Alchemical Thoughts

Posts Tagged ‘graphic novels

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.
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 summary with links of books I reviewed at The Itinerant Librarian for the month of November 2016. If you missed any of them, feel free to check them out. As always, comments are welcome.

 

 

CuriousGeorgeReading

I have reached 70 of these lists. Never ceases to amaze me how many interesting books I keep finding that I want to read someday, and if any of my readers find a reading idea in these posts, that is cool too. As some of you may know, I recently started studying Tarot, so that explains why you may find a book or two on Tarot on these lists once in a while. So, let’s see what has made the list this week.

Items about books  I want to read:

  • While I am not sure I would personally get a tattoo (I have speculated on what I  would get if I ever decide to do it), I have mentioned previously that I do find tattoo art fascinating, especially when it  is well done. So naturally, a book on tattoo art can be of interest to me. Via Boing Boing, I found Mitch O’Connell’s new book  of his tattoo art: Mitch O’Connell Tattoos Volume 2.
  • Also via Boing Boing, a chance to look back at a bit of my childhood with  a  book on toys from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. The book is Toys of the ‘50s, ’60s and ’70s.
  • Coloring books are a craze these days with adults, and there  is one for just about any topic under the sun.  For instance, there is a Sex Toy Coloring Book (link to publisher, warning cover is  slightly NSFW). The book was reviewed at Bea’s Book Nook. Sounds like something you and your special someone can share in fun.
  • In Llewellyn’s blog, Barbara Moore writes a bit about the book Psychic Tarot and how to integrate  some of its  advice. The book sounds intriguing to me as I continue my learning journey in Tarot and oracle cards.
  • Also at the Llewellyn blog, Moore also speaks on how some Tarot books specific to one deck can still have information you can use with  other decks. While at it, she mentions the book The Ultimate Guide to Thoth Tarot. Down the road, I would like to learn and study the Thoth Tarot deck.
  • My interest in Tarot and oracle cards continues. At the moment, I just read the cards for myself mainly as a meditation tool. So a book on how to read better for yourself is something I would be interested in. The Tarot Lady interviews Courtney Weber, author of Tarot for One.
  • Meanwhile, Tarot with Jeff has been doing a bit of Tarot history reading with the book A Wicked Pack of Cards.
  • Marion Nestle at Food Politics highlights the book Ten Restaurants that Changed America.
  • Via The Information Literacy Weblog, link to the free information literacy e-book Got a Minute? This is billed as a collection  of essays for busy instruction librarians. It’s the kind of quick refresher I can always use.
  • Dark Horse has a 30th anniversary edition of their Aliens comics. The book is Aliens 30th Anniversary: The Original Comic Series, and it was reviewed at Wink Books.
  • Apparently, Salvador Dali at one point put a cookbook together. Being Dali, it is a surrealist cookbook. Turns out that Taschen is reprinting the book, and I would love to take a look at it. The book is Les Diners de Gala, and I heard about it at the Fine Books & Collections blog.
  • With the election of Donald Trump, some wonder if the signs were there. I can say that yes, they were. If people had paid attention and heeded the lessons of the past, and actually gave a damn about their fellow human beings, the Con Man of Mar-a-Lago would not be headed to the White House; some people have labeled him as Caudillo of Mar-a-Lago, but that is an insult to what caudillo actually means (I am Latino, believe me, I know a thing or two about real caudillos). But let me move past digression. Some folks have  been looking around to see if works anywhere predicted the election. Here is one that could be convincing in that regard. The New York Times highlights the book Achieving Our Country by Richard Rorty. They highlighted three paragraphs from the book that are now all over the Internet, reviving interest in the 1998 book. I am not usually one to pick up books that go viral, but the passages have made me curious enough to be interested because they pretty much reflect other things I have read that confirm what the book’s author wrote. Hat tip to 3 Quarks Daily. The signs were definitely there.
  • I have mentioned before that I find old books interesting. Here is  How to Speak with the Dead from 1918, which you can read for free online thanks to archive.org. Tip via Daily Tarot.
  • And speaking of the dead, here is a book of essays and photos of the dearly departed. The book is Memento Mori, and it was reviewed at Wink Books.
  • Staying a bit more with the odd and curious, here is a book of botanical images that looks interesting. The book is Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, and it was reviewed at Wink Books.
  • Wink Books also recommends B.P.R.D. 1946-1948. I already like Hellboy and the B.P.R.D., so I do not need too much arm twisting to pick that one up.
  • Again, here is another of those illustrated books that show how things work that I just love to look over. The book is Food Anatomy, and it was highlighted at Wink Books.
  • This one may help me get a bit of LGBTQIA reading in, and it is a graphic novel too. The book is Queer: a Graphic History, and it was presented at Lambda Literary.
  • Based on a True Story reviews a new book about marijuana and cannabis. The book is Brave New Weed.
  • Wink Books reviews a cook book by Alton Brown that seems to channel his Good Eats show days (before he went downhill). The book is Alton Brown: EveryDayCook.

