Alchemical Thoughts

It is amazing that I have made 50 of these lists already. I can tell you that lacking something to read will not be a problem anytime soon. As always, if you read any of the books mentioned on this post, feel free to let me know what you think. The comments are always open.

 

CuriousGeorgeReading

Items about books I want to read:

  • When my mother passed away a few years back, my coworkers did not quite know what to do about me. You see, I am a heathen, and a lot of my coworkers were Christians (including some of the fundamentalist variety). For some reason they thought that if they said something like “I am keeping you in my prayers” that they were going to offend me. In reality, they were not. I may be a heathen, but I am fairly chill when it comes to others having their beliefs. In the end, they were all, as my mother used to say, running around like chickens with their heads cut off to avoid just talking to me. It was seriously awkward. Maybe a book like this might have been helpful for them. The book is Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing To Do With God by Greta Christina. She points out it has been reviewed here.
  • Dreamland has been on my TBR list for a bit now. It sounds like it may be similar to Methland, which I did read. The book got a brief mention in Mother Jones here.
  • I would not mind reading the anthology Smut Peddler (link to seller website as it is not exactly a library title) sometime. It is mentioned, with an excerpt here at IO9.
  • I always enjoy books about books and reading. So, this book, My Bookstore, where writers write about their favorite bookstores, sound interesting. It was mentioned at San Francisco Book Review.
  • I think the title in this one is a bit misleading. The author of this memoir did bind a book for the Pope, once it seems (I would have expected the title to mean the Pope had some sort of “royal” book binder). The book itself is more about the used and antiquarian book trade overall. Still, sounds interesting enough. The book is The Pope’s Bookbinder, and it is also mentioned at San Francisco Book Review.
  • Along with reading about books, things related to books and writing fascinate me as well. So a book on the history of paper certainly sounds interesting. The book is On Paper, and it was highlighted at San Francisco Book Review.
  • An Alison Tyler erotica anthology is always a welcome read. Her anthology of short short erotic stories, Sudden Sex, was reviewed at BDSM Book Reviews.
  • This got lost in the shuffle for me. Walt Crawford has a book out on social media in public libraries. Though I am an academic librarian, I often find I learn much from some practices in academic libraries, so I am adding the book to my reading list. The book is Successful Social Networking in Public Libraries, and I saw it via an ALA press release a while back.
  • Here is another shop title so to speak. Being an instruction librarian who seeks to improve his practice, this kind of book is of interest. The book this time is Feminist Pedagogy for Library Instruction, and it was discussed at Cat Lady Librarian.
  • The blog Blogging for a Good Book suggests Swamp Thing, Volume 1 by Scott Snyder. As I have enjoyed other works by Snyder, specially his American Vampire series, I am very willing to give this one a chance. They also suggest Hawkeye, Volume 1.
  • A little something for foodies. For me, this just sounded intriguing. Marion Nestle at Food Politics gave the book a blurb. The book is 50 Foods.
  • Interesting in food issues and waste? The book American Wasteland may be of interest. It was discussed at The Blue Review.
  • Another book on the recession and explaining why things imploded (in large measure, surprise surprise, it was the greedy S.O.B.’s of the financial sector). Blogcritics takes a look at Confronting Capitalism.
  • The Lowrider Librarian highly recommends the book Citizen. Very relevant collection of essays to what is going on in the nation from racism to aggression.
  • Now, I am not a connoisseur, but I have taken a bit more interest in learning about whiskey since I moved to Kentucky. Drinkhacker offers a review of the book Tasting Whiskey.
  • And while we are talking spirits, Drinkhacker also has a review of a book on gin. The book is The Spirit of Gin.
  • Here is one I have been wanting to read for a while. Powell’s highlighted a while back the book The Intern’s Handbook.
  • Here is another LIS book I need to add to my TBR list, and I probably need to read it sooner rather than later, via Library Juice blog, the book is Informed Agitation.
  • On a different track, here is a history of sex work. The book is Sex Workers Unite, and it was reviewed at Lambda Literary.
  • The Intoxicated Zodiac found this book to be hilarious. I may have to check it out, maybe pass it on to The Better Half when I am done. The book is Reasons Mommy Drinks.
  • Smoking on campuses can be a hot button topic. I can tell you that in the campus I work now, whenever the debate of totally banning it comes up (right now, there are outdoor designated smoking areas), both sides get seriously emotional and often aggressive. To help consider the topic, this book may help. It offers an analysis of students and their smoking behavior. The book is Lighting Up, and it was reviewed at Inside Higher Ed.

