Alchemical Thoughts

Posts Tagged ‘business and economics

CuriousGeorgeReading

I keep adding books to my ever growing TBR book lists.

Items about books I want to read:

  • A new book is out on the history of cigarettes and corporate imperialism. The book is Cigarettes, Inc., and it is highlighted at TruthOut.
  • Via Vox, this book “not exactly a guide to doing nothing; more like a suggestion that you could refuse to do some of the things that fracture your attention — reading every push notification that crosses your phone screen, watching 500 Instagram stories between every basic task — and protect your mind from becoming slippery and splintered.” This is certainly a concern in our time, and yes, we really need to work on refusing to do certain things just because they are expected or something beeps at you. The book is How to do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy.
  • A look at American cook books, you know, those books companies make with recipes using their products. The book is American Advertising Cookbooks, and I heard about it via Boing Boing.
  • Apparently not all suburbs were not all nice and quiet and conformist. A few apparently had a share of anarchists and other radicals. You can learn more about this in the book Radical Suburbs. Via CityLab Daily.
  • The New Republic discusses the history of cults in the United States and highlights the book American Messiahs, a book “tracing a series of cults and communes through history from the founding of the American Republic to the fall of Jonestown.”
  • In what I would consider odds and ends, the US Army has a book length report on how to do regime change and interventions. Story via Telesur. You can find the PDF document here.
  • This is one of those books that if I really want to read I may have to buy. Sure, WorldCat has a record but only a British library has it. I am doubtful my library is willing to ILL that for me here in the middle of nowhere Kentucky. The book is Marquis de Sade– 100 Erotic Illustrations, and it was featured in VICE. Amazon may have it though challenge may be finding the English edition (originally in German it seems). Hmm, buying from the publisher, even from abroad, may be an option.
  • My Reader’s Block finds a Poirot book she has not read, the short story collection Poirot Investigates. I have not read the book either as of this post, so adding it to my TBR list.
  • Stupid Fish Productions announces that The Sexy Librarian’s Dirty 30, Volume 3 (link to publisher site) is coming (should be out by the time this post is published).
  • This Latino Rebels article about recent history of Puerto Rico, worth a look, highlights a new to me book of photography: The Puerto Rican Diaspora (also additional link to author website).
  • VICE has an excerpt of the memoir Modern Whore. (Also, author’s website. If you want to buy, you likely need to go to the site and order from a store that has it. Amazon not only does not list it, but in their hypocritical search they change a search of “modern whore” to some “clean phrase”).
  • Given the issues of trade wars the United States is flaring up around the world in places like Mexico, this book may be of interest. The book is Eating NAFTA, and it was highlighted at the Food Politics blog. This book may also be good to read along side Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies (link to my review).
  • Speaking of food and food policy, Food Politics blog also highlights the book Grand Food Bargain. The blogger describes the book as “A former USDA insider’s account of what our Grand Food Bargain—a system focused on ever-increasing production of cheap food—actually costs Americans in poor health, environmental degradation, and loss of agrarian values and community.”

 

“Quarantined” books (books that fall under my self-imposed moratorium on politics, activism, etc.). A new category in this series. I am currently under a moratorium on reading anything political, activist, social justice, and such, and I am hoping that moratorium will end some day. . .maybe. . . once the Hard Times end. In the meantime, these are books I would usually read, but I am not in order to keep the sanity, but I am still listing them because I hope a day will come I will feel I can read them again.

 

Lists and bibliographies:

 

 

 

 

CuriousGeorgeReading

Welcome to the first post in this series for 2019. I continue jotting down books that sound interesting, and that I hope to read some day.

Items about books I want to read:

 

“Quarantined” books (books that fall under my self-imposed moratorium on politics, activism, etc.). A new category in this series. I am currently under a moratorium on reading anything political, activist, social justice, and such, and I am hoping that moratorium will end some day. . .maybe. . . once the Hard Times end. In the meantime, these are books I would usually read, but I am not in order to keep the sanity, but I am still listing them because I hope a day will come I will feel I can read them again.

 

Lists and bibliographies:

 

 

This is the lucky 7’s edition of this blog series. Let’s have a look at what I am adding to the ever growing TBR list this time. As usual, all book title links lead to WorldCat so you can find a copy in a library near you (unless otherwise noted).

Items about books I want to read:

