Alchemical Thoughts

Posts Tagged ‘activism/causes

Here we go again with the latest additions to my ever growing TBR list. As always, book title links to go to WorldCat, so you can borrow it from a library near you unless otherwise noted.

Items about books I want to read:

  • A Thanksgiving article, one of those about chefs giving advice for the holiday. I picked up on this for mention of the chef’s book Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. Story via Vox.
  • Here is another foodie book, this one about six Americans in Paris including Julia Child. The  book is The Gourmands’ Way, and it was reviewed in The New York Times.
  • There is a new (to me at least) history of hoaxes that may be relevant in these Hard Times of fake news. The book is Bunk, and it was reviewed in The New York Times.
  • Do you ever wonder what kind of food you could bring to a funeral? Or for any  other occasion? Well, Elizabeth Heiskell’s cookbook What Can I Bring? may provide some answers. Story via The Lexington Herald Leader.
  • Here is an early bit of humor on travel narratives with  A Journey Round My Room by Xavier de Maistre. The book is freely available online at Public Domain Review. If you prefer print, some libraries do have it.
  • Benebell Wen reviews a new (to me at least) Tarot basics book. The book is Going Beyond the Little White Book. Book is self-published, so no WorldCat record as of this post. Wen’s review includes purchase options.
  • A lot of (ignorant) people love to say the U.S. is a Christian nation (spoiler: it is not. Go ahead, read the “Founding Fathers” sometime, secular as they were). Histories of Christianity in the U.S. are plentiful, but there are not many about atheism and secularism in the U.S. This book attempts to remedy that. The book is Village Atheists: How America’s Unbelievers Made Their Way in a Godly Nation. It was discussed at Los Angeles Review of Books.
  • Though the review is a bit mixed, the book still looks interesting, and I may take a look. The book is Mangasia, and it was reviewed at The Manga Critic.
  • Schlock Value reviews one of those old books that you are not quite sure if they are so bad they are good kind of thing. Still, could be interesting to read. The book is Moon Zero Two.
  • This is a totally cute idea. Someone made a book about cats who do pest control at distilleries. The book is Distillery Cats, and it was reviewed at The New York Times. I’ve got to read this one sooner rather than later.
  • Here is another one for cat lovers: If I Fits, I Sits. It’s a book of cat pictures and quotations. Reviewed at City Book Review.
  • I do not care much for sports, but I have read a book or two on some sports-related topic if it was interesting. This one sounds very interesting, so I am adding it to my TBR list. The book is The Pride of Havana: a History of Cuban Baseball. It was reviewed at Shelf Talk.
  • Here is a book about how old books can be turned into works of  art. The book is entitled The Book, and it was featured in City Book Review.
  • This may either be a work of genius or the work of someone who had way too much time on their hands. This author has looked at the Pendejo In Chief’s words and found poetry. Amazing, huh? The book is The Beautiful Poetry of Donald Trump. It was featured in Dangerous Minds.
  • A book on rum? Sure. The book is Rum Curious, and it was highlighted at Drinkhacker.
  • Learn about the real cost of those chicken nuggets in places like McDonald’s in The Hamlet Fire. Marion Nestle highlighted it in her Food Politics blog.
  • Let’s look at some horror. Via Horror Novel Reviews, here is The Devil and My Daughter (no WorldCat record available as of this time),  a book with the plot starting with “a young film crew who shoot an extreme indie horror film.”
  • I not only like to read, but I also like books and the culture around them, so a book like Footnotes from the World’s Greatest Bookstores is the kind of book I would be interested in. Granted, it has a foreword by Garrison Keillor (who turns out to not only be insufferable but turns out he is also an asshole), but I think I can live with that to get the rest of the book. The book was reviewed at Wink Books.

 

Lists and bibliographies:

 

This is the list of books I reviewed over at The Itinerant Librarian for the month of May 2017. Book links go to the my review unless otherwise noted. Feel to check them out.

