Posts Tagged ‘business and economics’
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.
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:
- Here is a book that asks how can bankers live with themselves when they ruin people’s lives and crash economies. In many cases, they can live with themselves just fine, and some even brag about their misdeeds. The book is Among the Bankers: A Journey Into the Heart of Finance. The Atlantic had a story on it.
- Here is a book on industrial meat production. The book is Chickenizing Farms and Food, and it was mentioned at Food Politics.
- Adding a little horror to my list with Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt. It was reviewed at Horror Novel Reviews.
- Barbara Moore has a new Tarot book out, Your Tarot, Your Way. She writes about it and about how Tarot has evolved over time for Llewellyn’s blog. The book can be acquired individually or as part of a kit with the Llewellyn’s Classic Tarot deck. I do like Moore’s work, so I will likely be getting it down the road, and often, getting it in the kit is often not a bad deal, and it happens to be a deck I like.
- One more Tarot selection. Barbara Moore also writes this post for another book at Llewellyn’s blog, this one by Marcus Katz and Tali Goodwin entitled Tarot Face to Face.
- And speaking of Tarot, Tarot with Jeff reviews an older selection: Complete Book of Tarot Spreads.
- Here is the story of two American teen boys who went on to become child soldiers and hit men for the Las Zetas drug cartel in Mexico. The book is Wolf Boys: Two American Teenagers and Mexico’s Most Dangerous Drug Cartel and it was discussed at Vice.
- Annie Downey, author of Critical Information Literacy, is interviewed at the Library Juice blog.
- If you want to learn more about the Encyclopaedia Britannica, especially the famous 11th edition, this book may be for you. The book is Everything Explained That Is Explainable. The book was reviewed at The Decolonized Librarian.
- Want to delve into the mind of corporate criminals like Bernie Madoff? HBS Working Knowledge has a book excerpt and interview with the author of Why They Do It: Inside the Mind of the White-Collar Criminal.
- Horror Novel Reviews looks back at an old classic of horror: The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart. It turns out Rhinehart wrote a series of sequels as well, listed in the blog post.
- Speaking of old classics, Book Riot looks back at a series I saw a lot of back in younger days, Thieves’ World (link to first book of series). They recommend it for those who need a fix after Game of Thrones. I personally do not give much of a hoot over Game of Thrones, but I have been curious about Thieves’ World before, so this may be the time I finally try to pick it up. To be honest, Thieves’ World is a shared world anthology series, and if you ask me what I think is closer in feel and concept (i.e. a shared world anthology), I’d probably say the Wild Cards series (link to first book of series), which incidentally is also by George R.R. Martin.
- Library Juice highlights a new publication (well, as of this post, it is new to me), Class and Librarianship.
- Via Signature, an article on the book Modern Potluck. This reminds me of books I have read previously such as America Eats, and Being Dead is No Excuse.
- Via Bookgasm, this is a book I have been curious about for a while. I am not a huge fan of memoirs, but this does sound interesting. The book is My Father the Pornographer.
- Heading out now to the Victorian/Edwardian era with the book Lost Envoy: The Tarot Deck of Austin Osman Spare (No WorldCat record as of this post, so link goes to the publisher). The book is reviewed at Wink Books. What would make this better? An actual copy of Spare’s deck along with the book. I can always dream.
- Another one reviewed at Wink Books. This one is an oldie. I may have mentioned this, but as a child I loved pictorial dictionaries and similar books. As an adult, I still find them interesting. Wink Books this time looks at Mann’s Pictorial Dictionary and Cyclopedia.
Lists and bibliographies:
- With the easing of relations between the United States and Cuba, you may want to read a bit more about the island nation. Via Signature, here are “Literature Libre: 9 Great Books to Understand Cuba.” From the list, I read Oscar Hijuelos’ The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love and Christina Garcia’s Dreaming in Cuban.
