books, mostly because there is some reading of Balzac going on but other than that it’s about two guys pining for a girl.
- The Club Dumas by Arturo Pérez-Reverte. I read this in its original Spanish. I remember it being a very intricate book. The attention to detail about the antiquarian book trade is something that folks who find that interesting will enjoy. As I note in my review, there is a movie based on the book, but it leaves a lot of stuff out from the book.
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I am familiar with it mainly because I had to teach it in high school. I probably will not be rereading it any time soon due to that experience.
- The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. Another one that I read ages ago. I remember struggling to get through it; Eco packs a lot into the book. You can tell the guy is a literary theorist. However, I felt reading it was worth it, and I am planning on rereading it down the road.
- The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books #1) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. This is one I dropped. I actually picked it up in original Spanish as well, and I tried to read it. It was terrible in terms of the writing and the sappy material. What the hell readers see in this author to make this such an overrated book is beyond me. The Cemetery of Forgotten Books was an intriguing idea, and it is probably the reason so many librarians drool over this book, but it is just not a good book. You want stories about books and depositories and so on? Go read some Borges.
From their nonfiction list:
- Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason by Nancy Pearl. Nancy Pearl is the uber heroine for most librarians, especially those who do reader’s advisory. Do not get me wrong; she has done a lot to get people reading. However, she has sort of become a “franchise” and books after this first one feel more like she is stretching the brand. She has not reached Chicken Soup for the Soul series level yet. I read this one and her second book, More Book Lust. They are nice books to browse, and as I said in my reviews, the first book is the best of the set.
- The Book of Lost Books: An Incomplete History of All the Great Books You’ll Never Read by Stuart Kelly. Another one I dropped. I thought this really had potential, but damn it was one seriously boring reading.
- The Book on the Bookshelf by Henry Petroski. I have this on my TBR list, but I am highly skeptical about picking it up. I tried reading his other book on the history of pencils, The Pencil: a History of Design and Circumstance, but I dropped it because it was, again, a seriously boring book. Now keep in mind, I enjoy microhistory books. Those are books that delve deeply into a single subject, so it pained me to drop that one. So on the one hand, I want to give this other book a chance, but on the other hand, ugh.
- The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell. I recently read this one, and it was one I really liked.
- Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman. Read it a while back.
- A History of Reading by Alberto Manguel. Another one I read a while back. This is one I am planning on rereading soon. Manguel is a great and very evocative writer. Not listed, amazingly enough, is Manguel’s other book, The Library at Night, which is excellent, and if you are a librarian, it will make you feel all warm and fuzzy too.
- A Passion for Books: A Book Lover’s Treasury of Stories, Essays, Humor, Love and Lists on Collecting, Reading, Borrowing, Lending, Caring for, and Appreciating Books by Harold Rabinowitz. This is one of my favorite books. In fact, I listed it in my recent post on comfort books.
- Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. I read this. Hated it. The book went on to become a selection for women’s book clubs wanting to read something “edgy” as it deals with book censorship in Iran and women there trying to read illicit books. Problem is the book is not that good in terms of writing and when you get down to it not that interesting either. But I guess after a few glasses of wine during book club, it may look better.
- Sixpence House: Lost in a Town of Books by Paul Collins. I liked this one, but I also had some reservations about it. You can check out my review.
- So Many Books, So Little Time: A Year of Passionate Reading by Sara Nelson. I read this too. It had its pluses and minuses. Again, feel free to click the link and check out my full review.
- A few other nonfiction titles from the list I have on my TBR list:
- Forgotten Bookmarks: A Bookseller’s Collection of Odd Things Lost Between the Pages by Michael Popek. I do follow the blog for Forgotten Bookmarks, so I am interested in seeing what selections made the book.
- A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books by Nicholas A. Basbanes. I have read other books by Basbanes, and oddly enough, have not read this one yet. I do have it on my shelf to get to it down the road.