Photo from Flickr user Raider of Gin (fairerdingo). Image used under terms of Creative Commons 2.0 Generic Attribution License.

 

Welcome to another post in this series about books I want to read. The list keeps getting bigger, but I do not mind. I think I got some interesting selections this time around. As always, if you read one of these books, feel free, if you feel moved to do so, to come back and leave a comment letting me know what you thought of the book.

 

Items about books I want to read:

  • Let’s start by taking a trip down memory lane. If you grew up with or remember those Little Golden Books, you can reminisce with Golden Legacy: the Story of Golden Books. Note this is a new 2017 edition; apparently, there was a previous edition back in 2007, at least according to WorldCat. Story via The Christian Science Monitor.
  • According to the article, the author of this book argues that impoverished whites are passing down their hopelessness to future generations. Sounds quite depressing. The book is Happiness for All? by Carol Graham. Story via The Rural Blog.
  • On the other hand, a lot of Americans, and I mean a lot, have an obsession with wealth and money. This is not really new, but what is interesting about this book is that a photographer went out to document it. The book is Generation Wealth, and the story comes from The Atlantic.
  • In recent news, the author of the book Nixonland responds to the idea of comparing the Pendejo In Chief to President Nixon. He says there is no real comparison, after all, Nixon “. . .was just so shrewd, so strategic: It’s simply inconceivable he would get caught with his pants down implicating himself on the record, like Trump now does almost daily. . . “.  I could not care less about the Pendejo In Chief, but I am adding Nixonland to my reading list.  Story via The Week.
  • Here is a cute little book for young and future activists. The book is A is for Activist. It was featured in the Poor as Folk blog.
  • A gruesome horror title that, according to the reviewer you may want to skip if “explicit sex, graphic gore, and profanity are not your thing. . .” That works for me. The book is Body Art, and it is one you have to get via Amazon it seems (not currently in WorldCat. I wonder why).  Review from Horror Novel Reviews.
  • Via The Los Angeles Review  of Books, a review of the new feminist manifesto by Jessa Crispin: Why I Am Not a Feminist. I have some mixed feelings on this one. I have read Crispin’s work before, however, what I read was very different than this. In addition, I have seen some pretty negative reviews of it, and while I try not to get prejudices from reviews, I still wonder. My public library has it, so I may pick it up sooner rather than later. If I read it, I will likely write a review on the blog, but I will make sure not to tag her on social media or contact her in any way when  I publish it. It seems in her book she cares little about men, and she does not care what we think of her book. Cited in the review, Crispin states, “I just want to be clear that I don’t give a fuck about your response to this book. [Point taken!] Do not email me, do not get in touch. Deal with your own shit for once.” Okay.
  • Wonder how Jesus became a revered figure and prophet in Islam? Did you even know that is a fact? Well, you may consider reading The Islamic Jesus by Mustafa Akyol. I have known this, in part because I have read The Qu’ran, but I can always learn more. Story via The New York Times.
  • The new (to me at least) manga Murciélago looks interesting. Murder, comedy, and sex? Hey, I am there. Via The OASG.
  • Jack Womack looks at the culture of UFO believers and trackers plus shows off some of his ephemera on the topic in his book Flying Saucers are Real. Story via Wink Books.
  • Via the Tumblr blog Swingin’ (user: kahuna68), an image of the 1962 cover of The Manchurian Candidate. Given the ascendancy of the Pendejo In Chief, it may be time to read this book.
  • Via @TABItarot, a review of the book 365 Tarot Spells. It is a collection of Tarot spreads, which may come in handy for me as I continue to learn and study Tarot.
  • Jane Meyer, author of Dark Money, discusses her work and the concept of dark money in politics at Esquire.
  • At the Food Politics blog, we get a look at Fast Food Kids. The book is described as “an academic sociologist’s account of what and how kids eat in school, and why.”
  • To show you can find a book on just about any topic, including topics dear to perhaps older librarians, here is a book on library card catalogs highlighted at Hyperallergic. It was not that long ago we had card catalogs. In fact, in my first library job as a student worker many moons ago, the library I was working at was in the process of converting from a card catalog to what would become their computerized catalog. Anyhow, the book is The Card Catalog.
  • The Lowrider Librarian has announced that the book he co-edited is out: Librarians With Spines. The book is a result of a crowdfunding effort. It is an anthology of queer and minority voices in librarianship, the kind of book we need more in our profession. If I manage to get a copy, I will post a review. I wonder how it might compare with Where Are All the Librarians of Color?, which I read a while back (link to my review of that).