- The Library Company of Philadelphia has an online exhibit entitled “Capitalism by Gaslight: the Shadow Economies of Nineteenth-Century America.” It includes various vintage items such as “A List of Gay Houses and Ladies of Pleasure.” You can read these online. A hat tip to Dangerous Minds.
- Here is a list of “9 Great Arab Cult Classics.” I found it at Arabic Literature (in English).
- Like audiobooks? Book Riot has a list of “11 Websites to Find Free Audiobooks Online.“
- Want some more horror reading suggestions? Book Riot offers “5 of the Best Horror Books to Make You Love Being Afraid.” From the list, I am interested in The Fireman, The Graveyard Apartment, and Hex. I mentioned Hex up above in this post. Curiously enough, I have mentioned The Fireman twice in this blog, here and here. Probably time I get to it.
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.
Wise Bread had one of those articles, listicle really, you have to take with a shaker full of salt. This time it’s “5 Easiest Ways to Score Free eBooks.” Yes, I know the economy is bad, and people need to save money, but I think folks who see this need to keep their expectations seriously low. The bottom line is that, unless somebody somewhere paid for it, you are not going to be reading authors like Grisham, Rowling, and Clancy in free ebooks. Here are some of the things to keep in mind the article does not really tell you or just conveniently forgets:
- A red flag for me: “Throughout elementary school and college, I controlled the costs of books primarily by utilizing my public library. I haven’t stepped foot in a library in three years. . .” . Maybe she may want to consider stepping back into her local public library. Many public libraries today feature ebooks, often via Overdrive. Your library card entitles to access to your local library’s ebook collections, and those collections do feature various current and older but interesting books.
- The whole Kindle family library and borrowing ebooks from family and friends. This may be free for you, but you are basically mooching off someone else who is paying for their ebooks. Now, I am not against borrowing per se, but let’s not fool ourselves and say this is free. You may not have paid for it, but someone else did, and I honestly have to wonder if telling people to mooch off someone else’s ebook subscription is really the best advice. You are basically telling people to let some other sucker pay for the ebooks you want to read. When it comes to the ethics, well, your mileage may vary.
- I loved the euphemism of “non-professional stories online.” This is basically amateur writing you find in places ranging from Amazon to other websites where writers of various levels of skill self-publish. Now before you get your hopes up, for everyone one self-published author who might get plucked out of obscurity and become famous, like the guy who wrote The Martian, you are going to find tons and tons of seriously bad dreck that is self-published. This includes fan fiction by the way. So if you feel like taking your chances, and you really, really need to feed your reading addiction, go right ahead. Just don’t go expecting to find the next J.K. Rowling or Stephen King in those places. The author of the article does admit that “you can expect to find some sub-par writing due in part, to the fact that individuals of various skill levels publish on these types of sites.” That is a polite way of putting it. Believe me, as part of my reading I do for reviews, I have come across my share of these “non-professional stories” where I honestly hope those writers did keep their day jobs.
- Public domain books. There are various places to find these, but keep in mind, these are mostly what people call classics. If you want to save on reading old books, the kind you may have had to read forcibly in school, then the various depositories featuring public domain books are for you. The other thing you find in the public domain sites are forgotten books. A few may be gems waiting to be rediscovered. A lot are forgotten for a reason, and they likely should stay forgotten. Having said that, you can find some curious items if you have the patience to look (or you have some good sources on your RSS reader to alert you of such things) such as my recent find of Pagan Passions. (I will have a brief comment on that book in a future post). Looking through sources of Public Domain books is a lot like panning for gold, except you may often find more duds than nuggets, but well worth it when you do find that one gold nugget. If you are interested, the author of the article does provide a nice link to a list of Public Domain sources for books.
At the end of the day,articles like this come and go every so often, and there are quite a few out there such as here and here, and heck, even some public libraries are getting in on informing patrons about these options, like this one here. As a librarian, I tend to be happy to promote free books but skeptical when they make it sound like you can read anything you want that you might find in your local bookstore. That is not even close, and I wish that reality was made more apparent.
