Alchemical Thoughts

Archive for October 2015

CuriousGeorgeReading

The list keeps growing, but I still hold on to the hope I will get to a few of these at some point in the future. In the meantime, here are few more books I would like to read some day.

Items about books I want to read:

  • I am not a huge fan of syrup, as in the stuff you put on pancakes. I may bit a little itty bit on my pancakes, or if they are really good, just butter. Still, this book sounded interesting enough, so I am adding it. The book is The Sugar Season,  and it is about a family that makes maple syrup. I am always interested in how things are made.  It was featured in San Francisco Book Review.
  • I do keep up with a lot of the library literature, as I say on my professional blog, “so you don’t have to.” I also often see and read about what other librarians may be reading. A recent kerfuffle in the news was the article from The New York Times about how badly Amazon treats its workers, which to be honest, knowing how Amazon just exploits anyone and anything, should not have been surprising. The article elicited various replies, and I even noticed a librarian or two bringing it  up, for various reasons. Anyhow, for me now, I see that makes this book more timely. The book is Mindless: Why Smarter Machines are Making Dumber Humans, and it was also featured at San Francisco Book Review. To be honest, I am a bit surprised one of those computer obsessed librarians did not read and review this one. Maybe down the road I will get to it.
  • Fantagraphics has that excellent EC Library series going. I’ve been fortunate to read some of their volumes, and here is another one now: Bomb Run and Other Stories, which are 1950s war comics. The book was featured at Wink Books.
  • And also via Wink Books, one more collection of old vintage comics. The book is The Blighted Eye. These come from the private collection of Glenn Bray, and it is also published by Fantagraphics.
  • Recently, Black Cultural Center at the campus I work at had a success retreat for some students. We went down to the Haley Farm, home of the Children’s Defense Fund. I may blog about that experience at another time. The lodge had a small bookstore, and I saw this book there, which I have been meaning to read. It also reminded me I had an item in my feed reader about it, so it may be time to move it ahead in my cue and read it sooner rather than later. I am not sure if I will get to it in what is left of 2015, but I can tell you that I have read quite a few books about the U.S. Civil Rights Era this year. The book is This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed, and it was featured also in San Francisco Book Review.
  • Next, we have a look at the history of corruption in the United States. Given how things are going these days, this one also seems like a timely book. The book is Corruption in America, and it was reviewed at Inside Higher Ed.
  • Marion Nestle has a new book coming out soon, and she is starting to promote it. The book is Soda Politics. This may be one I order for our library.
  • I do not know how the heck I missed seeing this sooner, since Ultraman was a huge part of my childhood, and I do read quite a bit of manga. Anyhow, there is a manga of Ultraman out; I definitely have to get my hands on that. It was reviewed at Manga Blog.
  • As of this post, this book is fairly new, so no information in WorldCat yet. As a librarian and educator, books on sexual health and education interest me, and I am always on the lookout for good ones I can pass on to others. The book is The Sex and Pleasure Book. The authors were interviewed here.
  • The author of the book Thieves of State discusses in this piece why Afghanistan will fall to the Taliban again. Worth a look, and the book sounds like worth a read in these times.

Lists and bibliographies:

Here is the list of books I reviewed at The Itinerant Librarian for the month of September 2015. As always, comments are welcome. So if you find any of these interesting and/or you read them, feel free to let me know your thoughts. Links go to the book reviews.

 

CuriousGeorgeReading

Here is another round of books I would like to read eventually:

Items about books I want to read:

