Alchemical Thoughts

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.

In case you missed it, here is the list with links of books I reviewed during the month of May. This was a pretty good month for reviews over at The Itinerant Librarian. As always, if any interest you and you read them, I would love to hear from you; comments always welcome.

  • I learned a little bit about hip hop and how it developed in the graphic novel Hip Hop Family Tree, Volume 1. I hope to read the second volume soon.
  • I also learned a bit about an aspect of colonialism and imperialism we may not often hear about: collecting of artifacts from other parts of the world now housed in some of the great Western museums in The China Collectors.
  • I read some old school Transformers comics in The Transformers Classics, Volume 4.
  • I made a pleasant discovery and read the comics of The Mask. If all you know of the character is the Jim Carrey movie, you really need to go and read these comics.
  • Here is one for both kids and/or Star Wars fans. Jeffrey Brown does it again with Goodnight Darth Vader.
  • May is the month of Cinco de Mayo, where Americans for the most part use that dubious holiday as an excuse to get drunk. Well, want to learn a small bit of Mexican history? The graphic novel Pancho Villa Takes Zacatecas may be of interest.
  • Like clowns? Like mobster books and films like The Godfather and Goodfellas? Want to read something a bit out of the ordinary? Then check out ClownFellas, “an epic mob saga where life is cheap and the gags will slay you.”
  • Here is another for Star Wars fans, a novel about the destroyer of Alderaan: Tarkin.
  • A little kitchen and cooking trivia that may also help you cook better. This book is entertaining, but it also has some basic trivia and information you can use. The book is 101 Things I Learned in Culinary School.
  • When I was a kid, I used the watch the Batman television show from the 1960s quite a bit. So, when DC “revived it” in comics, I began reading them. The series is great fun, and now Batman and Robin get to meet another crime fighter in Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet.
  • I did not plan it this way, but I ended up reading another Star Wars tale that also looks at Grand Moff Tarkin. However, Tarkin is not the protagonist here, but he has a prominent role in the graphic novel Darth Vader and the Lost Command.
  • I also did a bunch of short quick reviews on various comics and graphic novels. Check out “Short Booknotes on Graphic Novels 21, and a Bonus Item.
  • And finally for the month of May, I read a new origin tale for Batman in Batman: Earth One.
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.

Welcome back folks. This is my list of the books I reviewed at The Itinerant Librarian for the month of April 2015. I will mention these are not necessarily ones I read in April; it is the ones I managed to get reviewed in the month. As always, if you find one of them interesting enough to read, feel free to let me know. Comments are welcome.

  • I continue to enjoy Scott Snyder’s American Vampire series. This is still one of the best comics series going on at this time. This month, I reviewed volume 4 and  volume 7 in the series.
  • I read a little bit of Western with All-Star Western, Volume One and All-Star Western, Volume 2.  If you like Gotham City, this comic series gives you a look at the early days of that city way before Batman.
  • Did a little blend of erotic romance with gothic fiction. This month I reviewed Mitzi Szereto’s Darker Edge of Desire.
  • I read a little manga as I finished off the other two volumes I had of the Spawn: Shadows of Spawn series.
  • In the American South, manners, or at least gentility and the appearance of manners, are of utmost important. As I learned in reading this book, Being Dead is No Excuse. Learn not only the proper manners for a funeral but also, and likely more important, what to do for the reception after the funeral and cemetery burial.
  • I took a ride in a very different amusement park with Deadman Wonderland, Volume 1.
  • I enjoyed a bit more Star Wars, Shakespeare style, with The Empire Striketh Back and The Jedi Doth Return. This really has been a fun series to read.
  • I am a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, especially the originals (you know, before Nickelodeon and others sanitized them for kids). If you want to go back to the early days, IDW is putting out a new compilation, and I started reading it with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Collection, Volume 1.
  • Now just because I have a soft spot for early TMNT, it does not mean that I do not enjoy modern iterations. This crossover was neat, and one the kids will likely enjoy. The book is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters.
  • This one will go down as one of my best reads in 2015 when I do my end of year reading reflection and list. It is a book I think that more people should read to learn more about the mortuary industry and more. The book is Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.
  • I continue reading the manga series Adolf. This month, I reviewed the third volume.
  • I always find the process of making alcoholic spirits to be interesting. In addition, since moving to Kentucky, I have been a  bit more interested in learning about bourbon. So, to help that interest along, I recently read Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey.
  • This was a graphic novel that I will admit I was not sure what to make of it. Perhaps one of you folks might want to try it and let me know what they think. The work is Dark Engine, Volume 1. This is one that I may or not seek out the next volume.
  • I finally got the review up for the last book the Dean’s Faculty Book Reading Group read on campus. The book is Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies. If the topic of migrant workers interests you at all, this is one to read.

