Alchemical Thoughts

Items about books I want to read, #22

Posted on: July 14, 2011

We are now up to 22 lists of books I want to read at some point. I just keep finding very neat and interesting books out there. As the old saying goes, so many books, so little time. Still, I do enjoy reading the reviews as well as keeping track of these books. If nothing else, I will always be able to find something to read, or something to suggest to another reader.

Items about books I want to read:

  • A friend of mine on Facebook shared a link to this book. The book is Milk: A Local and Global History by Deborah Valenze. It is published by Yale UP. I always enjoy reading microhistories, so I knew this book had to be added to my reading list. Overall, I think microhistories are one of my top favorite nonfiction genres. I find that I learn a lot from this kind of book, and often I learn about a lot of things besides the one item a book highlights.
  • Via The Atlantic, review of a book that presents a history of menus in the U.S. Yes, menus, as in those things you get at restaurants. This does look interesting. According to the article, the book, Menu Design in America, 1850-1985, should be out sometime in August 2011.
  • Via the Contemporary Japanese Literature blog, a small collection of light short stories about samurais. The book is The Bamboo Sword and Other Samurai Tales. According to the review, the book is described as ” chick lit for old dudes. Even if its system of values is a bit stodgy, it’s still a lot of fun.” That seemed like an interesting description, enough to make me curious.
  • I am not much into DIY or doing things like canning, but I still find reading about it interesting. Maybe it is something I would like to try some day, if I ever were to find the time. Anyhow, via the Powell’s blog, here is a post about Karen Solomon’s book Can it, Bottle It, Smoke It, and Other Kitchen Projects.
  • The Powell’s blog also features a review on a book I did not think could have a whole book devoted to the subject. The subject is shoplifting. The book featured is The Steal: A Cultural History of Shoplifting.
  • The Manga Critic offers another good recommendation. Sadly, the book is out of print, so I will have to end up looking for it in the second-hand market or online. The book is Samurai Crusader, which is a 3-volume series from what I gather. Katherine Dacey’s review tells us that not only does it have cameos by famous folk like Hemingway but also “Ikeda and writer Hiroi Oji populate the story with such colorful bit players as a sadistic female military general, a bare-breasted priestess, an axe-wielding Aryan warrior, a demon whisperer, and a ninja with razor-sharp teeth.” Now that sounds neat.
  • Via Blogcritics, a review of The Energy Glut: The Politics of Fatness in an Overheating World. This book “ties together the building of societies and economies around the needs of fossil-fuel powered transport with the rise in obesity and removal of almost all physical activity from many Western individuals’ lives, and the reduction in community life, combined with a huge toll or death and injury on developing, and developed, countries’ roads, and the rise of the supermarkets and foods rich in calories and low in nutrients.”
  • Now, for something a bit different. I happen to like pin-ups and some more erotic images now and then. So, this book, Sexy Super Girls by Mike James caught my eye. Review from Bizarre Magazine. (Book link is to WorldCat. However, Bizarre is NSFW, so you have been warned if this is an issue for you. Book is published by Goliath, and yes, site does feature some NSFW items as well. Again, just the warning for those who may need it). Part of what intrigued me was this statement by the book’s photographer author: “’An image has failed if it makes the viewer think, ‘What a great artist!’, or even ‘What a great picture!’, says Mike, ‘I only want people to immediately think, ‘Whoa – what a beautiful girl!’”
  • Another review via the Powell’s blog. This one is about Americans in France, a look at the time when “thousands of Americans crossed the Atlantic every year in the nineteenth century, heading to Paris for business, pleasure, education, and artistic inspiration, and left behind voluminous accounts of their experiences.” The book is The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris.
  • And another book that seems interesting and different. Guys Lit Wire reviews the graphic novel Daytripper. From the review: “Daytripper follows the life of obituary writer Bras de Oliva Domingos. Each chapter is a day in another year of Bras’ life and how he might die. At the death of each age (33, 21, 11, etc.) a portion his obituary is included.” The guys claim that if you like works like Cairo: A Graphic Novel, you may like this.

Book lists and bibliographies:

  • An article from The Atlantic featuring a list of “Nearly 100 Fantastic Pieces of Journalism.” This is a list of articles, rather than books, but it does sound interesting. A nice chance to catch up on things I may have missed in my reading horizon.
  • A selection of “The Ten Best Food Stories You Should Read From the James Beard Awards” via
  • Via Topless Robot, a list of “11 Most Essential X-Men Trades.” There are a couple I have read, but there are more I have to read and catch up.
  • Not a book, but a magazine. The complete archive of the 90’s mag Spy Magazine is now available online via Google Books. It may something to browse through now and then. Adding it here mostly because it is a curious item. A hat tip to The Millions.
  • Some links to free science fiction e-books. These look pretty cool. A hat tip to IO9.
  • Various science fiction classics on Project Gutenberg. Some of the authors featured include James Blish, E.E. Smith, Fritz Leiber, and Murray Leinster.
  • Baen is putting out the Vorkosigan saga. This I have to look over a bit more. And apparently, Baen has a few more sample free offerings too. Actually, I do have a book in this series I got a while back I need to read down the road. But I always like free book samples.

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