  • Hurricanes and natural disasters often make the news. The part of those news that we rarely see is that there is a big profiteering element to natural and other disasters. Something like Hurricane Katrina is not just a natural disaster; it is also a disaster of social and economic inequality. You can read about that in The Disaster Profiteers. The book was featured in Scientific American.
  • Naturally, the librarian in me has an interest in books about libraries, so here is The Meaning of the Library: a Cultural History. It was reviewed in Macleans.
  • What do you know? There is a book out there about lists. Yea, lists, like to-do lists, inventories, etc. The book is Lists by Liza Kirwin, and it was reviewed at The Well-Appointed Desk.
  • Voter disenfranchisement is a big issue in the United States as political parties, especially the GOP, seek to keep minorities from voting. Learn more about this issue in Give Us the Ballot. The book was featured in Mother Jones magazine.
  • And speaking of the GOP, maybe it should stop alienating women, minorities, the LGBTQIA community, and young people, in other words, anyone other than rich white cis males. This book may be of interest to them, although at this point that party needs more than just rebranding as the article from In These Times suggests. The book is The Selfie Vote.
  • Enjoy paper folding? Like origami, but you think it’s just for kids? If you are an adult, maybe you want to try out Pornogami: a Guide to the Ancient Art of Paper-Folding for Adults. It was featured at Incredible Things.
  • I may have mentioned this before, but since I moved to Kentucky, my interest in bourbon has increased a bit. I am always interested in how alcoholic spirits are made, so it is kind of nice to live here where bourbon is made. Anyhow, there is a new book out by a guy who “tasted between 50 and 60 bourbons” and has written about it. The book is Bourbon Curious, and it was briefly mentioned in the Lexington Herald Leader.
  • NPR reports that Twitter has put out a guide book on how to use Twitter for politicians, and apparently it is quite amusing. You can download the handbook here. Yes, I did download a copy for myself, so you bet it will get reviewed when I read it.
  • Something “shop-related.” Saving this one more for future reference. The book is the Library Publishing Toolkit, which you can download for free here.
  • Oil/petroleum makes the world go round. But it does so at a high price. Learn about the corruption and scandals of The Secret World of Oil. The book was reviewed in San Francisco Book Review.
  • Also, the San Francisco Book Review says that “picking up where Goodfellas and The Godfather left off, The Mob and the City is a terrific, informative read.” Sounds like a good reason to pick the book up.
  • Wink Books highlights the book The Art of Robert E. McGinnis. The guy did a lot of pulp covers, many of which some of you might remember.
  • Wink Books also highlights the book American Grotesque: the Life and Art of William Mortensen.
  • My friend, Mark at Habitually Probing Generalist, has been reading quite a few graphic novels. Since we cannot resist graphic novels and comics in this joint, and some of these sound cool, here we go:
    • Here he reviews Sumo by Pham. Like Mark, I have enjoyed other books published by First Second, so this an added motivation.
    • Over here, he reviews the book De Tales. It is a collection of four tales set in urban Brazil.
    • He really liked this one, which by the way, would have fit into the LGBT Reading Challenge I am doing this year as well as the graphic novel challenges. Maybe if I get to it before the end of the year I can fit it in. The book is Stuck Rubber Baby.
    • He also really liked this one, from Image Comics, which is a publisher that has put out some other works I have enjoyed. As Mark describes it is a “twisted take on the Lewis and Clark expedition.” The book is Manifest Destiny, Volume 1. From the sound of it, I may have to order it for our library’s graphic novels collection.
  • Adding some manga to the list with Rose Gun Days, Season 1, Volume 1. It was reviewed at A Case for Suitable Treatment.
  • And speaking of manga, The Manga Critic reviews the pocket book  A Brief History of Manga.
  • When it comes to hipsters, there is no lost love. So some hipster humor is something I can appreciate. Bitches n Prose review the book Hipster Animals: a Field Guide.

 

 

Lists and bibliographies:

  • Donald Trump’s presidential run in 2015 has been seen as either a joke or an embarrassment of the American nation. One element he has is quite the authoritarian streak, and though many Americans say it could never happen here, well, look at who they have been supporting lately. This article in Alternet discusses Trump, authoritarianism, and offers a couple of books to read up on the topic.
  • Interested in what the faculty of the Harvard Business School have on their summer 2015 reading list? Here are some of the books that made their shortlist, via HBS Working Knowledge.
  • Recent research reveals that doodling can be good for your cognitive abilities. This article out of The Atlantic mentions a couple of books on the topic.
  • Wink Books has a post on a couple of volumes from the Dark Horse collections of Creepy and Eerie magazines.

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