- The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession by Allison Hoover Bartlett. My local public library has this an audiobook, and since I am doing an audiobooks reading challenge for 2016, I may pick it up.
- The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester. I have heard good things about this one, so maybe one day I will get to it.
- Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone. I want to read this mostly because I have read something else by these authors.
I have read 13 out of 100 with some additional drops. Do keep in mind that though it is a big list, there are books missing. Have you folks read any of the books on the list? Do you folks have a favorite book about books and reading that did not make the list? Let me know in the comments. If it was good, tell me why it was good, and I will add it to my TBR list. If it was bad, let me know why I should avoid it. Folks talking about books, good and bad, after all is one way reader’s advisory works out.
I just realized as June 2016 is coming to an end that I did not post my list of reviews for May a bit earlier. So, here it is. These are the books I reviewed at The Itinerant Librarian for the month of May 2016 with links to the reviews. If you missed any, feel free to check them out. As always, if you do read any of the books feel free to come on back and leave me a comment. Tell me what you thought of the book, positive or negative. Also, suggestions for books I could read and review are always welcome.
- I read a nice graphic novel about Buddhist monk Nichiren.
- I indulged with some humor reading with My Bad: A Zits Treasury and Zits Unzipped. If you enjoy the comic strip in newspapers, you will probably like these books.
- I continued reading the recent run of Batman from DC Comics. This time I read Batman, Volume 8: Superheavy. Other DC titles I reviewed in May are Robin Son of Batman, Volume 1 and Batman: Europa.
- I read some horror with Hell House.
- I learned a bit of what it may take to be a hobo with The Hobo Handbook.
- I read a bit of horror combined with romance in the excellent The Complete Love Hurts.
- Need a little reading material for your trip to the bathroom? Maybe you would consider Uncle John’s Factastic Bathroom Reader.
- Much like Dilbert, I do wonder When Did Ignorance Become a Point of View?
- Did a bit more of reading about Tarot with Reading and Understanding the Mysteries of Tarot.
I have to say that I do not really watch much live television these days. Now I do not want to sound like one of those hipsters who brag about not owning a television set. I like watching television. The problem is that there are not many shows I find appealing or engaging, and the few that I do I just record on the DVR to watch later. That leads me to the other reason I am watching less television: the fucking, seemingly never ending commercials. It’s bad enough you have to pay for cable, and you still get a ton of advertising. That is the nice thing about the DVR; you can zip right through the ads. These days television is more advertising than content. Now some may say I should cut the cord and stream stuff. But honestly, “watching TV” on my computer is not terribly appealing. Heck, I can barely stand watching YouTube for any long stretch of time, which by the way is starting to get irritating since they started also shoving advertising at the beginning of videos. That’s what your other advertising on the side is for, you twits. We keep the cable mostly for the few channels we do record stuff on the DVR from, and around here, because the cable provider is the only one with the high speed internet, so even if I “cut the cord,” I still have to pay those pirates for my internet so I could do the streaming those cable cutters all go gaga about. Not really cutting the cord that much, huh?
So these days, I find myself turning off the television when I can in favor of a few other options. One option is surfing the web and reading stuff online. I have a big and diverse list of sources I follow. I keep track of them on my RSS reader, which though many have given up on, I still use as it helps me keep track of the stuff I am interested in. Also the feed reader holds on to the stuff until I actually read it. Unlike Twitter or Facebook, something will not disappear into the ether if I miss logging in one day. And if too much stuff piles up on the RSS reader, I can always mark as read, and let it build up again. The other thing I do once in a while is watch YouTube. These days, given I am learning how to read Tarot cards, I use it to find tutorials on that as well as videos from other Tarot users and collectors.