The bottom line is that tips like these are good for you if the following is true for you:
- You are a very avid reader who is not too fussy about what you read.
- You are a reader willing to take a lot of chances on what you may find to read.
- You understand that you are not going to get the latest bestsellers or other very popular books for free unless someone else has paid for them. So if you do as the article states, you will (politely I hope) be mooching someone else’s accounts where they did pay for their ebooks.
- You have to be willing to put in some work. Whether it be finding someone to give you access to their collections that they paid for or search through Public Domain sites to find something, you have to put in some effort finding and then selecting what you want to read.
- You have to be willing to lower your standards a bit. Sure, as I said, you may find a gem here or there, but you may end up reading a lot of dreck too. How much dreck are you willing to go through in the interest of finding the one gem? That is a question you are thrifty reader have to answer, or as they say, your mileage may vary.
By the way, don’t be like the author. Go visit your public library once in a while. I may have a small bias given I am a librarian. However, I work for an academic library, and even I visit my local public library once in a while to get my fix of more pop-type of books. Plus my public library also has DVDs, so you do get some pretty good free (as in your tax dollars help pay for it) entertainment options. In addition, if you want e-books, as I mentioned, your local public library likely has its own e-book collection, and the selection will likely be better and better curated than a lot of the stuff you will find out there on the internet. This is especially true when it comes to those “non professional stories.” In the end, I am not saying to avoid reading free ebooks online if you can find them. I am saying to adjust your expectations of what you may find accordingly. Oh, and visit your public library once in a while. Your local friendly librarians will be glad to see you.
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:
- My friend Mark Lindner read and reviewed the first two books of the manga series Black Butler. This is one I have had my eye on for a while. My daughter has read some of it, and she also has good things to say about it.
- June is LGBTQIA Pride Month. Library Juice highlights some books that may be of interest to librarians and information professionals during that month and the rest of the year.
- Signature Reads every so often puts out some nice articles with book lists on various current topics of interest. Here are some of their recent lists:
- “Come November: 5 Books to Understand the Modern World.” These are books you may want to read to get ready for the U.S. 2016 elections.
- “7 Books to Understand Our Shaky Relationship with Law Enforcement.“
- “The Islamic State: 4 Books to Understand ISIS.”
Once more, we are adding to the ever growing TBR book list. So many books, so little time. By the way, if you read any of these, feel free to make a comment and let me know what you think. It may convince me to move the book up the queue and read it sooner.
Items about books I want to read:
- Some of you may know that I write a semi-regular feature at The Itinerant Librarian entitled “Signs the Economy is Bad.” Well, here is a definite sign the economy is bad. Affordable housing is scarce, and evictions are becoming a serious problem. You can learn more about this issue in the new book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. The author was profiled and talked about his work for The Christian Science Monitor.
- Here is another book about poverty in the U.S. and why the poor in the U.S. just keep getting poorer. The book is $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, and it was discussed at The New York Review of Books.
- Not that I need anyone to tell me that the US government, especially the US Congress, sucks royally. The evidence of how fucked up it is and the fact they do nothing more than represent moneyed interests is widely available for those willing to see. But hey, if you need more convincing, apparently an anonymous congressman decided to write a tell-all of just how bad it is. Via The Week, the book is The Confessions of Congressman X. (Link to Amazon record as WorldCat does not have it yet as of this post). I am betting this is in similar vein to Primary Colors, which when it came out was also published by an anonymous, except Primary Colors was fiction.
- Let’s take a look at food. Here is a new book about ethnic cuisines highlighted at Food Politics. The book is The Ethnic Restaurateur.
- I enjoy a good cocktail now and then, and I do find cocktail recipe books as well as books about the drinking culture of interest. Thus I am adding The Bar Book to this list. The book was featured at Wink Books. The book is labeled as not a recipe book but a techniques book, so maybe I can learn a new trick or two.
