Alchemical Thoughts

Items about books I want to read #8

Posted on: July 15, 2010

Once again, I have enough clippings and items to make another list of books I want to read. For my two readers who may be following this semi-regular feature here at Alchemical Thoughts, you can see previous lists by clicking on the tag link for “Books and reading.”

  • Neil Gaiman blogs about winning the short story award in the 2010 Locus Awards (link to just the winners). His blog post, in addition to his very classy and humble statement, has a link to the list of winners and nominees, which I am saving for reading ideas. The anthology his short story was published in, Songs of the Dying Earth: Stories in Honor of Jack Vance, sounds like a neat book. It certainly is one that I know the better half, who loves short science fiction, would love to read as well. I will have to see if I can get it.
  • This is an interesting take on manga, plus it looks cool: The Four Immigrants Manga: a Japanese Experience in San Francisco, 1904-1924 by Henry Yoshitaka Kiyama. It was reviewed in The Manga Critic here. There are a couple other suggestions on the post as well, but this one caught my eye. Plus, I already have first volume of Satsuma Gishiden, featured on the post, on my TBR shelf.
  • Meth and its tragic effects hit small town America in Methland: the Death and Life of an American Small Town. Reviewed here at The Millions.
  • A somewhat morbid topic, but it is something we rarely think about: legal rights after death. This book looks at some of the issues, especially newer issues that keep coming up. The book is Immortality and the Law of the Dead: The Rising Power of the American Dead. It is reviewed and discussed here on AlterNet. (Update note: 9/10/10): Here is another brief review of the book from the Pitt U. SIS faculty.
  • The book is not out yet as of this writing, but I would like to read Bob Sutton’s Good Boss, Bad Boss when it does come out. In this post, Mr. Sutton mentions his book was selected as part of a business book list for summer by The Wall Street Journal.
  • I am not sure I necessarily want to read this one, but it does sound interesting: a book on how to care for your hair down there. The book is Hip Snips:Your Complete Guide to Dazzling Pubic Hair by Pablo Mitchell. It was highlighted over at Lemondrop here. I thought the book was a joke (not listed in Worldcat) but it turns out Borders has it.
  • The Dirty Librarian, in her June 2010 selections, has some graphic novels that sound interesting. The ones I have in mind are: Bob Fingerman’s From the Ashes (which sounds interesting, a speculative memoir, but I hope the zombies in it are not just another zombie tale. Is it me, or are zombies becoming the next cutesy think like vampires that sparkle?); James Sturm’s Market Day; and Alan Moore’s Smax (so far, you can’t go wrong with Moore’s works).
  • Via Extremely Graphic, the first four volumes of the webcomic Girls With Slingshots, are going to be available. I wanted to add the webcomic itself to the feed reader, but apparently the author, cool as she may be, apparently has not made a feed available (as in there is no RSS link on the site, and Google does not find it either). Quite the shame; these days, if you draw a webcomic, and you want people to keep coming back, you have to make it easy on them. The strip looks good nonetheless, similar to Questionable Content, which does have an RSS feed (it’s how I read it first thing in the morning).
  • A book on bad books. How can this fail? The book is Robin Ince’s Bad Book Club. I learned of it via The (UK) Telegraph.
  • A book on wine and spirits. Well, mostly about wine according to the review, but it looks like it would be a good book to learn a thing or two. The book is The Sommelier Prep Course, and it was reviewed here at Drinkhacker.
  • Via Guys Lit Wire, a new collection of Fantastic Four by Johnathan Hickman. Fantastic Four is not necessarily a title I feel a need to follow; I read it here and there. But their review sounds like it will be a neat reading experience, plus they mention John Byrne’s work, which I have read and enjoyed.
  • I want to read the book mentioned in this article by Todd Kliman. The article comes from The Daily Beast, and the book is The Wild Vine: A Forgotten Grape and The Untold Story of American Wine. The article itself is interesting because it does point out some basic snobbery: a lot of the fancy, organic, grow local high end restaurants, who pride themselves on locally grown, so on, serve California or foreign wines. Their excuses go from “the quality is better” to “we can’t serve a wine no one has ever heard of.” While I drink a Californian or a foreign wine on occasion (I happen to enjoy Chileans for instance when I can get them), I also try and consume local wines, and I have very often found them to be as good (and in a case or two) better than the more “prestigious stuff.” I don’t think their excuses fly. Anyhow, the book does sound neat.
  • This was was a suggestion by our evening reference assistant, who is reading it for her Writing Centers Theory class. The book is Richard Ohmann’s English in America: A Radical View of the Profession. I am not sure if I want to depress myself with the poor condition of employment for English and Humanities scholars in the U.S., but hey, why not? My other master’s degree is English after all.
  • And this one arrived recently in our library. It’s one I ordered under Social Sciences. The title is Are We There Yet? The Golden Age of American Family Vacations by Susan Sessions Rugh.
  • From the post at Lambda Literary, “The latest Read These Lips edition — an e-anthology of lesbian short writings and creative works — 4Play is now available for free download” It is free for one, and two, may be something different to read in terms of what I usually read as well as format (I am not a fan of e-books).
  • Michael Schaub, at NPR, reviews the book The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Mankind for 500,000 years.
  • At Against the Grain, author Mark Nowak discusses his book Coal Mountain Elementary via podcast.
  • Glenn Beck would not be my first choice for reading material. However, both as a librarian and personally, I often have to work on finding evidence to debunk his misinformation and cynical paranoia. Why people fall for this guy is beyond me. However, one has to know the enemy, so this may help on that front Investigative reporter Alexander Zaitchik has a new book on Beck looking at his life and his works entitled Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance. There is a review and interview with the author over at News Corpse. It sounds like the kind of book a lot more people need to be reading.

Bibliographies and book lists:

  • Ralph Nader at Common Dreams has posted “The 2010 Summer Reading List.” This is a list of ten books which may be of interest to activists, folks interested in political affairs, and social issues. I may try to get at least one or two on the list on my TBR pile.
  • Not quite a list, but a fun tool to help you find your next book to read: The Book Seer. Give it a title and author, and it finds similar books. Not perfect, but as I said, fun to use.
  • (Update note: 7/23/10) This is a list of “Top 10 Summer Reading List for Human Rights Advocates.” Via Amnesty International’s blog.

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July 2010


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