Alchemical Thoughts

Items about books I want to read #73

Posted on: May 5, 2017

Time flies, and the list  of books I want to read keeps growing. Such is life. One thing I realized about these posts is the lists and bibliography parts. In those parts, I try to find lists of books on topics that are of interest, relevant to current times, or have something to offer to readers. Keeping those lists handy I think can be a good tool for reader’s advisory.

As always, if you find something useful or interesting in these posts, or you read any of these books, come back and let me know  your thoughts. Comments are open.


Items about books I want to read:

  • Let’s go back in time a bit with Red Star Tales: A Century of Russian and Soviet Science Fiction. I saw this at Boing Boing.
  • Americans are barely literate when it comes to politics and knowing different types of political systems. Though this book is reared for children, it may be helpful for a lot of U.S. adults to finally learn what communism actually is so they can stop embarrassing themselves because they cannot tell a communist from a socialist from an anarchist, so on. For some folks, you have to give them the information in a simple way their minds can understand. The book is Communism for Kids, and it was mentioned in TeleSur.
  • The Texas Observer calls this book the first must-read of the Pendejo in Chief’s era (they did not use that label, but I am not naming him, so there). The book is Tell Me How It Ends by Valeria Luiselli. According to the article, the book “is based on Luiselli’s experiences as a volunteer interpreter in federal immigration court in New York City. The book is organized around the 40-question intake interview that volunteers administer to each new child asylum-seeker.”
  • Julio Cortazar delivered a series of lectures on literature at Berkeley, and there is a new translation of those lectures available. The English edition is Literature Class. If you are like me and prefer to read them in original Spanish, Clases de literatura is also available. I read about this via The Atlantic.
  • A book on the impact companies like Google have on our lives, and no, it is not all positive. The book is Move Fast and Break Things, and it was discussed at AlterNet.
  • Next we have a reference book that may be a bit unusual. The book is U.F.O. Sightings Desk Reference. It was discussed in The New York Times as part of a story about more people seeing more U.F.O.’s. It sounds like a fun book to add to our reference collection, but I am not sure I can convince the other librarians to get it.
  • So, can you tell the difference between the Pendejo In Chief’s residence and the palaces of dictators around the world? Here is a book that might help: Dictator Style: Lifestyles of the World’s Most Colorful Despots.   The book was mentioned at AlterNet.
  • I am not always a fan of yet another fairy tale retelling, but this look at Snow White as a noir tale in Depression-era Manhattan does look intriguing enough to give it a try. The book is Snow White: a Graphic Novel, and it was featured in Wink Books.
  • I always enjoy a good trivia book, and I do like books about alcohol and drinking culture. This book combines both in looking at the science and trivia of alcohol including production, preparation, consumption as well as dispelling a myth or two. The book is Distilled Knowledge, and it was reviewed at Drinkhacker.
  • Let’s do a little fiction, in this case horror. This one made me think of other books I have read such as The Repossession Mambo (link to my review of that). The book is A Night at the Dream Theater (no WorldCat record on that one, so link to the big online retailer), and the premise is this: “takes place in a sci-fi/parallel future world where worth is determined by employment. Without a job a person is instantly without a home, money, or protection.” That sounds more like modern times than a horror dystopia, but I am still intrigued. I heard about the book at Horror Novel Reviews.
  • When you think of the War in Iraq, you may think of books featuring soldier accounts or other daring exploits (at least what most Americans would read). However, this is a different book. It looks at the absurd bureaucracies you find in war from the man who had the task of interrogating Saddam Hussein when he was caught. One of the small problems? Well, apparently the U.S. was not quite prepared to deal with capturing Saddam alive. That is just the beginning. The book is Debriefing the President, and it was reviewed at Los Angeles Review of Books.
  • Think white supremacist thought, racism, so on are recent ideas in the U.S.? Think the Nazis just came up with their racial purity ideas out of the blue? Turns out the Nazis got quite a bit of inspiration from the good old U.S. of A., and you can learn more about that in the book Hitler’s American Model. The book was reviewed in Inside Higher Ed.
  • The Library of Congress highlights on their blog a new book out that may be of interest to folks like me who like visual things. The book is Picturing America: the Golden Age of Pictorial Maps.
  • The Food Politics blog highlights a book on how fast food companies used government help to enter inner cities and help the obesity epidemic grow. The book is Supersizing Urban America.


Lists and bibliographies:

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