 

Lists and bibliographies:

  • Horror Novel Reviews offers a list  of “10 Horror Novels That Deserve a Big Screen Adaptation.” For me, this is also a list of possible reading suggestions.
  • Recent reviews and responses to the book Hillbilly Elegy have been mixed to say the least. If you want to read other things instead of that book or to supplement if you already read it, here is a list of other books you may be interested in. Via The Booklist Reader.
  • I always wish I had to the time to improve on my handwriting ( do write in a pretty good cursive, but there is always room to improve) and even learn calligraphy. In the meantime, I can read a bit about it, so here is a list of books that can help you learn hand lettering and calligraphy. Via BookRiot.
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 books I reviewed over at The Itinerant Librarian for the month of September, 2016. If you missed any of the reviews, or you just want to learn more about a book, check out the links. As always, comments are welcome, so if you read any of these, feel free to tell me what you think about the book.

  • I read Silence. This is Thich Nhat Hanh’s treatise on the power of silence and mindfulness.
  • I reread Denis Leary’s Why We Suck. I did it as an audiobook this time. If  you like his stand up comedy, you will probably enjoy this. He reads the audiobook.
  • I read Nicholas Pileggi’s Casino. This book is the basis of the movie with Robert De Niro and Sharon Stone.
  • I read the two volumes of the “Having Coffee with Jesus” comics series.
Photo from Flickr user Raider of Gin (fairerdingo). Image used under terms of Creative Commons 2.0 Generic Attribution License.

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

 

In case you missed them, or in case you are looking for something  new to read, here are the books I reviewed over at The Itinerant Librarian for the month of July 2016.

  • I started the month with a true crime graphic novel: Green River Killer. This is the story of a serial killer that terrorized Seattle in the late 1960s to 1970s.
  • I read Ghost Fleet, Volume 2. With this book, I complete the series, which sadly was cancelled after issue 8. It is still worth seeking out the trades.
  • Before the Star Wars films that we know, George Lucas had a vision, and he put it down in a rough draft. You can read that vision now in The Star Wars.
  • Want to get your fix of the “original” Ghostbusters (i.e. the guys from the first movies)? You might consider picking up Ghostbusters International.
  • If you like Ellen DeGeneres, you might consider reading her book Seriously…I’m Kidding. I read it as an audiobook, but it is available in print too. I read this as part of my challenge this year to read more audiobooks.
  • I read some nice erotica in Dirty Dates: Erotic Fantasies for Couples.
  • If you have a friend about to get married, or recently married, this little book could make a good engagement gift. The book is Scenes from an Impending Marriage.
  • I reviewed the 1969-1970 and 1973-1974 volumes of The Complete Peanuts.
  • I continue to enjoy the Grayson series from DC Comics. For this month, I reviewed the third volume of the series. In a time when a lot of DC Comics are a big mess, to put it mildly, this series is an enjoyable entertainment. This  and their Harley Quinn run with Conner and Palmiotti are about the only comics I am really enjoying out of DC these days.
  • I also read some Star Wars now that it is owned by Marvel, who is now owned by Disney. The book is Vader Down.

 

 

 

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.

 

Getting this done on time this time. This is the list of books I reviewed at The Itinerant Librarian for June 2016. If you missed any, please click on the book title links to check out the reviews. As always, if you read any of the books, you are welcome to comment and let me know your thoughts on the book.

  • I continue my journey of learning how to read Tarot cards. I acquired the Easy Tarot kit published by Llewellyn Worldwide. The kit includes the book Easy Tarot Handbook, which I read and reviewed. It also includes a deck of the Gilded Tarot cards by artist Ciro Marchetti, and I reviewed the deck with the book review.
  • I enjoyed reading about Lando Calrissian before he ran Cloud City in Star Wars: Lando.
  • I finally finished reading a big Warhammer 40,000 book. This month I reviewed The Blood Angels Omnibus. This book contains two novels, a short story, and an appendix.
  • This next book about Tarot was just a nice little art book, and it probably ignited my collector lust a bit more. The book is simply titled Tarot Cards.
  • I finished reading the Battle Pope series. Here are my reviews for Battle Pope, Volume 3: Pillow Talk and Battle Pope, Volume 4: Wrath of God.
  • I read Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, the FBI, and a Devil’s Deal, which is the book that was basis for the film Black Mass starring Johnny Depp. In the review, I also include some additional thoughts on the film, which I watched after reading the book.
  • And the last review for this month was The Creative Tarot. This is not just a book about Tarot. It is a book about creativity, so writers and artists, whether you use Tarot or not, you can still get some good use out of this book. For me, it is a great book for writers as well as a good resources for learning Tarot.

 


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