CuriousGeorgeReading

And so we continue to add to the ever growing list of books I want to read someday.

Items about books I want to read:

  • The automobile is a big part of the U.S. mythology. Now, there is a book looking at the United States and the American Dream through American cars. The book is Engines of Change, and it was reviewed at San Francisco Book Review.
  • I do find works from and about the WPA to be interesting. This book, also featured at San Francisco Book Review, is an “able reprinting of the WPA travel guide to California, published by the University of California Press.” The book is California in the 1930s. There is also one for San Diego, entitled San Diego in the 1930s.
  • IDW, one of my favorite publishers, has a compilation volume of Judge Dredd. It is discussed at SF Signal. The book is Judge Dredd, Volume 1.
  • Sex education is not just important. It is essential. If you don’t believe me, ask the folks in this small town in Texas who just believed in one of those “abstinence only” education programs. They now have a rampant epidemic of chlamydia in their public high school. Perfect illustration of why you need sex education. Perhaps a comic book like Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf: A Sex Education Comic Book might help. The book was featured in Lambda Literary.
  • I enjoy baking, even if I cannot do much of it myself. I certainly enjoy eating baked goods, maybe a bit much at times. And like this reviewer, “I love interesting but ultimately useless trivia.” I think to a small extent, loving trivia is a requirement to being a good librarian. Anyhow, I digress. Point is here is a book with recipes and a lot of trivia and history about specific baked goods. The book is The Secret Lives of Baked Goods. It was reviewed at San Francisco Book Review.
  • As my four readers know, I enjoy books about books. So of course I have to add The Art of American Book Covers, 1875-1930 to my reading list.  The book was also reviewed at San Francisco Book Review.
  • This book caught my eye in large part due to this interview with the author where she discusses her world building and the setting, which sounded intriguing if you like some scifi with your erotica. The book is Jenna McCormick’s No Rules, and it is part of the series taking place in the fictional world of Illustra.
  • As a manga reader, I am always interested in books about manga to help me learn more as well as do readers’ advisory on it. Via Experiments in Manga here is a review of Manga: Introduction, Challenges, and Best Practices.
  • Another manga book, this time for folks who may want something quick and easy. The book is A Brief History of Manga, and it was highlighted at Contemporary Japanese Literature.
  • Want a little classic horror? Maybe Victorian Ghost Stories: an Oxford Anthology may be for you. It was suggested by Blogging for a Good Book.
  • Once in a while I find something I may want to at least look at via Awful Library Books. Way I see it, someone’s awful book could be someone else’s treasure. As librarians say, every book its reader and every reader its book. Anyhow, is there anyone out there who still remembers Joe Bob Briggs and his, shall we say, unique brand of B-movie reviewing? I do remember his days in Monstervision. At any rate, while Awful Library Books recommends you get rid of his book Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In, there are a few libraries that still have it. Maybe I can get it via ILL if I hurry. By the way, there is also a sequel, Joe Bob Goes Back to the Drive-In.
