Posts Tagged ‘librarianship’
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.
I saw this prompt a good while back over at Booking Through Thursday, and it has been sitting in my feed reader’s list for a while. I am finally getting around to it. The prompt is as follows:
“How often do you visit a library? Do you go to borrow books? Do research? Check out the multi-media center? Hang out with the friendly and knowledgeable staff? Are you there out of love or out of need?”
This is an interesting question for a librarian. I can say that I visit a library every day of the week since I work at a library. But let’s look at the question in a different way. I am an academic librarian, which means I am a librarian that works at a college or university library. In my case, it’s a college library. From my library, I do borrow books to read, though not as often as I do from the public library. Much of this is because I read pretty broadly, and I also tend to read a variety of popular topics that an academic library just does not pick up. A public library and an academic library have different missions and serve different populations, so their collection development tends to be different. Thus for some things, I can find them at my library. Other things I rely on the Berea branch of my local public library.
So, what do I get from my own library? I often get the following from my own library:
- Some more academic history books.
- Books about higher education.
- Some books on social justice issues, especially as related to race, gender, and related issues.
- Some graphic novels (our library has a graphic novels collection for students to use, mainly recreational. We have some decent holdings, but it is still a work in progress).
- Items via Interlibrary Loan (ILL). When neither my library nor my local public library have a book I want to read, I can use this service to have my library bring it in from another library. It is one of the big perks of working in an academic institution. Public libraries do offer ILL, but it is rarely as robust as the one in an academic institution. I have used ILL to get all kinds of books from academic topics to popular books.
What do I get from my public library:
- Graphic novels. These are often titles my library does not have. They often get things quicker too than we do.
- History books. In this case, I get more popular history works, the kind that a good informed lay reader would read. A particular subset of this would be microhistories. Those are books that do history on a single topic really well. One example is Mark Kurlansky’s Salt.
- An art book now and then. This also includes photography books.
- Humor books.
- Some popular fiction. I read science fiction, plus some fantasy and horror, so I get books in those categories. This year, I am doing a horror reading challenge, so I get those books through my public library. Brian Keene’s work was a recent discovery from doing the challenge last year. I do look forward to reading more by him, by the way.
- In fact, when I do reading challenges, I often get the books for them at my public library.
- Books on fairly random topics. I am pretty inquisitive, and once in while I will pick up something because it sounds interesting. I have read books about rodeos and fried twinkies, about the history of delis, about the Glock handgun, so on. Recently, I even read the book that is now basis of the movie War Dogs (by the way, from the looks of recent reviews, skip the movie, read the book). I am very eclectic as a reader, and I usually find what I need at the public library.
- Media. I get DVDs for some movies. I like movies, but I would not call myself a movie buff. I also get DVDs for old television shows. Plus, since I am doing an audiobook reading challenge this year, I have been trying out some of their selections. However, in audiobooks, my local public library does leave a lot to be desired.
In the end, I go to my local public library out of my need as a reader. I usually visit my public library once a week, usually on Sundays. I do get things from my own academic library, but I read a bit too broadly and eclectically for my academic library. So my public library combined with Interlibrary Loan pretty much get me what I need. In the end, I do love libraries. I am glad I work in one, and I am happy to use and support my local public library branch.
How about readers out there? Feel free to comment about your own library experiences, what you go to the library for, so on. Or if you do not use your local library, tell me why as well.
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.“
Welcome to another list of items about books I would like to read some day. So many books, so little time. But I will fight the good fight, and I will read as many as I can.
Items about books I want to read:
- Via Mark Lindner’s habitually probing generalist, this looks quite interesting. I am always interested in the possibilities of graphic novels to tell tales other than the usual superheroes on tights (nothing wrong with those. I like those too) and to educate. Mark recently read My Degeneration: a journey through Parkinson’s. Apparently the book is part of a whole medical graphic novel series, and Mark even conveniently found a list of others in the series out of WorldCat.
- Sean Gaffney recommends a new (to me at least) manga series, which now has an omnibus edition of the first two volumes. The series is Franken Fran.
- Another manga recommendation. This time via Experiments in Manga for Die Wergelder.
- The next book interests me not only because I am a Latino in higher education, but it also interests me given me newly assigned role of Coordinator of Latino Services at my workplace (yea, I know that work title can mean a few things, and I think at the moment the powers that be left it vague on purpose, but I digress). At any rate, I probably also need to order the book for our library. The book is Ensuring the Success of Latino Males in Higher Education, and I heard of it from a Q&A with the editor of the book over at Shelf Life @ Texas blog.
- Here is one to go with my fascination with alcoholic spirits and their history. Drinkhacker reviews the book The Manhattan Cocktail, a recipe and history book about that (allegedly) simple cocktail of whiskey, sweet vermouth, and bitters.
- Usagi Yojimbo is one of those titles that I have always wanted to read. Wink Books reviews a collected special edition volume.