  • One of the reasons I like early October is because it  is Nobel Prizes season. One of the prizes announced was the one in economics. This year, it went to an economist who works in behavioral economics. I do not usually read economics texts, but this kind of work sounds interesting, so I am adding his book Nudge to my reading list.
  • Marion Nestle mentions providing a blurb for the book Big Chicken.
  • Since reading Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, a book I highly recommend by the way(link to my review), I have become more interested in learning about death rituals and the death/mortuary industry. Here is another addition for reading in those topics. The book is Confessions of a Funeral Director. The book’s author was interviewed in VICE.
  • Another one via VICE. The book in question discusses the freelance and wandering worker economy. Imagine a world where workers just wander from one big warehouse, like Amazon’s fulfillment warehouses, to another to make ends meet. For many, that dystopia is already a reality. The book is Nomadland.
  • I have to admit that though I like and enjoy science fiction, I have not read as much of it recently as I would like. There is always  something else calling my attention, or perhaps a nonfiction book that feels more urgent than something escapist. Still, I want to work on having a better reading balance. Here is a book that bills itself as a “definitive anthology of space opera and military sf.” That is a tall order, so I am curious. The book is Infinite Stars, and it was reviewed at Bookgasm.
  • There is a new manga rebooting Captain Harlock. Of course I have to add it to my reading list. The book is Captain Harlock, Space Pirate: Dimensional Voyage, Volume 1. It was reviewed at A Case for Suitable Treatment.
  • For something different, Dangerous Minds looks a bit at the work of Bruce of Los Angeles with the male figure and mentions the book The Naked Heartland.
  • Via Patheos, a look at “Paula Deen and Charlottesville.” The article mentions and features an excerpt from the book Trouble I’ve Seen.
  • A librarian has a new book out about J.C. Penney, the guy who founded the company and had a bit of a role in shaping rural United States. The book is J.C. Penney: The Man, the Store, and American Agriculture, and I heard about it from the University of Wyoming’s site.
  • Something for my horror reading, a review of Paul F. Olson’s short fiction collection Whispered Echoes. Review via Horror Novel Reviews.
  • The poor, “oppressed,” left behind poor rural white guy Pendejo In Chief voter has pretty much become a cliche. Break out the little violins for those assholes. Books like Hillbilly Elegy came out to try to “explain” those people to the  rest of us with  little success (let’s be honest, that author basically is a guy of privilege who clearly forgot where he came from to put it mildly). So by now, when I see yet another book on Appalachia and the poor, I groan. Still, here is the latest offering that claims to be “not just another account of Appalachia’s current plight, but a journey deeper in time to help us understand how the region came to be the way it is.” I will believe it when I see it and read it. I am adding it to the list not so much because I want to read it; I may or may not, but because it does have a local interest to me. Odds are good my college library will order a copy of it. The book is Ramp Hollow: The Ordeal of Appalachia, and it was discussed in ProPublica.
  • A new book connects the old Ku Klux Klan with the rise of bigoted hate that seems so rampant today. If you read your history, you would not be surprised. At any rate, if you want to learn more, maybe consider reading The Second Coming of the KKK. Reviewed at The Texas Observer.
  • A little something in critical theory and information sciences. Library Juice blog announces a new book: The Feminist Reference Desk.

 

 

Lists and bibliographies:

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 my list of books that I reviewed on my blog, The Itinerant Librarian for the month  of October 2016. If you missed any of them, or you wish  to check them out, feel free to click on the links below. If you read any  of them, let me know in the  comments. Also, if you have any ideas for books you think I should read, you can comment as well.

  • I finally got to read Gaysia, which I have wanted to read for a while. Here is a bit of what I wrote in the review: “This is definitely a great travelogue and observation of the LGBTQIA experience in Southeast Asia. If you were to travel that part of the world, then Benjamin Law would make a great guide. He has a great ability to observe, which he combines with great writing plus a very descriptive and evocative style.”
  • For the most part, people tend to loathe meetings. But since we cannot totally get rid of them, you can at leas try to appear smart at them. To this end, I read 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings.
  • I needed some humor this month, so I reread Cable on Academe. I realized I had not written a review for it previously, so I finally wrote a review this month.
  • Finally for this month, I continue  my Tarot studies, and I read Barbara Moore’s Tarot for Beginners. I read this one as an e-book via my public library.

CuriousGeorgeReading

The list of books I wish to read some day keeps growing, but the time to read them does not always grow to match. Still, I do enjoy making these posts so I can keep track of things I find interesting. In sharing them, I hope it helps a bit in terms of reader’s advisory for folks looking for ideas on books to read.

Items about books I want to read:

 

Lists and bibliographies:

 

 

Apparently, a lot of people go wild on the weekends spending money (story via Wise Bread). People need stuff to do, and apparently a little retail therapy goes a very long way. The article I linked gives some ideas on how to avoid those traps, but as often with listicles, I had an issue or two with it. So I am going to look over their list of ideas and add my thoughts on the matter. Feel free to comment and agree or disagree, or say anything else for that matter.