Another option for viewing is getting DVDs from my public library. They do not have a terribly big selection given it is a small rural town library, but I usually manage to find something interesting to watch. I often look for older things I may have enjoyed in the past. For instance, they have the complete run of Hill Street Blues, and it was a real pleasure to watch all of it once more. Television networks and channels just do not write shows like that anymore. I have also discovered other things such as Foyle’s War, which they also have the complete series, and I enjoyed it immensely. So go ahead, explore your local public library for things to watch. You never know what you may find, and it will be commercial free (for the most part. Often you do get trailers for other things from the company that put out the DVD).
Finally, the best option for me is reading books. I get my books from various places. I get some from my local public library. Though I work in an academic library, and I do get a book from my workplace once in a while, when it comes to popular types of reading the public library serves my needs better. As I mentioned, I also get some books from the academic library I work in, mostly heavier nonfiction and academic titles. However, I also use the Interlibrary Loan service (ILL) from my academic library to get titles I may want that neither of my libraries have. I do use Interlibrary Loan for both serious books and more escapist fluff. For instance, I am reading through the Horus Heresy, and I usually get that series via ILL. In addition, I do buy some books as well, especially things that I enjoy and that I know my libraries do not carry as a general rule. I buy my books mostly used, but I do get a new one here or there if I feel a need to have it sooner. Finally, since I am a book reviewer, I also get some galleys from various sources, especially via NetGalley. In the end, I have plenty of reading options, and they are all better than most anything television offers these days. Even the recent trend of shows based on comics books (but without the actual heroes) is just not that appealing when I can go read the source material, which is better anyhow.
Bottom line is reading is just a lot more interesting. I get a lot more out of it in terms of learning and entertainment, and I can find more diversity in terms of content that I would on television. That’s my two cents.
For any of my three readers who may be curious, here is what I am reading these days. I am one of those readers who reads more than one book at a time:
- Nicholas Pileggi, Casino. For some reason, this is a year I have been a bit more interested in books that gave the basis for films. I will also try to read his Wiseguy, which is the basis of the film Goodfellas.
- Anne Rice, Interview with the Vampire. This is one of those that I was lukewarm about reading. I have seen and enjoyed the film. The book does start kind of slow, so I hope it picks up the pace. I am reading it not so much because I want to see how the film messed it up or not but to add a book to my horror challenge reading list for 2016.
- Benjamin Law, Gaysia. This is one I am enjoying. Benjamin Law takes us on a tour of Asia to see all its queer fabulousness. So far, the travels reveal moving, sometimes funny, sometimes very serious experiences. I will be reviewing this soon.
- Aaron McConnell, et.al., The Comic Book Story of Beer. Yes, this is a history of beer in graphic novel format.
- Rachel Kramer Bussel, Dirty Dates. This is my current erotica reading selection. I have been a bit stuck on this one. It has been slow reading not because it is bad. Far from it, it is very good. The problem is I have had a few setbacks happen in real life. When shit happens in real life, my mood to read erotica just fizzles out, and a book in this area gets put aside in the hopes when things get better I pick it up again. Thing is even when things get back to normal, it takes me a bit to get back on track. However, I do hope to finish it this month, and I will review it then.
I have seen this prompt in at least two places. The most recent was P.Z. Myers’ blog, where he says he got it from The Bloggess. Prior to that, I saw it over at the Stacked blog. The Bloggess puts it as follows:
“What are your comfort books? The ones you’ve read over and over…more times than you’ve read your very favorite books. The ones you’d take on a desert island as a medicine, or would need to pull out on a turbulent plane ride? Do those books even exist for you?”
These can be also favorite books, but they do not have to be. These are more the books that pull off the shelf when you need to go to one of your special places and get away from the world. Notice I say special places because those places do not have to be happy places. They are places, whether bright or dark, that you just feel right at home.