 

Lists and bibliographies:

Photo from Flickr user Raider of Gin (fairerdingo). Image used under terms of Creative Commons 2.0 Generic Attribution License.

Photo from Flickr user Raider of Gin (fairerdingo). Image used under terms of Creative Commons 2.0 Generic Attribution License.

I thought I had this done earlier, but I checked, and it turned out it was in draft form in the blog’s cue. I think I got interrupted the first time I was typing it, and then sort of forgot. Anyhow, here it is at last. This is the list of books I reviewed at The Itinerant Librarian for March 2015. Feel free to check them out. If you read any of them, feel free to comment.

  • I started the month with a trip to the world of Judge Dredd with Judge Dredd: Anderson, Psi Division.
  • I reviewed the second book I read for the Dean’s Faculty Book Reading Group here at the college. The book is That’s So Gay! The book is about microaggressions in and around the LGBTQIA community.
  • I went back to Cybertron with the Transformers in Transformers: Primacy.
  • Fans of The X-Files will probably like this one. We get a modern case that may have a connection to the very early days of the FBI and the formation of the X-Files. The comic is X-Files: Year Zero.
  • I also reviewed Meka, “where civilization is defended by giant, humanoid vehicles known as ‘Meka. . . . ‘”
  • You know all those dishes you read about in works of literature? Well, this author set out to recreate some of them, and she took pictures too. The book is Fictitious Dishes.
  • I read some Star Wars with the graphic novel Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin. I am not holding too much hope for that new movie that is getting all the hype, so I will probably spend more time reading Star Wars books.
  • If you like road trips, and you like eating in unique places (think non-chain local) when you travel, then Two for the Road may be for you.
  • I review the second volume of this great series about the three Adolfs. The book this time is Adolf Volume 2: An Exile in Japan. If you want to see World War II from a very different perspective, this series is for you. Manga readers will enjoy it as well.
  • If you remember the show, The Six Million Dollar Man, this comic may be for you. And if you were too young to see the show, this comic will put you right in it. The book is The Six Million Dollar Man: Season 6. Yes, it is set right after the last season on television.
  • Very often, film and other properties get a “manga treatment.” I recently discovered that the character of Spawn has gotten the manga treatment too. So, this month I reviewed Spawn: Shadows of Spawn, Volume 1. If the only way you know Spawn is from the movie a few years back, you may consider giving this a chance.
  • And finally for March, I know not everybody has the time to read the classics. Or maybe you do not want to read them, but you at least have to pretend you did. So, for those folks, maybe 90 Classic Books for People in a Hurry would be a good choice.

CuriousGeorgeReading

 

We continue the never ending additions to my ever growing list of books I would like to read some day.

Items about books I want to read:

  • Let’s start up with a little erotica from Violet Blue. She has out a new small collection of short stories entitled Bisexual Husbands (link to Violet Blue’s site. Also available on Amazon. It comes as an e-book).  What is it about? “Seven stories skillfully depict seven different bisexual husbands whose cravings for a same-sex tryst have reached the point of no return, and their wives can’t wait to watch — or join in, sometimes controlling the action.” When it comes to reading erotica, I am willing to try out almost anything, so I am adding this to the TBR list. The book was reviewed at Ms. Naughty’s Porn For Women (and yes, this site can be NSFW).
  • Those who know me know that I enjoy reading microhistories and histories of small things. So, what do you know? There is a book out on the history of planners, meaning those notebooks or devices you use to keep track of appointments, so on. The book is The Accidental Diarist, and it is mentioned briefly at Plannerisms.
  • In my personal blog, The Itinerant Librarian, I have a semi-regular feature entitled “Signs the Economy is Bad.” You should go check it out sometime. Anyhow, in that feature, I have pointed out the demise of the shopping mall as one of those bad signs. Now, there is a book out that looks at just that topic. The book is Retail Revolution: Will Your Brick-and-Mortar Store Survive? The book was mentioned at HBS Working Knowledge.
  • A recent book on the war on drugs that may be interesting and argues that war is on the decline (or should be on the decline). The book is Chasing the Scream. I discovered it at Yes! Magazine.
  • It may not be a good time to be an artist. That is the common wisdom these days. However, the decline of the artistic class is more than just losing the arts. In These Times had a feature on the book Culture Crash: The Killing of the Creative Class. As the article points out, “it’s not just a story about (the impossibility of) making a living making art in modern America. More urgently, it’s another chapter in America’s central economic story today, of plutocracy versus penury and the evisceration of the middle class.”
  • I’ve always found the art and ritual of letter writing fascinating. It really is a pity it has been on the decline. Thus I am always interested in books about the topic. This time we have Kind Regards: The Lost Art of Letter-Writing. The book was briefly reviewed at The Well-Appointed Desk.
  • Here is a collection of short stories that fall within the genre of body horror. The book is Body by Asa Nonami. The book was reviewed in Contemporary Japanese Literature.
  • Again, another small history. This time looking at the lost art of the burlesque. Sure, there may be some practitioners today, but as the review argues, those performers seem to remain mostly in niches. The book is Behind the Burly Q, and it was featured in Bookgasm. The book is a companion to a documentary of the same title.
  • For the folks who like steampunk and cosplaying it, they may like the book International Steampunk Fashions. It was briefly highlighted at San Francisco Book Review.
  • An erotic romance selection. This has been sitting on my feed reader cue a while. I am not quite sure why now; it was probably because it deals with a voluptuous woman (read: carries a bit more to love), which is a type I certainly like. Anyhow, the book is Voluptuous (link to publisher), and it was highlighted in Erotica For All.
  • Moving along, how about little candy. Here is an “intriguing account of candy in the United States.” The book is Candy: a Century of Panic and Pleasure, and it was highlighted in Food Politics blog.
  • Also via Food Politics blog, a history of vegetarianism during the reform era in the U.S. The book is The Vegetarian Crusade.
  • Going for something different, here is a book on polyamory and swinging. The book is My Life on the Swingset (link to author’s website), and it was reviewed at Dr. Dick’s Sex Advice (I do have to warn that website may be a little NSFW).
  • The Hang Fire Books blog highlights the book Bunny Yeager’s Art of Glamour Photography. Yeager was well known for photographing Bettie Page. This is an older book, so we’ll see if we can get our hands on it.
  • If you are like me, you remember some old comic books, and you especially remember the ads in those comics for things like Sea Monkeys and X-Ray specs. Well, there is a book that picks up and highlights those ads. The book is Mail-Order Mysteries, and it was highlighted in Wink blog.

 

Lists and bibliographies:

  • You can find the most interesting and odd things out there when it comes to reading. Here is a list of “Erotic Fiction Fiction Featuring Gay Dinosaurs and Mythical Creatures.” Via Incredible Things.
  • The newspaper El Mundo (Spain) recently had a list of best Spanish (as in authors from Spain and written in Spanish). The article is “1989-2014: las 25 mejores novelas.” The article is written in Spanish. I have not read a single one as of this writing, so I need to get on it.
  • Counterpunch a while back had a list of “100 Best Non-fiction Books (in Translation) of the 20th Century. . .and Beyond.” I know I have read some from this list, but there may be a few more to read yet.
  • Interested in comics? Here is a “Field Guide to Fifteen Feminist Comics.” The list comes from Comic Book Resources. I will be honest, when it comes to graphic novels and comics, I read them because they are good, not because they have some label be it feminist or what have you. From this list, I have read the Saga series, which I highly recommend. I have heard good things about a couple of others, so I will probably pick those up as well.

 

 

Tags:

CuriousGeorgeReading

The books for the TBR list just keep piling up. Maybe I will get to reincarnate so I can come back and read some more.