 

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.

This is the last batch of book reviews I did for 2016. If you missed any, click the links below and check them out. As always, if you read any, feel free to comment and let me know your thoughts. Also, suggestions for things you think I may want to read are always welcome. Links below go to my reviews.

 

CuriousGeorgeReading

A new year is here, and we have a new list of books I would like to read some day. So many  books, and  so little time. Still, I do want to remember, which is why I keep these lists.

Items about books I want to read:

  • I happen to like H.P. Lovecraft and his works. I recently got as a  gift a nice edition of his complete fiction, which I hope to be reading soon. In addition, I have gotten more interested in his works and The Necronomicon that is featured in some of his works in light of my Tarot studies. The Tarot angle comes from the fact that there is a Necronomicon Tarot that I would like to acquire down the road. The deck is created by Donald Tyson, who has a trilogy of works in the Necronomicon world, including the deck. So I am interested  in reading as much as I can about the Necronomicon. So this is a long bit of background to mention that Lovecraft did write his own small history of his fictional work, The History of the Necronomicon, in 1927, and I would like to read that too sometime. There is a 1980 reprint some libraries have. You can also read  it online for free (turns out it is a very short thing. However, that site also is a Lovecraft archive, and you can read many if not all of his  works  online for free). The work was mentioned in the Quo Vadis blog.
  • While Obama was president, there was  the possibility  of opening relations with Cuba. With the Orange One, not so sure. Still learning about the island nation is a good thing, and here is a recent book to help with that. The book is To Have Been There, which is “a memoir by Gregory Randall about growing up in “revolutionary” Cuba from the late 1960s to the early ‘80s.” The book is a translation of the original from Spanish. That one was published in 2013, and the title is Estar allí Entonces. As of this post, I could not find libraries with  the English edition (it is new at the  moment), but a few do have the one in Spanish, and that works for me just fine. The book was discussed at The Rumpus.
  • Here we have a look at some of the first world problems of privileged parents of kids in Brooklyn, New York City. It is labeled as a satirical novel. The book is Class, and it is “Lucinda Rosenfeld’s stiletto-sharp new novel about the quandaries and neuroses that consume the lives of a small swath of privileged white public-school parents in Brooklyn…”. I am usually not much into regular literary fiction, but this sounds interesting enough for me to consider it. I heard about the book via The New York Times.
  • Also via The New York Times, a new book by Michael Eric Dyson. I have liked his writing before, but he is one  of those authors that gets me upset at the state of the world. Yet, like Jonathan Kozol and some others, the work is still important. Dyson’s new book is Tears We Cannot Stop.
  • Matt Taibbi also has a  new book out. This one is looking at the 2016 elections in the United States. The book is Insane Clown President, and I saw it at Truthout.
  • Benjamin Walker’s podcast The Theory of Everything highlights the book The Twentieth of January, a 1980s spy thriller ”
    about a KGB plot — uncovered by a British intelligence agent — to get their stooge elected president of the US!” An interesting thing I am noticing lately is people going back to old books such as dystopias, thrillers, and even horror to find how they “predicted” or somehow reflect the Hard Times now. This book certainly does make you wonder. It certainly seems that a good number of fictional scenarios that may have seen horrifying or ridiculous back when are actually becoming reality. Anyhow, if you prefer to read the discussion, there is a transcript for the podcast. I first learned of this via Boing Boing.
  • On a lighter note, The Well-Appointed Desk reviews the book The year of Living Danishly.
  • The Christian Science Monitor features a review of a new biography of Rumi. The book is Rumi’s Secret.
  • Via the Contemporary Japanese Literature blog, a review of a translation of the Japanese horror novel The Graveyard Apartment.
  • trashcompactorzine blog recently posted a photo of the cover of Creepy Presents Richard Corben. It is a collection of Corben’s work for Creepy and Eerie magazines.
  • Mark Lindner of habitually probing generalist reviewed a new graphic novel biography of Johnny Cash (well, new to me). I have enjoyed a few other graphic novel biographies, and this one looks good, so I am glad to be adding it to my list of books to read. The book is Johnny Cash: I See a Darkness.
  • I enjoy alcoholic spirits in moderation, and as I may have mentioned before, I do enjoy reading about them, their history, and how they get made. Living in Kentucky now, I have gotten more interested in learning about bourbon whiskey, so books on the topic are of interest. Drinkhacker offers a review of Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey.
  • According to tales that may or not be apocryphal, Aleister Crowley used his occult powers to help the British against Hitler. I am not sure where the truth starts and the myth takes over, but it sounds like a great story. Lo and behold someone made a graphic novel of it. The book is Aleister & Adolf, and this is one I definitely want to read. It was reviewed by Wink Books. In addition, Dangerous Minds has a small interview with the author of the graphic novel.
  • The Los Angeles Review of Books reviews a novel described as barrio noir. Part of the reason it caught my eye is because Santa Muerte is figured prominently in the book, and it is being compared to Neil Gaiman’s work. The book is Zero Saints.
  • Over at Little Red Tarot, Liz Worth gives advice on that to do if a Tarot reading confuses you (as reader) and promotes her book Going Beyond the Little White Book: A Contemporary Guide to Tarot. It is self-published, so you can visit Ms. Worth’s online shop to acquire a copy.

