Alchemical Thoughts

Posts Tagged ‘activism/causes

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.

CuriousGeorgeReading

Welcome to another edition in this series of posts about books I would like to read some day. As always, if you read any of these, feel free to come back and comment to let me know what you thought of a book. Also, if you have ideas and suggestions for books you think I may want to read, let me know as well in the comments. Let’s see what we have for this week.

 

Items about books I want to read:

  • A former chief of police in Seattle, Norm Stamper was recently featured in Democracy Now! discussing police issues in the United States. He has a new book out on the topic, To Protect and to Serve: How to Fix America’s Police. It seems like a timely book that needs for more people to be reading it.
  • Because I find macabre things interesting now and then, I would like to read Beyond the Dark Veil, a collection of Victorian era post-mortem photography. Story about the book via Boing Boing.
  • These days, Jesse Ventura can have his entertaining and even thought provoking moments. However, him explaining why some are voting for Trump is not one of them. Moving along, this piece highlights his new book, which sounds like it could be an entertaining read. The book is S*it Politicians Say. Story about it via Esquire magazine.
  • Next we have a bit of dark humor with 13 Elegant Ways to Commit Suicide. The older book was highlighted at Dangerous Minds.
  • Another book discussing the issues of gun culture and the big business of selling guns in the United States. This time the book is The Gunning of America, and it was reviewed in a full essay in the The Times Literary Supplement.
  • Here is a book about books, or rather in this case about readers. The book is The Reader in the Book, and it was reviewed at Los Angeles Review of Books.
  • Via @TABITarot, a review of The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Spreads. This may be one to consider adding to my collection down the road as a reference source.
  • This is one of those books that I would enjoy browsing through as a child, the kind of book that has a little bit of everything. The book is Mann’s Pictorial Dictionary, and it was featured in Boing Boing.
  • And one more book via Boing Boing. It is a coffee book of what is described as brutalist architecture. The book is This Brutal World.
  • This book could be an interesting proposition. Basically, it can help explain why dumbasses in the poor states, like say the Deep South, take a ton of federal money and aid, and still hate the federal government (and usually vote Republican). The book is American Amnesia. The book was discussed at AlterNet.
  • Bill Moyers’ site has an article looking at class, politics and Trump while highlighting the recent book White Trash, which is a history of class in the U.S.
  • If you like works like Ambrose Bierce’s A Devil’s Dictionary, you may also enjoy Encyclopedia of Hell published by the folks at Feral House. It is sort of an invasion manual for demons to know what they will find when they get to Earth. The book was featured at Boing Boing.
  • I always find stuff on writing and specially handwriting to be of interest, so I am hoping this book will make for good reading. The book is The History and Uncertain Future of Handwriting, and it was reviewed at Inside Higher Ed.
  • I  am adding this one in part because I feel I should at least look at it. Honestly though, I do not give much of a hoot about student evaluations of their college professors, which for the most part can be petty and pretty meaningless when it comes to actual assessment. That is another conversation for another day. In the meantime, there is a new book highlighting such student comments. The book is To My Professor, and it was reviewed at Inside Higher Ed.
  • Only reason I am linking to this post from the Librarian Shipwreck blog is that  it mentions a book on  the concept of planned obsolescence (a.k.a. the  money grabbing move companies make of making shit products so you have to buy them again every few years, like Apple’s current fuckery regarding the iPhone 7 with  no headphone jack) that I think is worth  a look. The book is mentioned all the way at the bottom of the post, and the book is Digital Rubbish.
  • This book just sounded interesting. The book is Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll, and it was reviewed at Rock and Roll Tarot blog.
  • Barbara Moore, one of the big gurus in Tarot, discusses the concept of reading Tarot intuitively on the Llewellyn website, and she also links to the book Tarot Fundamentals, which I may be interested  in reading.
  • Another Tarot book that I might be interested in reading down the road is Tarot Mysteries, which was reviewed at Tarot Notes blog.
  • Sean Gaffney highlights the fourth volume of the manga series Black Bullet. Sounds like one to try out, but I would need to start with the first volume.
  • The Lowrider Librarian reviews the  book The Other Slavery. If you think African American slavery was all there was in the United States, you need to read that book. I know I will be getting to it soon.

 

 

Lists and bibligraphies:

CuriousGeorgeReading

 

Another post and another list of books I would like to read some day. One thing is certain. I will never run out of books to read, and that is a good thing. I also hope my four readers out there find something good to read from these lists once in a while. So, if you pick up a book from any of these posts, please feel free to leave me a comment and let me know. I would love to hear from you.

For anyone who has not read these posts before, this is about me listing books I would like to read. I include the source that gave me the idea about the book, say a review, an article, so on, in order to be able to remind myself why I included the book on the list. In these posts, I also include any lists and bibliographies on topics that may be of interest.