My comfort books vary from fiction to nonfiction. Usually these are the book I read when I need something familiar, something that gives me some warmth, and that I can fairly easily immerse myself in. I have read them before and every so often I need to read them again. It may also be that I need some quick escape from reality, so a known element is desired. So, which are my comfort reads? Here are some:
- One Hundred Years of Solitude (Spanish language edition). Every so often, I am not sure how, I just know it’s time to head back to Macondo. For me, this book is an example of perfection when it comes to universal fiction. When I need to lose myself, a trip to Macondo to see the ice and the wonders of Melquiades and remember the rain and so much more feels like a home away from home for me. I am not providing a specific book link as there are many editions out there, and the book has been translated in various languages, so odds may be good you can find an edition in your language. My personal copy, which is tattered and held together by a rubber band when I am not reading it, was my mother’s personal paperback copy. It is one of the very few items of hers I managed to get after she passed on. So it is not just a comfort read, but it also just a reminder of her as well and the fact that she help shape me as a reader.
- A Passion for Books, edited by Harold Rabinowitz and Rob Kaplan. I am not sure how many times I have read this, but it is one of my comfort reads. What I like about this book is that is a collection of short pieces, essays, quotes, trivia, etc. This means I can skip around the book and read a bit here and a bit there for some comfort.
- 3 x Carlin: an Orgy of George. This big volume collects three of George Carlin’s books, and it does include some of his classic routines. When I get sick and tired of the bullshit and nonsense in the world, I turn to George Carlin’s book and his humor. He tells it like it is in a time when not too many people do that. I certainly miss him and his wit and great mind. He definitely deserves to be known as the thinking man’s comedian.
- The Godfather. I have not visited with the Corleones for a while, but this is another comfort read for me. When I need to go a bit darker, this is one of my options. Plus say what you might, there are lessons to be found in this book. Again, pick your favorite edition.
- Oh, and for Halloween season, it does not feel right until I have re-read Batman: The Long Halloween. This has been tradition for me for a few years now. It is a favorite book. As other people read things like The Night Before Christmas during the Christmas season, I read this book during October.
So now readers, your turn. I invite you to share in the comments, or maybe you write a post of your own and share the link to your blog, what are your comfort reads? Why are those choices your comfort reads?
Once more, we are adding to the ever growing TBR book list. So many books, so little time. By the way, if you read any of these, feel free to make a comment and let me know what you think. It may convince me to move the book up the queue and read it sooner.
Items about books I want to read:
- Some of you may know that I write a semi-regular feature at The Itinerant Librarian entitled “Signs the Economy is Bad.” Well, here is a definite sign the economy is bad. Affordable housing is scarce, and evictions are becoming a serious problem. You can learn more about this issue in the new book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. The author was profiled and talked about his work for The Christian Science Monitor.
- Here is another book about poverty in the U.S. and why the poor in the U.S. just keep getting poorer. The book is $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, and it was discussed at The New York Review of Books.
- Not that I need anyone to tell me that the US government, especially the US Congress, sucks royally. The evidence of how fucked up it is and the fact they do nothing more than represent moneyed interests is widely available for those willing to see. But hey, if you need more convincing, apparently an anonymous congressman decided to write a tell-all of just how bad it is. Via The Week, the book is The Confessions of Congressman X. (Link to Amazon record as WorldCat does not have it yet as of this post). I am betting this is in similar vein to Primary Colors, which when it came out was also published by an anonymous, except Primary Colors was fiction.
- Let’s take a look at food. Here is a new book about ethnic cuisines highlighted at Food Politics. The book is The Ethnic Restaurateur.
- I enjoy a good cocktail now and then, and I do find cocktail recipe books as well as books about the drinking culture of interest. Thus I am adding The Bar Book to this list. The book was featured at Wink Books. The book is labeled as not a recipe book but a techniques book, so maybe I can learn a new trick or two.
- As I continue my journey learning about Tarot and how to read the cards, I am also starting to collect Tarot card decks. I collect playing card decks, so one, collecting Tarot decks seemed natural, and two, I do like the art in a few other decks, and I would like to learn to read from them too down the road. A deck I find fascinating and intriguing is the Thoth Tarot created by Crowley and Harris. It is a complex deck, so I will probably need a book or two to help me work with it. One of those might be The Ultimate Guide to the Thoth Tarot. The book was reviewed at @TABITarot’s blog.