- As I continue my journey learning about Tarot and how to read the cards, I am also starting to collect Tarot card decks. I collect playing card decks, so one, collecting Tarot decks seemed natural, and two, I do like the art in a few other decks, and I would like to learn to read from them too down the road. A deck I find fascinating and intriguing is the Thoth Tarot created by Crowley and Harris. It is a complex deck, so I will probably need a book or two to help me work with it. One of those might be The Ultimate Guide to the Thoth Tarot. The book was reviewed at @TABITarot’s blog.
- I am familiar with Oneida silverware, and I vaguely knew there had been a utopian community named Oneida, but I never made the connection until now. So now I can pick up this new book and learn more about the topic. The book is Oneida: From Free Love Utopia to the Well-Set Table. It was reviewed at Blogcritics.
- As we all know, performance reviews are the bane and annual ritual of banality and inanity a lot of workers, including those of us in academia, have to put up with. Personally, I believe whoever came up with the idea and his or her descendants and supporters should be lined up against the wall when the revolution comes. Since it may take a while for the revolution to happen, we have to live with performance management. The author of this new book argues that there is a fix. I am skeptical, but I am willing to read it and take a chance. The book is How Performance Management Is Killing Performance – and What to Do About It. It was reviewed also at Blogcritics.
- I can’t quite recall where I saw this book first, but I know it was before it became the latest book for librarians to drool over. I tend to avoid the librarian drool books, which from the few I have read and reviewed I find they are often just pandering to librarians seeking some assurance their jobs are valid kind of thing. However, this one sounds interesting and deals with a timely topic in the news (international terrorism and saving rare works), so I will likely give it a shot down the road. The book is The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu, and it was reviewed at Based on a True Story.
- This is just one of those curiosity things I find in my RSS feeds. Magic and Mayhem blog author has found a free link to a book called The Black Toad. Apparently, this is of interest to witches and other similar practitioners. If this interests you, you can go get it as well. I did download a copy. I may not get to it right away, but I hope to down the road.
- Next, “if you want it edgy, rough and no holds bar, this is the book for you.” So say the authors at BDSM Book Reviews about the book Show Yourself to Me: Queer Kink Erotica by Xan West.
- Guys Lit Wire reviews the graphic novel, or as they call it, a “graphic narrative,” The Beats. They say it is “a very readable look at a bunch of mid- to late- twentieth century American writers.”
- Let’s add a little horror to the reading list. This book is described as a “truly spectacular novel. It combines history, animals, horror, intrigue and superb writing. It is a very well written and intricate story so be alert and pay attention” by Horror Novel Reviews. Sounds good enough to me. The book is Dark Neighborhoods; it is an e-book out of Amazon. While I usually do not care for those, this does sound intriguing.
- Also via Horror Novel Reviews, they featured the book Black Creek. The reviewer says that the book author “does something very unique with this story: he creates two antagonists for a group of unlikely heroes overcome.”
- Let’s add a little professional reading. Actually, this is one that I think not only I need to read it, but it may also be one to order for my library as I think it may be of interest locally. Library Juice Press has published the book Progressive Community Action: Critical Theory and Social Justice in Library and Information Science.
Lists and bibliographies:
- Here is a list of LGBTQ webcomics. I have not seen some of these, so I will be adding them to my feed reader as much as possible. The article also includes links if you wish to buy a print version for your own. Via Bisexual Books blog.
- Book Riot has an article on “Exploring BDSM through Erotica.” This is a very small sampling. It did pick up on a couple of Alison Tyler’s works, which are very good (I have read other things by her), but I think the article misses a few other good works such as some of Rachel Kramer Bussel’s anthologies like her Best Bondage Erotica (my review of her 2014 edition). Still, it will give you a start, and it certainly is better than thinking 50 Shades of Grey is a way to explore safe, sane, and consensual BDSM.
