Alchemical Thoughts

Archive for April 2015

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.



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.




April 2015
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