  • The movie theater. OK, this is fairly obvious. It’s the weekend, the latest blockbuster is out, and and you want to be able to brag you were among the first to see it. I guess I get the appeal. They suggest you instead stay home and use Netflix or rent a movie from the Red Box (assuming there is a Red Box near you). They do have a point here. Movie theaters are expensive propositions in terms of tickets, then you add the popcorn, the soda to wash down that popcorn, any extra candy, so on. Plus if you are taking a family with you, you have at least a car payment probably.
    • Staying at home is a good option. However, if you want to save a bit more money, since you are staying at home anyhow, consider visiting your local public library. If you have a library card, it means you can not just check out books, but you can also check out DVDs, Blue Rays, so on, and they do not cost you a thing. Your public library often has not just movies but also many of the popular TV shows you may like. Make your own popcorn, save on the rental from that box, and watch something at home from the library.
  • The car lot. I read that, and my reaction was, “the car lot? Who the hell goes to a car lot for fun on a weekend?” I avoid a car lot the way I would avoid things like root canals, prostate probes, water boarding, and other medieval tortures. Who the hell does that and then just feels like, “hey, let’s buy a new car”? I am guessing these are people with either really good credit (so they can get approved for the financing), or they have money to burn and nothing better to do. If they are in the former, do you really need to get into another debt? If you are in the latter, this type of saving money article probably does not apply to you anyhow.
    • Need a place to go? There are plenty of parks and museums that do not cost a thing or that have modest cost. You can browse and look around to your heart’s content without ending up with a new car loan. Sure, if you actually need a vehicle, and it is a planned purchase, sure, go look around and work to get the best deal. But car lot should not be anywhere in  your options for weekend fun.
  • The mall. Just avoid it. It is possible to go to the mall and walk around and window shop, but if you have no willpower nor discipline, just avoid this place.
    • Again, alternatives include parks, museums, the farmer’s market, the library, etc. There are plenty of low cost or free options that will probably provide you a better experience than going to the mall.
  • Restaurants. I get eating out once in a while, but the article makes a good point: “Have a plan for what meals you will make at home Saturday and Sunday…”.
    • In other words, cook at home more. By the way, this also applies to ordering out.
  • Open Houses. Since I am not in the market for a new house any time soon, I do not get this. To me, this sounds almost as bad as going to a car lot for the fun of it. What kind of sick people do this? The real risk, according to the article, is not that you suddenly buy a house. The risk is you getting ideas of expensive shit you want to fix and do in your own house.
    • See my note above on the availability of parks, museums, libraries, and other free or very low cost venues if you need to be entertained.
  • The Furniture Store. Really? This seems just as bad as going to the car lot, and furniture salespeople can be just as pushy and obnoxious. The article’s suggestion on trying to buy used furniture when possible is pretty good if you do need furniture. However, if you are just doing this for the fun of it, because you are bored, again, find another option.
  • Big Ticket items. This is a tricky one for me to speak about since I do not really go to these kind of things. So for me, I easily save the money I could have spent on something like this. The article defines “big ticket” events as things like sporting events, but it also adds concerts and theater productions. Personally, I do not care for sports at all. I just did not inherit the macho gene that says I have to care about sports. So going to a stadium and spending enough money to keep a small third world economy afloat is not my idea of fun. While I like some acts, I do not like them enough to go to a concert and deal with crowds, etc. The only thing I might indulge in is theater, and I still try to go cheap on that.
    • If you must watch sports, hey, do it at home on TV. Even if you spend money on a giant screen TV and some cable/satellite sports package, odds are good you will save more than if you go to the stadium. Having people over to watch a big game? Hey, make it a potluck for the food and get them to help out with some of those costs a bit. For concerts, there are options to see them from the comfort of your home too. Try those instead. As for theater, well, if you live in the boonies like I do, fancy theater is not really an option. However, in a college town, there are often various student productions that are very good, and admission cost is modest, so I get my theater fix that way.
  • The weekend roadtrip. This is the one I may have some sympathy for. I happen to enjoy a good road trip. Contrary to what the article has you believe of it being a money hole, if you save enough and plan ahead, a good road trip can provide you with a pleasant and positive experience you cherish. If you have a little discipline with your expenses, doing this once in a while should be OK.
    • Personally, I generally do not take road trips to big ticket places. For one, I do live on a librarian’s salary. Two, the Better Half’s job is not one that allows her to take vacations easily, so a small road trip to a small attraction nearby is about as good as it gets. A short trip to a local festival a town or two over is a good weekend trip, especially if there is no overnight stay involved. I usually seek out small and unusual attractions too, which tend to be more modest in cost. Here in Kentucky, a small indulgence of mine for road trips is going to one of the bourbon distilleries now and then. A tour is not really too costly, and if you don’t go crazy at the gift shop, it is a nice thing to do on a weekend drive. I also say take advantage of things like state parks, fairs, etc., to get out plus such things mean you support your local economies.
    • If I do have to stay overnight, hotel is fine. However, I do shop around for a good price; they suggest $75. I say if all you need is the bed to sleep in and maybe a small breakfast in the morning, you can do better than that in terms of price (and no, you will not end up in a roach motel). The article suggests to save this cost by staying with friends and relatives. I counter that if you have few friends, and you have obnoxious relatives, then the cost of the hotel is well worth it. At that point, you are paying not just for the bed to stay in but also for your peace of mind. Saving a few bucks by staying at Crazy Aunt Sue’s and her husband the Rush Limbaugh fan is not a vacation. You get what you pay for, and I would rather have the peace and quiet at the end of the day. Your mileage may vary.

In the end, there are some obvious things you should avoid in order not to spend a lot of money over the weekend. But if it is something you planned for the experience, then do your best to make a budget and stick to it. It is not complicated.

Now enjoy your weekend.


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