  • Let’s toss some more erotica into the list. Though I have read Cleis Press titles before, and some featuring gay characters, I have not read one of their gay (read M/M) anthologies yet. No particular reason other than I have not gotten around to it. So to move me to try one out I am listing now their Best Gay Erotica 2013 which I saw reviewed at BDSM Book Reviews. They liked it, so why not? Besides, I need to add titles to that LGBT Reading Challenge I am working on in 2015.
  • Also reviewed at BDSM Book Reviews was House of Sable Locks (Amazon link; not listed in WorldCat). Now, while I do read it, I am not a huge fan of male sub tales. But if they are well written, I will bite. This book sets the tale with some steampunk, which makes it hard to pass up. Sounds like the kind of rare thing I like reading now and then.
  • Another one under erotica, this one is erotic photography. The Library Vixen highlights the book Dirty Rendezvous, featuring the photographic work of Chas Krider.
  • I like having a drink or two now and then, in moderation of course. I also enjoy reading about cocktails and bar culture, even though I am not a big fan of going to bars; I prefer to do my mixology at home. So, here are a couple of books I may want to read down the road, which I found via Drinkhacker. The first one is Liquid Vacation, which looks at tiki drinks. I had no idea tiki drinks were undergoing a revival, but so the reviewers assure us. We’ll see. The second book for this round let’s go with a little history with Gentlemen Bootleggers, which is about a small town in Iowa and its Prohibition-era bootleggers.
  • I always say that if you drink, you should have some food as well. So allow me to point out a couple of books about food. Both were highlighted at the Food Politics blog. Let’s start with The Culinary Imagination, which is “an overview of contemporary food writing and thought.” The other one is Eating Asian America. This one is about the  Asian-American food experience.
  • Here is one that I would consider somewhat work-related (i.e. that an academic librarian should be interested in). Found via review in Inside Higher Ed, the book is Paper Knowledge. Mostly about generation of documents, their move to the cloud, that sort of thing.
  • And speaking of paper, here is a book that sounds a bit more interesting than the previous one. Then again, I will admit I enjoy the work of Nicolas Basbanes, so naturally I have to add his On Paper to my reading list. Review from Times Literary Supplement.
  • Well, workplaces do use a lot of paper, including ones that claim they want to go paperless. Workplaces also have a history and that is captured in the book Cubed: a Secret History of the Workplace. The book was reviewed in BookForum.
  • Keeping a bit longer the secrecy theme, how about state secrets? diplomacy? There is a book on that too, relevant to a time when leaks of information cause a variety of scandals and embarrassments to those in power. The book is Secrets and Leaks, and it was reviewed at Lawfare.
  • I have always wanted to get a good edition of the works of H.P. Lovecraft, and while this one is not complete–it focuses on the stories of his Arkham cycle– it does look pretty good, and it seems to have great art and an essay by Alan Moore. I need to check this out. The book is The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft, and it is reviewed at Bookgasm.