- I am familiar with Oneida silverware, and I vaguely knew there had been a utopian community named Oneida, but I never made the connection until now. So now I can pick up this new book and learn more about the topic. The book is Oneida: From Free Love Utopia to the Well-Set Table. It was reviewed at Blogcritics.
- As we all know, performance reviews are the bane and annual ritual of banality and inanity a lot of workers, including those of us in academia, have to put up with. Personally, I believe whoever came up with the idea and his or her descendants and supporters should be lined up against the wall when the revolution comes. Since it may take a while for the revolution to happen, we have to live with performance management. The author of this new book argues that there is a fix. I am skeptical, but I am willing to read it and take a chance. The book is How Performance Management Is Killing Performance – and What to Do About It. It was reviewed also at Blogcritics.
- I can’t quite recall where I saw this book first, but I know it was before it became the latest book for librarians to drool over. I tend to avoid the librarian drool books, which from the few I have read and reviewed I find they are often just pandering to librarians seeking some assurance their jobs are valid kind of thing. However, this one sounds interesting and deals with a timely topic in the news (international terrorism and saving rare works), so I will likely give it a shot down the road. The book is The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu, and it was reviewed at Based on a True Story.
- This is just one of those curiosity things I find in my RSS feeds. Magic and Mayhem blog author has found a free link to a book called The Black Toad. Apparently, this is of interest to witches and other similar practitioners. If this interests you, you can go get it as well. I did download a copy. I may not get to it right away, but I hope to down the road.
- Next, “if you want it edgy, rough and no holds bar, this is the book for you.” So say the authors at BDSM Book Reviews about the book Show Yourself to Me: Queer Kink Erotica by Xan West.
- Guys Lit Wire reviews the graphic novel, or as they call it, a “graphic narrative,” The Beats. They say it is “a very readable look at a bunch of mid- to late- twentieth century American writers.”
- Let’s add a little horror to the reading list. This book is described as a “truly spectacular novel. It combines history, animals, horror, intrigue and superb writing. It is a very well written and intricate story so be alert and pay attention” by Horror Novel Reviews. Sounds good enough to me. The book is Dark Neighborhoods; it is an e-book out of Amazon. While I usually do not care for those, this does sound intriguing.
- Also via Horror Novel Reviews, they featured the book Black Creek. The reviewer says that the book author “does something very unique with this story: he creates two antagonists for a group of unlikely heroes overcome.”
- Let’s add a little professional reading. Actually, this is one that I think not only I need to read it, but it may also be one to order for my library as I think it may be of interest locally. Library Juice Press has published the book Progressive Community Action: Critical Theory and Social Justice in Library and Information Science.
Lists and bibliographies:
- Here is a list of LGBTQ webcomics. I have not seen some of these, so I will be adding them to my feed reader as much as possible. The article also includes links if you wish to buy a print version for your own. Via Bisexual Books blog.
- Book Riot has an article on “Exploring BDSM through Erotica.” This is a very small sampling. It did pick up on a couple of Alison Tyler’s works, which are very good (I have read other things by her), but I think the article misses a few other good works such as some of Rachel Kramer Bussel’s anthologies like her Best Bondage Erotica (my review of her 2014 edition). Still, it will give you a start, and it certainly is better than thinking 50 Shades of Grey is a way to explore safe, sane, and consensual BDSM.
- Another list from Book Riot. This one on “100 Must-read Books about Books.” I do not think all 100 of them are really “must-reads” but there are a few good gems in this listicle, especially under nonfiction. I have a read a few from the list, which I may highlight in a future post.
- This I think is useful not just for anyone who may want to get into reading the long running manga Naruto but also for folks who have been reading it and need to keep track of things. Via Panels, here is a “Reader’s Guide Naruto.“