 

 

Lists and  bibliographies:

  • Via The Guardian, a list of dystopias other than Nineteen-Eighty Four that may be of interest in these Hard Times. It is a pretty good list. I would add to it The Repossession Mambo (link to my review), which was basis of the film Repo Men. I have already read two from the list: The Handmaid’s Tale (which I did not care for) and Brave New World.
  • The title of this list says it all: “6 Books That Explain How the GOP Went Crazy.” If you need to understand how we got to the Hard Times, or you were not paying attention, reading some of these books might help. Via New York Magazine.
  • At Based on a True Story, a list of some underrated books they would like you to consider. The blogger, much like me, often reads “a lot of books that other people have never heard of.”
  • The American Library Association’s (ALA) Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) has released their list of notable books for 2017. Some of you may find this of interest. They also have a list of best for 2017 in genre fiction. I am a librarian who feels he is fairly well informed, and I had no idea there is a genre called “adrenaline.” I get the feeling RUSA made that one up.
  • Comic Book Resources (CBR) offers a list of “The 16 Best War Comics.” I think it would be worth the effort tracking many of these old gems down.
  • Signature always makes good lists of books to understand issues. This time we have a list of “6 Books to Better Understand (and Solve) Homelessness in America.” I can certainly see understanding it, but solving it? Americans are notorious for ignoring big problems and for being overall selfish. Sure, a one-time disaster like a hurricane happens, and they pour out donations, but caring in general for their fellow human beings? Heck no. I would not hold my breath waiting for that to happen. Yet I hope.
  • Signature also offers a list helpful for the Hard Times, a list of “7 Books to Understand the Incoming Trump Administration.” Well, it is no longer incoming, but reading some of this may help better understand how the U.S. got here. These are not books about Trump, except for his Trump: the Art of the Deal, but rather books about issues that the new regime will face such as Putin, China, and Syria.

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