 

Lists and bibliographies:

  • The U.S. yet again celebrated Cinco de Mayo. Maybe instead of just drinking, you may want to do some reading and learn more about that date and Mexican history. Here is a Cinco de Mayo reading list. Via University of Nebraska Press.
  • Want to read some mystery? Here is a list of the 101 best crime novels of the last decade. Via The Booklist Reader.
  • Want to read some erotica and kink? Would you perhaps like to do it on a Kindle (or e-reader)? Violet Blue has some suggestions to Kink Your Kindle.
  • Via BuzzFeed, here is a list of 32 Asian American writers to read. Just doing my part to help you diversify your reading.
  • I am not a huge fan of the dystopian genre, but I have read a comic or two in the genre, including a title or two on this list. I think some folks out there may find it of interest. The list is of “Top Ten Superhero-Free Dystopian Comics.” Published at SF Signal.

It is amazing that I have made 50 of these lists already. I can tell you that lacking something to read will not be a problem anytime soon. As always, if you read any of the books mentioned on this post, feel free to let me know what you think. The comments are always open.

 

CuriousGeorgeReading

Items about books I want to read:

  • When my mother passed away a few years back, my coworkers did not quite know what to do about me. You see, I am a heathen, and a lot of my coworkers were Christians (including some of the fundamentalist variety). For some reason they thought that if they said something like “I am keeping you in my prayers” that they were going to offend me. In reality, they were not. I may be a heathen, but I am fairly chill when it comes to others having their beliefs. In the end, they were all, as my mother used to say, running around like chickens with their heads cut off to avoid just talking to me. It was seriously awkward. Maybe a book like this might have been helpful for them. The book is Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing To Do With God by Greta Christina. She points out it has been reviewed here.
  • Dreamland has been on my TBR list for a bit now. It sounds like it may be similar to Methland, which I did read. The book got a brief mention in Mother Jones here.
  • I would not mind reading the anthology Smut Peddler (link to seller website as it is not exactly a library title) sometime. It is mentioned, with an excerpt here at IO9.
  • I always enjoy books about books and reading. So, this book, My Bookstore, where writers write about their favorite bookstores, sound interesting. It was mentioned at San Francisco Book Review.
  • I think the title in this one is a bit misleading. The author of this memoir did bind a book for the Pope, once it seems (I would have expected the title to mean the Pope had some sort of “royal” book binder). The book itself is more about the used and antiquarian book trade overall. Still, sounds interesting enough. The book is The Pope’s Bookbinder, and it is also mentioned at San Francisco Book Review.
  • Along with reading about books, things related to books and writing fascinate me as well. So a book on the history of paper certainly sounds interesting. The book is On Paper, and it was highlighted at San Francisco Book Review.
  • An Alison Tyler erotica anthology is always a welcome read. Her anthology of short short erotic stories, Sudden Sex, was reviewed at BDSM Book Reviews.
  • This got lost in the shuffle for me. Walt Crawford has a book out on social media in public libraries. Though I am an academic librarian, I often find I learn much from some practices in academic libraries, so I am adding the book to my reading list. The book is Successful Social Networking in Public Libraries, and I saw it via an ALA press release a while back.
  • Here is another shop title so to speak. Being an instruction librarian who seeks to improve his practice, this kind of book is of interest. The book this time is Feminist Pedagogy for Library Instruction, and it was discussed at Cat Lady Librarian.
  • The blog Blogging for a Good Book suggests Swamp Thing, Volume 1 by Scott Snyder. As I have enjoyed other works by Snyder, specially his American Vampire series, I am very willing to give this one a chance. They also suggest Hawkeye, Volume 1.
  • A little something for foodies. For me, this just sounded intriguing. Marion Nestle at Food Politics gave the book a blurb. The book is 50 Foods.
  • Interesting in food issues and waste? The book American Wasteland may be of interest. It was discussed at The Blue Review.
  • Another book on the recession and explaining why things imploded (in large measure, surprise surprise, it was the greedy S.O.B.’s of the financial sector). Blogcritics takes a look at Confronting Capitalism.
  • The Lowrider Librarian highly recommends the book Citizen. Very relevant collection of essays to what is going on in the nation from racism to aggression.
  • Now, I am not a connoisseur, but I have taken a bit more interest in learning about whiskey since I moved to Kentucky. Drinkhacker offers a review of the book Tasting Whiskey.
  • And while we are talking spirits, Drinkhacker also has a review of a book on gin. The book is The Spirit of Gin.
  • Here is one I have been wanting to read for a while. Powell’s highlighted a while back the book The Intern’s Handbook.
  • Here is another LIS book I need to add to my TBR list, and I probably need to read it sooner rather than later, via Library Juice blog, the book is Informed Agitation.
  • On a different track, here is a history of sex work. The book is Sex Workers Unite, and it was reviewed at Lambda Literary.
  • The Intoxicated Zodiac found this book to be hilarious. I may have to check it out, maybe pass it on to The Better Half when I am done. The book is Reasons Mommy Drinks.
  • Smoking on campuses can be a hot button topic. I can tell you that in the campus I work now, whenever the debate of totally banning it comes up (right now, there are outdoor designated smoking areas), both sides get seriously emotional and often aggressive. To help consider the topic, this book may help. It offers an analysis of students and their smoking behavior. The book is Lighting Up, and it was reviewed at Inside Higher Ed.

 

Lists and bibliographies:

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.

CuriousGeorgeReading

 

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.

 

 

Tags:

CuriousGeorgeReading

The books for the TBR list just keep piling up. Maybe I will get to reincarnate so I can come back and read some more.

Items about books:

  • One for the hardcore horror film fan perhaps. I will admit that I know little of the more obscure and/or independently made horror films. This book may help fix that gap. The book is Regional Horror Films, 1958-1990. It is discussed at Bookgasm.
  • Also via Bookgasm, one for foodies, although I will warn it is not just about fancy food. The review is for an anthology of comics (some indie, some maybe a bit more mainstream) that share a common theme of food, consumption, and digestion. The book is Digestate: a food and eating themed anthology.
  • Let’s go with a bit of Japanese science fiction in translation with The Lord of the Sands of Time. It is reviewed at Contemporary Japanese Literature.
  • A couple of shop items so to speak for the librarian. One is UContent: the Information Professional’s Guide to User-Generated Content. (Reviewed here). The other is Transforming Information Literacy Instruction Using Learner-Centered Teaching (reviewed here). Of the two, I am interested more in the second one since I am an instruction librarian. The first one, though it interests me also as instruction librarian as well as blogger, I am bit more skeptical by now. After all, it is at least four years old by now, and in Internet years, that is like 20 years or so in normal years.
  • For something different, speculative fiction inspired by the Ramayana (yes, that Ramayana). I have read the Ramayana, but it was years ago. I may have to reread it down the road. So now, we get this book: Breaking the Bow: Speculative Fiction Inspired by the Ramayana. Of course I had to add it to my TBR list. The book was mentioned in the Literary Salon.
  • Good manners are something that I consider important, and books on the topic, whether old or modern guides, interest me. So, I am adding The Butler Speaks to my list. It was reviewed at San Francisco Book Review. Maybe the world would be a better place if people minded their manners, maybe more if parents actually knew manners and taught them to their children.
  • Via A Case for Suitable Treatment, a review of a manga title, first in a series, I have wanted to try out. The book in question is 07-Ghost, Volume 1.
  • Via habitually probing generalist, a short review of A Most Imperfect Union. Often, I would not bother with a book when a reliable source is lukewarm about it, but I have read other works of both Stavans and Alcaraz such as Latino USA, so I am too curious not to try this out.
  • Another one from a librarian. The Lowrider Librarian says this is a book your library needs, and given recent events, I believe it. The books is Cannabis Pharmacy, and it can make a timely addition as cannabis and marijuana continue to gain legal status and acceptance in the United States.
  • Star Wars novels can be hit and miss for me. I have read some I liked, and some that I did not like. A book I did enjoy was James Luceno’s Star Wars: Dark Lord: the Rise of Darth Vader (link to my review. I rated it 4 out of 5 stars at the time). However, I also recently read Kenobi by John Jackson Miller, which I do not recall as fondly. So the quality often depends on the author. At any rate, Luceno has a new book out: Tarkin, about the Grand Moff who commanded the Death Star. Naturally, my curiosity and the fact I enjoy Star Wars means I will probably look it up down the road. Tarkin was reviewed at BuzzyMag.
  • Interested in health care issues in the United States? Want to learn how bad the health care system is in the U.S. and pretty much how politicians, insurance companies, and a lot of money pretty much assure it stays that way? Then maybe America’s Bitter Pill may be the book for you. It was recommended by the folks at Powell’s Books.
  • For me, a new Neil Gaiman book is always of interest, and he has a new short fiction collection out. The book is Trigger Warning, and it was reviewed at Bookgasm.
  • I do like a good plate of well made noodles. One of the things I miss about living in Houston back in the day is you could find a good noodle house or two. Berea lacks such a place. I am not, however, a fan of the instant noodles. But I am interested in a book about how noodles have been turned into a commodity, whether instant or not. The book is The Noodle Narratives, and it was mentioned at Food Politics.
  • Food Politics also mentions a book about lentils and sustainable farming that sounded interesting. The book is Lentil Underground.

 

Lists and bibliographies:

  • These days, that Shades book is getting a lot of hype again because of the upcoming movie. It seems every other woman in the U.S. is creaming her panties to go see it. May the deity of choice have mercy on any boyfriend or spouse dragged into that torture. I thank the deity of choice The Better Half has better taste when it comes to erotica. At any rate, whether you need something to tide you over until the movie or, better yet, you want something better in terms of quality and writing skill than that one book, here is a small list of books beyond that one book from Shelf Talk.
  • Once again, if interested, the folks at BookFinder have done their annual report on out-of-print and in demand books. Madonna’s Sex is not number one, but it is still in the top five.
  • Via Bookgasm, a list of Euro-comics with a theme of “Getting TANKed.”
  • In 2014, one of my reading challenges allowed for reading novels based on games and video games. I could have used this list to get a few more ideas of what to read. List via Book Riot.
  • The Unshelved comic strip devotes one day a week to do book reviews. Here is their review of the Preacher comic series, which I have been meaning to read.
  • Via Sounds and Colours, a list of “the best books on street art in Latin America.” A bit from the article, “in Latin America, street art is of major cultural relevance. The region’s traditions of social movements and revolution have allowed the form to give voice to otherwise unheard sectors of the population. Of course, not all street art is politically or socially-oriented in content, but it does often provide insight into specific objectives and ideals.”
  • I am not a gardener (I would not mind becoming one, but I just do not have the time or space at the moment). However, I do find some books on the topic interesting. If you have an interest in gardening, perhaps you are a gardener yourself, this may be of interest.  Via Poor as Folk, here is a list of “best food and gardening books of 2014.
  • Need to boost the creativity a bit? Via Little Dumb Man, here is a list of “10 great books that will books your creativity.”
  • Want to be scared? Want to read some real life horror? Do you like medical subjects? Then this list may be for you. Via The Booklist Reader, here is “Contagious Reading: Scary Medical Books Where the Truth Reads Like Fiction.
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