Alchemical Thoughts

Posts Tagged ‘lgbtq


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

I almost forgot to get this post rolling at the start of June, so here we go. These are the books I reviewed at The Itinerant Librarian for May 2019. If you missed this, or it is new to you, feel free to check them out.

I reviewed the following books last month:

I also reviewed two Tarot decks in the month of May 2019:

Finally, I also watched and commented on some media items in May 2019. See my Media Notes: Roundup for May 2019.


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:

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 at The Itinerant Librarian for September 2017. If you missed any, or you find any of interest, feel free to check them out. Comments are always  welcome.


I guess we can call this post the diamond post. Welcome  to the 75th edition of this small series where I make notes on books I would like to read some day. I hope other folks out there find these posts helpful, and maybe they find something new to read too. If you do read one of these books, feel free to come back and let me know. Now let’s get on with  it.


Items about books I want to read:


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.

I have to say that I do not really watch much live television these days. Now I do not want to sound like one of those hipsters who brag about not owning a television set. I like watching television. The problem is that there are not many shows I find appealing or engaging, and the few that I do I just record on the DVR to watch later. That leads me to the other reason I am watching less television: the fucking, seemingly never ending commercials. It’s bad enough you have to pay for cable, and you still get a ton of advertising. That is the nice thing about the DVR; you can zip right through the ads. These days television is more advertising than content. Now some may say I should cut the cord and stream stuff. But honestly, “watching TV” on my computer is not terribly appealing. Heck, I can barely stand watching YouTube for any long stretch of time, which by the way is starting to get irritating since they started also shoving advertising at the beginning of videos. That’s what your other advertising on the side is for, you twits. We keep the cable mostly for the few channels we do record stuff on the DVR from, and around here, because the cable provider is the only one with the high speed internet, so even if I “cut the cord,” I still have to pay those pirates for my internet so I could do the streaming those cable cutters all go gaga about. Not really cutting the cord that much, huh?

So these days, I find myself turning off the television when I can in favor of a few other options. One option is surfing the web and reading stuff online. I have a big and diverse list of sources I follow. I keep track of them on my RSS reader, which though many have given up on, I still use as it helps me keep track of the stuff I am interested in. Also the feed reader holds on to the stuff until I actually read it. Unlike Twitter or Facebook, something will not disappear into the ether if I miss logging in one day. And if too much stuff piles up on the RSS reader, I can always mark as read, and let it build up again. The other thing I do once in a while is watch YouTube. These days, given I am learning how to read Tarot cards, I use it to find tutorials on that as well as videos from other Tarot users and collectors.

Another option for viewing is getting DVDs from my public library. They do not have a terribly big selection given it is a small rural town library, but I usually manage to find something interesting to watch. I often look for older things I may have enjoyed in the past. For instance, they have the complete run of Hill Street Blues, and it was a real pleasure to watch all of it once more. Television networks and channels just do not write shows like that anymore. I have also discovered other things such as Foyle’s War, which they also have the complete series, and I enjoyed it immensely. So go ahead, explore your local public library for things to watch. You never know what you may find, and it will be commercial free (for the most part. Often you do get trailers for other things from the company that put out the DVD).

Finally, the best option for me is reading books. I get my books from various places. I get some from my local public library. Though I work in an academic library, and I do get a book from my workplace once in a while, when it comes to popular types of reading the public library serves my needs better. As I mentioned, I also get some books from the academic library I work in, mostly heavier nonfiction and academic titles. However, I also use the Interlibrary Loan service (ILL) from my academic library to get titles I may want that neither of my libraries have. I do use Interlibrary Loan for both serious books and more escapist fluff. For instance, I am reading through the Horus Heresy, and I usually get that series via ILL. In addition, I do buy some books as well, especially things that I enjoy and that I know my libraries do not carry as a general rule. I buy my books mostly used, but I do get a new one here or there if I feel a need to have it sooner. Finally, since I am a book reviewer, I also get some galleys from various sources, especially via NetGalley. In the end, I have plenty of reading options, and they are all better than most anything television offers these days. Even the recent trend of shows based on comics books (but without the actual heroes) is just not that appealing when I can go read the source material, which is better anyhow.

Bottom line is reading is just a lot more interesting. I get a lot more out of it in terms of learning and entertainment, and I can find more diversity in terms of content that I would on television. That’s my two cents.

For any of my three readers who may be curious, here is what I am reading these days. I am one of those readers who reads more than one book at a time:

  • Nicholas Pileggi, Casino. For some reason, this is a year I have been a bit more interested in books that gave the basis for films. I will also try to read his Wiseguy, which is the basis of the film Goodfellas.
  • Anne Rice, Interview with the Vampire. This is one of those that I was lukewarm about reading. I have seen and enjoyed the film. The book does start kind of slow, so I hope it picks up the pace. I am reading it not so much because I want to see how the film messed it up or not but to add a book to my horror challenge reading list for 2016.
  • Benjamin Law, Gaysia. This is one I am enjoying. Benjamin Law takes us on a tour of Asia to see all its queer fabulousness. So far, the travels reveal moving, sometimes funny, sometimes very serious experiences. I will be reviewing this soon.
  • Aaron McConnell,, The Comic Book Story of Beer. Yes, this is a history of beer in graphic novel format.
  • Rachel Kramer Bussel, Dirty Dates. This is my current erotica reading selection. I have been a bit stuck on this one. It has been slow reading not because it is bad. Far from it, it is very good. The problem is I have had a few setbacks happen in real life. When shit happens in real life, my mood to read erotica just fizzles out, and a book in this area gets put aside in the hopes when things get better I pick it up again. Thing is even when things get back to normal, it takes me a bit to get back on track. However, I do hope to finish it this month, and I will review it then.


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.

Here is the list of books I reviewed at The Itinerant Librarian during the month of August 2015. Feel free to check the reviews and the books out. I got a pretty good selection for my readers this time. As always, if you read any of the books, feel free to comment and let me know how you liked them or not.

  • Transformers: Drift-Age of Stone.
  • Justice, Inc. If you have enjoyed Michael Uslan’s work in The Shadow comics, you will probably enjoy this crossover series.
  • Plucked: a History of Hair Removal. Yes, there is a book on the history of this topic, and I read it.
  • Best Sex Writing of the Year, Volume 1. From the folks at Cleis Press, a very nice sampling of nonfiction sex writing. As Belle Knox writes in the book’s foreword, “It’s easy to forget that outside of our own, seemingly normal sex lives, the world has thousands of different stories and experiences to share with we may not otherwise have imagined” (ix).
  • Robert Heinlein’s Citizen of the Galaxy. This is a graphic novel adaptation of the classic Heinlein novel.
  • Predator Omnibus, Volume 1. Dark Horse Comics capitalized on the success of the film with this comics series in the 1980s and 1990s. This is the first volume collecting those comics.
  • Arms and the Dudes. Supposedly, there is a movie coming out soon, so read the book before the movie. “Greed was the dark truth at the heart of the arms-dealing world” (200).
  • October Faction, Volume 1.
  • Buttermilk and Bible Burgers. I do a bit of reading about Appalachia.
  • The Radical King. Cornel West edits an anthology of Dr. King’s more radical writings to remind us the man was not just a dreamer. Dr. King had a seriously radical vision for the nation, one that many wish to forget, whitewash, or sanitize.
  • The Incredible Hulk, Volume 1. This time, Bruce Banner finally gets his wish: to be separated and rid of the Hulk.
  • Insylum. A horror novel about two buddies and a horror themed park where the last two to enter always disappear.

May 2020


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