Items about books:

  • One for the hardcore horror film fan perhaps. I will admit that I know little of the more obscure and/or independently made horror films. This book may help fix that gap. The book is Regional Horror Films, 1958-1990. It is discussed at Bookgasm.
  • Also via Bookgasm, one for foodies, although I will warn it is not just about fancy food. The review is for an anthology of comics (some indie, some maybe a bit more mainstream) that share a common theme of food, consumption, and digestion. The book is Digestate: a food and eating themed anthology.
  • Let’s go with a bit of Japanese science fiction in translation with The Lord of the Sands of Time. It is reviewed at Contemporary Japanese Literature.
  • A couple of shop items so to speak for the librarian. One is UContent: the Information Professional’s Guide to User-Generated Content. (Reviewed here). The other is Transforming Information Literacy Instruction Using Learner-Centered Teaching (reviewed here). Of the two, I am interested more in the second one since I am an instruction librarian. The first one, though it interests me also as instruction librarian as well as blogger, I am bit more skeptical by now. After all, it is at least four years old by now, and in Internet years, that is like 20 years or so in normal years.
  • For something different, speculative fiction inspired by the Ramayana (yes, that Ramayana). I have read the Ramayana, but it was years ago. I may have to reread it down the road. So now, we get this book: Breaking the Bow: Speculative Fiction Inspired by the Ramayana. Of course I had to add it to my TBR list. The book was mentioned in the Literary Salon.
  • Good manners are something that I consider important, and books on the topic, whether old or modern guides, interest me. So, I am adding The Butler Speaks to my list. It was reviewed at San Francisco Book Review. Maybe the world would be a better place if people minded their manners, maybe more if parents actually knew manners and taught them to their children.
  • Via A Case for Suitable Treatment, a review of a manga title, first in a series, I have wanted to try out. The book in question is 07-Ghost, Volume 1.
  • Via habitually probing generalist, a short review of A Most Imperfect Union. Often, I would not bother with a book when a reliable source is lukewarm about it, but I have read other works of both Stavans and Alcaraz such as Latino USA, so I am too curious not to try this out.
  • Another one from a librarian. The Lowrider Librarian says this is a book your library needs, and given recent events, I believe it. The books is Cannabis Pharmacy, and it can make a timely addition as cannabis and marijuana continue to gain legal status and acceptance in the United States.
  • Star Wars novels can be hit and miss for me. I have read some I liked, and some that I did not like. A book I did enjoy was James Luceno’s Star Wars: Dark Lord: the Rise of Darth Vader (link to my review. I rated it 4 out of 5 stars at the time). However, I also recently read Kenobi by John Jackson Miller, which I do not recall as fondly. So the quality often depends on the author. At any rate, Luceno has a new book out: Tarkin, about the Grand Moff who commanded the Death Star. Naturally, my curiosity and the fact I enjoy Star Wars means I will probably look it up down the road. Tarkin was reviewed at BuzzyMag.
  • Interested in health care issues in the United States? Want to learn how bad the health care system is in the U.S. and pretty much how politicians, insurance companies, and a lot of money pretty much assure it stays that way? Then maybe America’s Bitter Pill may be the book for you. It was recommended by the folks at Powell’s Books.
  • For me, a new Neil Gaiman book is always of interest, and he has a new short fiction collection out. The book is Trigger Warning, and it was reviewed at Bookgasm.
  • I do like a good plate of well made noodles. One of the things I miss about living in Houston back in the day is you could find a good noodle house or two. Berea lacks such a place. I am not, however, a fan of the instant noodles. But I am interested in a book about how noodles have been turned into a commodity, whether instant or not. The book is The Noodle Narratives, and it was mentioned at Food Politics.
  • Food Politics also mentions a book about lentils and sustainable farming that sounded interesting. The book is Lentil Underground.

 

Lists and bibliographies:

  • These days, that Shades book is getting a lot of hype again because of the upcoming movie. It seems every other woman in the U.S. is creaming her panties to go see it. May the deity of choice have mercy on any boyfriend or spouse dragged into that torture. I thank the deity of choice The Better Half has better taste when it comes to erotica. At any rate, whether you need something to tide you over until the movie or, better yet, you want something better in terms of quality and writing skill than that one book, here is a small list of books beyond that one book from Shelf Talk.
  • Once again, if interested, the folks at BookFinder have done their annual report on out-of-print and in demand books. Madonna’s Sex is not number one, but it is still in the top five.
  • Via Bookgasm, a list of Euro-comics with a theme of “Getting TANKed.”
  • In 2014, one of my reading challenges allowed for reading novels based on games and video games. I could have used this list to get a few more ideas of what to read. List via Book Riot.
  • The Unshelved comic strip devotes one day a week to do book reviews. Here is their review of the Preacher comic series, which I have been meaning to read.
  • Via Sounds and Colours, a list of “the best books on street art in Latin America.” A bit from the article, “in Latin America, street art is of major cultural relevance. The region’s traditions of social movements and revolution have allowed the form to give voice to otherwise unheard sectors of the population. Of course, not all street art is politically or socially-oriented in content, but it does often provide insight into specific objectives and ideals.”
  • I am not a gardener (I would not mind becoming one, but I just do not have the time or space at the moment). However, I do find some books on the topic interesting. If you have an interest in gardening, perhaps you are a gardener yourself, this may be of interest.  Via Poor as Folk, here is a list of “best food and gardening books of 2014.
  • Need to boost the creativity a bit? Via Little Dumb Man, here is a list of “10 great books that will books your creativity.”
  • Want to be scared? Want to read some real life horror? Do you like medical subjects? Then this list may be for you. Via The Booklist Reader, here is “Contagious Reading: Scary Medical Books Where the Truth Reads Like Fiction.
Photo from Flickr user Raider of Gin (fairerdingo). Image used under terms of Creative Commons 2.0 Generic Attribution License.

Photo from Flickr user Raider of Gin (fairerdingo). Image used under terms of Creative Commons 2.0 Generic Attribution License.

 

In case you missed them the first time around, these are the books I reviewed during the month of February 2015. As I have mentioned before, I may or not have read them during the month. They are the books I managed to post reviews for on the blog. As always, comments if you read any of this, or for other reasons like to suggest what to read next,  are welcome.

  • I continue to enjoy Scott Snyder’s American Vampire series. This month I reviewed volume 5 of the series.
  • I discovered Bob Fingerman’s Minimum Wage a while back. I got to read the big edition of Maximum Minimum Wage. As I wrote in my review, “the strength of this comic is in its humor and in its quotidian humanity.”
  • Read some new horror and discovered there is a whole genre of tomb robber comics in China with Daomu. If you like Indiana Jones (way before Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) and Lara Croft, with a touch of horror, you will probably enjoy this one.
  • I read some excellent erotica with Rachel Kramer Bussel’s anthology The Big Book of Orgasms. To give you an idea, the “overall format for the stories is about 1,200 words or less. Many of these stories do pack a very hot punch, and they will definitely leave you wanting more.”
  • I also caught up on some Christmas season reading with Everything I Need To Learn About Christmas I Learned Fro a Little Golden Book. If you remember the cute Little Golden Books, you will probably like this humorous take on them. Great for the holiday season.
  • I also read Lawrence Osborne’s The Wet and the Dry: a Drinker’s Journey. Sadly for me, the journey was not that great. I wrote on my post for the book that “after a while, one bar in some exotic locale just sort of blends with another and another without much distinction.”
  • I revisited the Corleones with Ed Falco’s novel The Family Corleone. This is a prequel to the original novel and film.
  • I read another book related to cocktails and drinking, and again, it was not that great. I just did not have much luck with this topic in the month of February. The book was The Best Shots You’ve Never Had. It does have some nice photos though.
  • It took me a while to read it, but I finally got my review up of Ultramarines: The Second Omnibus. If you like Warhammer 40,000 novels, you might enjoy the further adventures of Captain Ventris and the Fourth Company of Ultramarines.
  • And finally for this month, here is my review of bell hooks’ Teaching to Transgress, which I read as a selection of the Dean’s Faculty Book Reading Group on my campus.

 

Photo from Flickr user Raider of Gin (fairerdingo). Image used under terms of Creative Commons 2.0 Generic Attribution License.

Photo from Flickr user Raider of Gin (fairerdingo). Image used under terms of Creative Commons 2.0 Generic Attribution License.