- Another list from Book Riot. This one on “100 Must-read Books about Books.” I do not think all 100 of them are really “must-reads” but there are a few good gems in this listicle, especially under nonfiction. I have a read a few from the list, which I may highlight in a future post.
- This I think is useful not just for anyone who may want to get into reading the long running manga Naruto but also for folks who have been reading it and need to keep track of things. Via Panels, here is a “Reader’s Guide Naruto.“
The list of books I wish to read some day continues to grow, but such is life. So many books, so little time. Part of doing these posts is that I also enjoy reading about new (or new to me) books, and I also hope my three readers might find an idea or two of a book to read next.
Items about books I want to read:
- This caught my eye in part because my father-in-law worked for Bethlehem Steel at the Gary, Indiana site for many years. He retired before the company went down and out. Still, it is tragic that the site has become a megacasino. Talk about how the mighty have fallen. There is a new book detailing that story, and you can read about it in this article via In These Times. The book is From Steel to Slots: Casino Capitalism in the Postindustrial City.
- This book features 12 recipes of basics that, supposedly will enable to eat the rest of your life. The book is called Twelve Recipes, and it was featured at Wink Books.
- Picturepedia is the kind of book I would have loved as a kid, and I would probably still enjoy it today. Wink Books highlighted it.
- Based on a True Story reviewed the book The Year of Living Danishly. The book’s author tries to figure out why Denmark is the happiest place in the world. I can tell you this. If I had the chance to go and stay, I’d be happy to learn Danish and live there.
- A Case for Suitable Treatment highlights the first volume of the manga The Testament of Sister New Devil.
- I always enjoy books about books and bibliophiles, so Rare Books Uncovered sounds like a good one to add to this list. It was reviewed at The Virginian-Pilot.
- Here is one that can go for the 2016 Horror Reading Challenge I am doing now. The book is Joe Hill’s The Fireman, which was reviewed at RA for All: Horror blog.
- What do you know? Someone wrote a book on old office supplies. The author is profiled in Collectors Weekly, and the book is Reading & Writing Accessories: A Study of Paper-Knives, Paper Folders, Letter Openers and Mythical Page Turners. It never ceases to amaze me the stuff people will write books about.
- After reading Carlton Mellick III’s ClownFellas (link to my review),I have wanted to read more from that author. Here is one of his books I am adding to my TBR list: Apeshit, and it was reviewed at Horror Novel Reviews.
- Turns out Eduardo Galeano had one more book left, and it is now being published posthumously. The book is El Cazador de Historias, and you can read about it at Que Leer (article in Spanish).
- Want to learn more about Mexican drug cartels and how they use violence? You can read The Evolution of Los Zetas in Mexico and Central America: Sadism as an Instrument of Cartel Warfare. You can get the book free from the U.S. Strategic Studies Institute here. I learned about it via GPO’s Government BookTalk blog.
- Sure, you can drink the usual stuff. Or you can get out of your comfort zone and drink some different things like this guy, the author of The Year of Drinking Adventurously. The book was reviewed at Drinkhacker.
- The Llewellyn blog highlights a new book release: The Mindfulness Habit. This may fit in nicely with the Self-Help books challenge I am doing this year.
- One more addition, and I saw this one via social media. I know I had to add it to my reading list right away. The book is Welcome to Dumbfuckistan, (link to Amazon; book new at this time, not on WorldCat yet) and it was discussed at Attn.com.
Lists and bibliographies:
- The New York Review of Books features a review essay on two books about the history of suburbia in the United States.
- Book Riot offers a list of short philosophical books for the challenging political times we are living in. From the list, I read the On Bullshit a while back.
- They also offer a list of queer-friendly comic publishers to check out. I have read works from some of the folks listed, so I can attest at least some of the work the guys on the list put out is good.
- Horror Novel Reviews posted their list of 15 best horror books so far. RA for All: Horror offers their kvetching and critique of the list. Because for every book list you have to have someone gripe about what made it or not into the list. It’s like a rule of readers’ advisory or something.