- Wink Books also reviews a book on a topic that is certain to all of us: death. The book is Death and the Afterlife: A Chronological Journey, from Cremation to Quantum Resurrection.
- This next book reminded me of the episodes of Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares that he did with ex-pats in places like Spain and France. The book is More Ketchup Than Salsa, and it was reviewed by Based on a True Story.
- Here is one that sounds odd yet fascinating. Marion Nestle of Food Politics was reading the book Ingredients: a Visual Exploration of 75 Additives and 25 Food Products.
- Here is something that falls under curious and unusual a bit. It’s a historical look at African American cookbooks and the stereotypes they reinforced. I wonder if this would be something to order for my library. The book is The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks. The review comes from Wink Books.
- And another one that can fall under curious and unusual, a look at the art of American fraternal societies like the Freemasons, Knights of Pythias, Odd Fellows, etc. The review is at Wink Books, and the book is As Above, So Below: Art of the American Fraternal Society, 1850-1930.
- The 2016 election in the United States will likely be remembered as one of the worst in the U.S. in terms of lousy candidates. As George Carlin said, “garbage in, garbage out” (you can read the full quote and some others of his here). The Republicans are pretty much hopeless, but the Democrats are not far behind, the party whose platform boils down “we are no good, but at least we are not as bad as the other guys.” How did the party that stood for the working people and civil rights and basic dignity become yet another corporate for the elites party? How did the Democrats basically become Republican-lite? You can read the book Listen, Liberal, or What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? and find out what happened. You can read an adapted extract of the book here at In These Times.
- John Perkins has updated his book, so now you can read New Confessions of an Economic Hit man. This has been one I have been wanting to read for a while. You can read about the update and about the author in this article from Yes! Magazine.
- A book about saving precious Arabic manuscripts from Al Qaeda sounds interesting. The book is The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts, and it was one of the books that Based on a True Story added to her March TBR list.
- Curtis Wilkie, author of Assassins, Eccentrics, Politicians, and Other Persons of Interest, is a reporter who has seen a lot covering 8 presidential elections in the US plus covering stories around the world. He is one to know what Donald Trump is worse than George Wallace, as he states in this piece in Esquire. The piece also mentions the book The Boys on the Bus, which features Wilkie and is about reporters covering the 1972 election.
Lists and bibliographies:
- Book Riot offers a list of “5 Irreverent Self-Help Books.” These could fit in on the self-help books challenge I am doing in 2016.
- Signature has an article featuring “4 Books to Help You Understand America’s Opiate Epidemic.“
One reason to write about this is this post I saw a while back asking “how do you feel about audio books?” It struck me that the author of the post as well as the people who commented on the blog post were so negative and, to be honest, snobbish, about audio books. To them, listening to an audio book is not reading, which I wonder what would they say to someone who may be visually impaired, and their only or main way of reading is via having a reader read the book for them. Would they really go up to that person and just say, “you are not really reading”? Reading that felt very condescending and, as I said, snobbish.
A second reason to write about this is that I am doing an Audiobooks Reading Challenge this year. I am trying to read more books in this format, so I am trying to see how many I can get read in a year. Here is the link to my audiobook challenge page at The Itinerant Librarian (and if you are interested, this link takes you to my page listing all the reading challenges I am doing for 2016). As I wrote in my post for the audiobook challenge, I was exposed to audiobooks in library school. Back then, I took a course in Reader’s Advisory, and it included a segment on audiobooks. I dare you to tell one of those strong users of audiobooks in a library that they are not readers. Heck, I dare you to say that to librarians who do RA with audiobooks. And yes, I do get the difference between an audiobook and a radio drama, which seems to be one the commenters on that other post do not get neither (but that is another theme for another time).
As I mentioned in my challenge post, part of why I wanted to try audiobooks this year was to diversify my reading. I wanted to get some diversity in terms of format. I already read in print, which is my preferred way, and in e-book format, which has become more popular for me since I formalized being a book reviewer; I get a lot of my galleys for review as e-books. So I wanted to give audiobooks a chance. Now there are some small considerations I have when it comes to reading audiobooks:
- I look for full unabridged versions. I want to read the book (or rather have it read to me if want to be picky), and that means I want to read it in full.
- I tend to prefer audiobooks where the author reads the book. In some cases, this is because I may know an author from some other work, say a comedian, so I want to hear them read their own work. Now, I understand not all authors are good readers, so for them it is better to get a good narrator. I get that, and I am perfectly OK if the author does not read their work because they got a better narrator to do it. The author reading is just that: a preference. It is not written in stone.