Items about books I want to read:

  • In the United States, and let us be honest, a few other parts of the world, poverty can be big business for the right people doing the exploiting. In the U.S., they raise that to an art form when it comes to taking programs meant to help the poor and those in need and trying to privatize them to make money for exploitative corporations while taking those funds away from those that need them. Via The Atlantic, here is a discussion of the issue and highlight of the book The Poverty Industry.
  • Thomas Frank, author of Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?, talks about what the hell happened to the Democratic Party in the United States. One of the things he argues is that “the problem with establishment Democrats is not that they have been bribed by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and others, but that long ago they determined to supplant the GOP as the party of Wall Street.” I would say in essence, the Democrats in the U.S. have become “Republican-lite.” Story via Democracy Now!
  • On a bit of humor along with eroticism, apparently at one point hipster erotica was a thing, and Hannah Wilde wrote a few books on it to the point she has a series of The Complete Hipster Gangbangs (link to Amazon on this one. I am sure you understand this will not be in WorldCat anytime soon). The story comes via VICE. Sometimes it amazes me the things I can find out there.
  • Here is a possible addition to my list of books for the 2016 Horror Reading Challenge, which I am doing this year. The book is Blood Related, and it was reviewed at Horror Novel Reviews. Here is a little something from the review: “We have a very rough-around-the-edges family. A serial killer for a father, drunk for a mother, and twin boys who witness more than any child should.”
  • Laugh now, but in some distant future, men could be forced to make love to beautiful women. At least that is how Pagan Passions would put it. You can download the book for free here (it is in public domain). And yes, a few libraries still have it too. The book was featured at the WTF Bad Science Fiction Covers blog. It is a pity the blog went on hiatus. It was an amusing blog.
  • Tarot with Jeff recently got a book as a birthday gift from a friend. I need to find more friends like he has. My friends do not get me jack and shit for my birthday. Anyhow, the book he received was Benebell Wen’s Holistic Tarot, and it looks like a good book for me to read to help along in my Tarot learning journey.
  • Speaking of Tarot, when I started my journey to learn how to read Tarot cards, I started it with a Marseilles Tarot deck. While I do like the deck for being a classic and bringing me some pleasant memories of youth, I could not do much reading with it because the Minor Arcana is not illustrated. I was just not able to develop my intuition enough, and I had to keep constantly turning to the book. So, I switched the deck I use now, the Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti, which is a modern, more visual deck. However, I do intend to go back to using my Marseilles once I feel I have learned the basic meanings well enough to need less visual prompts. Unlike the Rider Waite Smith Tarot system, there are not many books to help you learn the Marseilles deck. Well, lucky for me, The Moon Parlor mentions a book just for that: Marseille Tarot: Towards The Art of Reading. The other big author in learning Marseilles Tarot in modern times is Alejandro Jodorowsky, who is also mentioned in the post. His book is The Way of Tarot, a book that I have seen mentioned in a few other places, and I am likely to add to my collection. When it comes to learning Marseilles Tarot, I need all the help I can get.
  • Via Death and Tarot, a video highlighting the book 78 Degrees of Wisdom by Rachel Pollack. From what I  understand, this is considered a classic in Tarot studies.
  • Via Benebell Wen’s blog, a review of Foundations of the Esoteric Traditions. The book is a companion to the Tarot of the Holy Light Tarot deck. As it is self-published, just visit her post for links and details.
  • At the Eternal Athena Tarot blog they’ve been reading the book Tarot as a Way of Life.
  • Moving to other topics, Dick Gregory recently wrote an essay for college students about knowing when to pick your battles and what really matters in activism. He also mentions his autobiography, which he entitled Nigger, which the essay has inspired me to add to my reading list.
  • I find old paperbacks and their covers fascinating, including the so-called sleazy ones. Well, there is a book out on those covers highlighted at Bookgasm. The book is Sin-a-Rama: Sleaze Sex Paperbacks of the Sixties edited by B. Astrid Daley and Adam Parfrey. The book is also highlighted in this article from Dangerous Minds.
  • Like tacos? Want to learn more about tacos? Then maybe the book Tacopedia could help. It was featured at Wink Books.
  • The Library Juice blog points to a new journal in library science, the Journal of Intellectual Freedom and Privacy. Sounds like one to add to my reading list. Their first issue has a review of one of Library Juice’s books, which is of interest to me. The book is Where are all the Librarians of Color? The Experiences of People of Color in Academia.
  • The Rural Blog has a post on “Book about extended Appalachian family helps explain trials of the lesser-educated working class.” The book is Hillbilly Elegy.
  • Via Democracy Now!, a discussion on how Donald Trump made his fortune with public subsidies and political favors with a reporter who has tracked and covered Trump since Trump early days. That reported is author of a Trump biography: Trump: The Greatest Show on Earth: The Deals, the Downfall, the Reinvention. The book was published in 1991, but it has recently been released again as an e-book with some updates. For those wanting to learn more about the man, this book is a possibility, and in the report, the author provides various updates.

 

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 list of the books I reviewed at The Itinerant Librarian for February 2015. Feel free to check out the reviews. If you read any of the books I reviewed, you can leave me a comment and let me know how you liked the book or not. Also, if you have reading suggestions for me, you can let me know in the comments as well.

 

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.

These are the last books I reviewed before the end of 2015. This was a bit of a rush month for me as I was making sure I got some reviews in on time to meet some of my reading challenges for 2015. As always, comments are welcome. Let me know if you read any of these, what you think, so on. And new reading suggestions are always welcome.

 

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 fell a little behind on this, so here they are. Feel free to check out the reviews. As I have said before, just because I reviewed them this month, it does not mean I read them in the same month. In terms of review writing, this was a pretty productive month for me. If you read any of these, or you have other comments, feel free to comment below.


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