I fell a bit behind last year in keeping up with this, so I am going to try again for 2015. These are books I reviewed at The Itinerant Librarian with links included for the reviews so interested readers can check them out. Keep in mind, these are not always books I read in the given month, but books I managed to review in the month. January was a bit slow in terms of reviews as I was also getting together my posts for reading challenges. Still, we I did manage to get some things posted. As always, comments are always welcome.

 

(Crossposted from The Gypsy Librarian. I figured folks here may be interested in this too. This post does include a link to the post “My Reading List for 2014″ as well. Feel free to read, check out some of the links. As always, comments are welcome.)

 

The Best Books I Read in 2014: An Appendix to My Reading List for 2014

(Crossposted from The Gypsy Librarian.)

As I mentioned in the post “My Reading List for 2014,” I had a lot of books that I felt were excellent and deserved a full five out of five stars rating (I rate on a five star scale). There were so many that I decided to make a separate post just to share the list with my four readers (maybe if I work hard enough, we can increase it to five readers of the blog this year).

The list is in no particular order. Most of these are graphic novels and comics as that is a genre I tend to favor. If I have posted a review, I will provide the link.

Graphic novels and comics

Thanks to NetGalley (and Edelweiss to a small extent), I am reading a lot more graphic novels and comics, including titles that I think many libraries do not see or miss. I personally enjoy this as it adds some diversity to my reading, especially when I read stuff other than the usual. Only sad thing is NetGalley does not have Marvel titles, but I guess you can’t have it all. Anyhow, these are the comics and graphic novels I consider my best readings for the year.

  • Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Collection, Volume 1. My library recently acquired the five volume set of this. This is the ninja turtles as they are, before Nickelodeon got a hold of them and sanitized them.  Contrary to what most people think, it was not a comic for young kids. It is a great comic overall. I will certainly be reading the rest of the volumes in the set.
  • Jimmy Palmiotti, Harley Quinn, Volume 1: Hot in the City (The New 52). From my review, “Harley gets her own volume and adventures as she tries to move on without her Mr. J in her life and a new inheritance.” If you like the Batman comics, you will probably enjoy this one as well.
  • Geoff Johns, Batman: Earth One. Maybe instead of watching stuff like Gotham, which is basically Batman without Batman, you can read this and get the same vibe, only better.
  • Jeff Parker, et.al., Batman ’66, Vol. 1. This was just good nostalgia fun.
  • Taran Killam, et.al., The Illegitimates. Another one that was fun. This time in the old school James Bond kind of fashion.
  • The American Vampire series continues to be one of the best things out there. This year I read volumes 4 and 6 of the series. It is a series I will continue reading as it keeps getting deeper and developing its story over time well. It also captures the feel of the era a particular volume is in very well. In fact, as of this post, I have volume 7 queued up on my feed reader from NetGalley.
  • Scott Snyder, et.al., The Joker: Death of the Family. This is probably the best way to read this great series from DC’s The New 52. You can find the trades, and I read some of them, but once I found this was available, it made things a lot easier. For me, books like this are a reason why I prefer to read a story once it is compiled. The volume is a great choice for libraries with graphic novels collections.
  • J. Michael Straczynski, Superman: Earth One.
  • The Saga series. Last year I added volume 3 to what I have read. I hear the fourth volume is out, so rest assured I will be reading it. This is certainly one of the best things going on out there. You can tell people are catching on as Saga did make it on various end of year and must read lists.
  • Max Brooks, The Harlem Hellfighters.
  • Karl Bollers, et.al., Watson and Holmes: A Study in Black. For me, this was a great discovery. Sherlock Holmes has enjoyed a bit of a revival with recent shows like Sherlock (which I have watched and enjoyed) and Elementary (which I could not care less about). This graphic novel gives the character a nice, fresh and hip look. It is a lot more than just a new look. It really pays attention to the classic and brings it up to our modern time.
  • Matz, The Killer, Vol. 4: Unfair Competition. Matz’s series is another one I enjoy greatly, the practical assassin trying to make it in the harsh world. Another great series I will keep seeking out.
  • Michael Uslan, The Shadow/Green Hornet, Vol. 1: Dark Nights.
  • Jonathan Hickman, East of West, Volume 1: The Promise.
  • Simon Oliver, FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics, Volume 1: The Paradigm Shift. This was an interesting discovery for me, a world where the laws of physics stop working as they normally do, and the federal agency tasked with dealing with it. That is  just the start.
  •  Jai Nitz, Dream Thief, Volume 1.
  • Gail Simone, Red Sonja, Volume 1: Queen of Plagues. Gail Simone is also known for her run of Batgirl in DC Comics. I am not as a big a fan of Batgirl (many other librarians fawn over Barbara Gordon, a character that is a librarian in the comics. Me? Cassandra Cain was more my favorite Batgirl); I read the title now and then. However, I do like Red Sonja, and Gail Simone has done great work with that character.
  • John Lewis, et.al, March, Book One. This is a great one to read for Black History Month, though you can and should read it any time.A great example of how you can teach about history with a graphic novel.
  • Box Brown, Andre the Giant: Life and Legend. This is one I recommend to show the good things you can do with a graphic novel. A light but very moving biography of a man who was very generous yet fought in and out of the ring men and his own demons.
  • Stephen Mooney, Half Past Danger. If you like things like Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark, not so much Crystal Skull) and other old school action adventures, this may be for you. Add in the femme fatale and some dinosaurs for a fun mix.
  • Kenny Byerly, et,al., Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New Animated Adventures, Vol. 1. And this is the ninja turtles for the kids today. It is an all ages comic based on the recent Nickelodeon production of the comic. It is cute, fun, and nice entertainment. Kids will definitely like it.
  • James Stokoe, Wonton Soup.  Think Iron Chef (the original Japanese show, not the American knock off) and space truckers.
Manga
  •  Osamu Tezuka’s Adolf series. It is a five volume series. Though I did not give all volumes five out of five stars, read together this is definitely one of the best reads I did for 2014. It is the story of three Adolfs, one of them being the Fuhrer of Germany, during World War II. Their lives are very connected as we go from Japan to Germany and back. My review of the first volume, Adolf, Volume 1: A Tale of the Twentieth Century is up now. Others will come soon. The series is an award winner too; it won the Kodansha Manga Award.
  • Sean Michael Wilson, Musashi.
  • Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou, Deadman Wonderland, Volume 1.
 Nonfiction
  • Rachel Maddow, Drift: the Unmooring of American Military Power.  This was my one audiobook of the year. It is a book I highly recommend. Though you can read it in print just fine, I think it works better in the audio as she reads the text.
  • Robert Dawson, The Public Library: A Photographic Essay. Of the LIS and related books I read in 2014, this was one of the best. For all the hype stuff some librarians fall for, this simple book is really inspiring and a reminder for many of us why we are proud to be librarians and serve our communities.
  • Donald Nausbaum, Cuba: Portrait of an Island. A nice photo collection. This came before recent news about Cuba and the U.S. possibly opening up relations once more. Still, a very nice book to look at.
  • Daniel Yaffe, Drink More Whiskey!  From my review, “For someone wanting to learn more about whiskey in a casual and accessible style, this is a book for you. There are many books written about alcoholic spirits, but they are often written for hardcore aficionados and alcoholistas (yes, I am coining the term).” This book is more for the casual person seeking some knowledge.
  • Carol Leifer, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying. From my review, “A strength of Leifer’s book is in the lessons for work and life that she presents. She may be writing from her perspective as a comedian, but her advice applies to any career path.”
  • Andrew Knapp, Find Momo. This is one of those books that make you go “aww, how cute!” It is a beautiful book for folks of all ages.
  • Alberto Manguel, The Library at Night.  This is definitely one of the nicest books overall I read this year. For folks who love libraries and books, this is a sure thing to read. From my review, “If you are feeling down from bad news of library closings or not getting enough funding, or are you just sick and tired of the next ‘trend’ in libraries making it sound like libraries are dead fossils, then toss all that away and curl up comfortably with a serving of your favorite beverage and this book.”
  • Jenny M. Jones, The Annotated Godfather: The Complete Screenplay. For fans of the film, this is one they will want to read and add to their collections.
Erotica

This includes fiction as well as nonfiction.

Miscellaneous

Other good stuff.

  • Ian Doescher, William Shakespeare’s The Empire Striketh Back.
  • Jeffrey Brown, Goodnight Darth Vader.
May 2015
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