- I tend to prefer audiobooks on nonfiction. This is in part because I read a bit more nonfiction than I read fiction. It is also due to the fact I feel I can more easily drop or interrupt an audiobook if it is nonfiction than if it is fiction. In addition, when I am reading a nonfiction audiobook, if it engages, I am often taking reading notes and jotting down quotes and ideas from the book for my journal as well as to add content to my eventual review of the book. I think it has to do with nonfiction’s structure, which tends to be more lineal, than fiction which can be all over. Plus, last thing I want is to have to interrupt a fiction audiobook as the cliffhanger is coming. Again, this is not set in stone. If I found a good piece of fiction on audio, I would give it a chance as well.
- Like other readers have said, I do like the ability to multitask with an audiobook. I can do something like iron clothes or fold laundry while I listen to an audiobook. Well, I can mostly do that. Last audiobook I tried it with, I did pause a couple of times in the laundry folding because I wanted to take notes. It happens.
- A small challenge for me is that my local public library is seriously deficient in audiobook selections. I may have to give their Overdrive system a try as it has audiobooks as well (though I am not sure how easy to use or not they are. If I get to it, I will try to write about that experience).
In the end, folks, read what works for you in the format that works for you. As a librarian, I will not judge you or put you down for that.
Any other folks out there listen/read audiobooks? Feel free to comment and let me know if you do or not and what kinds of books you read in audio. Heck, if you have any suggestions for audiobooks I ought to try, let me know.
You know the drill folks. These lists keep growing, but I still hold on to hope. I just keep finding interesting books I would like to read some day. These are also books I think some of my readers may find of interest. If any of you out there do read any of these, please feel free to comment and let me know your thoughts.
Items about books I want to read:
- I remember reading a while back the book Freakonomics (link to my review of the book) where it discusses how local drug dealers often lived with their moms and were not doing as well as many people think. However, like in many other major businesses, the guys on top usually do pretty well. NPR now highlights a new book that suggests that drug cartels are run a lot like Walmart and McDonald’s. The book is Narconomics.
- Also via NPR, a cookbook on Korean food. The book is Koreatown.
- I often remember seeing the ads for various tricks and pranks on the backs of comic books. Wink Books reviews a book looking at one of the companies that made such products: the S.S. Adams Company. The book is Life of the Party.
- Another art book reviewed by the guys at Wink Books. This time it’s one of my favorite artists: Frank Frazetta. The book is Testament: A Celebration of the Life and Art of Frank Frazetta .
- OK, one more from Wink Books because I really like the subject of this one: vintage postcards. The book is Postcard America: Curt Teich and the Imaging of a Nation, 1931-1950.
- Joshua Kim wonders why people are not reading Move: Putting America’s Infrastructure Back in the Lead. It is an important topic in the United States, and you likely will not hear about it from any single mainstream politician in the 2016 election (Democrat or Republican).
- Let’s put in a little something related to work. Via The Decolonized Librarian, a review of The Dialectic of Academic Librarianship.
- Via Marion Nestle’s Food Politics blog, a note that the book Forked is out. The book is about low wage restaurant workers. As the book summary states, this book deals with “what we don’t talk about when we talk about restaurants: Is the line cook working through a case of stomach flu because he doesn’t get paid sick days? Is the busser not being promoted because he speaks with an accent? Is the server tolerating sexual harassment because tips are her only income?” and other questions that not only we should be asking but addressing.
- Via Arabic Literature (in English) blog, a novel about Lybian dictator Muammar Ghaddafi. The novel is The Dictator’s Last Night. I have not read it, but it reminds me of Vargas Llosa’s La Fiesta del Chivo (The Feast of the Goat), which is about Dominican Republic dictator Trujillo.
- This could be interesting. It alleges to be a history of the reference shelf; this is something that appeals to the librarian in me. The book is You Could Look It Up, and it was reviewed on NPR.
- Why are people fleeing Central America? The violence is a big reason according to a new book discussed at In These Times. The book is A History of Violence: Living and Dying in Central America.
- Via Manga Report, a review of the first volume of Bloody Mary.
- A Case of Suitable Treatment looks at Shigeru Mizuki’s Hitler. This made me think of the five-volume series Adolf by Osamu Tezuka, which I read a while back. (Link to to my review of the first volume).
- Apparently Tim Burton draws even in napkins, and someone put some of that art in a book. The book is Things You Think About in a Bar (link to Amazon, since as of this post, WorldCat does not have it) and it was reviewed at Blogcritics.
- Via Based on a True Story, a review of a new book on the rise of coffee behemoth Starbucks. The book is Starbucked.
- On the one hand, this sounds like one of those hipster mixology books where the cocktails are made with all sorts of ingredients the average person will never find in a lifetime. On the other hand, the story of the bar that inspired the book sounds interesting, so there is just enough to catch my attention. The book is The Dead Rabbit Drinks Manual, and it was reviewed at Drinkhacker.
Lists and bibligraphies:
- Via Bookgasm, some Eurocomics that may be of interest.
- Also via Bookgasm, a recommendation to read the Quarry novels.