Alchemical Thoughts

Posts Tagged ‘lists

CuriousGeorgeReading

Time sure flies. So many books, so little time as they say. We have made it to 72 of these lists of books I want to read someday. This post feels a bit more important as I included a few book lists to help out folks who may need comfort or understanding during the Hard Times we are facing. As always, if you read any of these, feel free to comment and let me know what you thought of a book.

Items about books I want to read:

  • Via NPR, a book about the decline of one American factory town. The town is Lancaster, Ohio, and the book is Glass House.
  • When I was an undergrad, one of the courses I had to take for  history teaching minor was in ancient history. One of the books I had to read for that class was the Lives of Plutarch. The edition was not particularly memorable; I think it was the Penguin edition. However, there is a new translation out entitled The Age of Caesar that covers five of Plutarch’s Roman lives. The translation is done by Pamela Mensch. I think  I may give Plutarch another chance. Story via The Christian Science Monitor.
  • I like free books, and books that help me in my work, even better. Via the Information Literacy Weblog I discovered the Handbook for Information Literacy Teaching (link to the book resource).
  • Not a free book, unless I managed to get it via Interlibrary Loan maybe, but still it could help with my work. There is a new book on librarians and serving diverse populations out. The book is Information Services to Diverse Populations: Developing Culturally Competent Library Professionals by Nicole Cooke, and here is the announcement of the book’s release from her employer.
  • Library Juice Press announces they have a new book on social justice and the LIS classroom. This may be more for LIS college professors than practitioners in the field, but it may be worth a look. The book is Teaching for Social Justice: Implementing Social Justice in the LIS Classroom.
  • Here is a book about libraries, specifically Carnegie Libraries. The book is Free to All: Carnegie Libraries & American Culture, 1890-1920, and it was briefly mentioned at LIS News.
  • I always like books about bar culture, its lore and history, even though I am not much into bars personally (I like the concept, just not the execution and culture these days). This new book is “a sort of compilation of a dozen or more ‘Old Books, with a particular focus on two Waldorf-centric books from the 1930s. In nearly 400 pages, Caiafa takes you through an alphabetical exploration of the classics, providing their recipes, variations, backstories, and in-depth context for every cocktail’s creation.” Features old books? That is just a bonus for me. The book is The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book, and it was reviewed at Drinkhacker.
  • Via 20th Century Man, a  suggestion to read Dean R. Koontz’s Demon Seed novel. I am thinking maybe having a feature on the main book blog where I go back and review older, classics and other not so well remembered books. Stay tuned.
  • Claire Conner, author of Wrapped in the Flag, which is “narrative history of the infamous ultra-conservative John Birch Society, written by one of its founder’s daughters” (from the book’s description), recently had a post in Crooks and Liars entitled “The Radical Right Runs America, But Democrats Still Don’t Get It.” In the post, she highlights the book and discusses how the Democrats and the Left in the U.S. basically do not get it despite all the warnings, signs, evidence, so on. I can certainly point  to a  few books  I have read already in addition to Ms. Conner’s that explain just fine what is going on and how we got to having the Pendejo in Chief in the White House. The bottom line is the warnings and signs were all there to be seen, but many chose not to see while the bigots, misogynists, ultra conservatives dug in and then blew things up. I have not read Conner’s book yet, but I am adding it to my list and hope to get to it soon.
  • I have not added any new, or at least new to me, mangas in a while, so here is Goblin Slayer, Volume 1. It was reviewed at A Case for Suitable Treatment.

 

Lists and bibliographies:

  • With the election  of the Pendejo in Chief as President of the United States and the ascendancy of his party, there are major concerns when it comes to women’s health and rights. One of those concerns is the Roe v. Wade decision that every other “pro-lifer” wants to abolish because women dying in back alleys is a small price to pay to keep those uppity women in place. If you want to learn more about how it was before that judicial decision, here is a list of books on “What Life Was Like Before Roe v. Wade in 7 Books.” Go read a book or two and get a clue as needed. Story via Signature.
  • Also via Signature, another list to help during the Hard Times where lies (oops, alternative facts) seem to be the order of the day. So, to help inoculate you from the bullshit, here is “Myth Busting Books: 13 Antidotes to ‘Alternative Facts‘”.
  • One more from Signature to help with the Hard Times. There has been  a lot about Russia in the news recently, so to help out here is “Spy vs. Spy: 13 Books on the Shadowy Past of Russia-US Relations.
  • Another type of book that some folks may  want to read during the Hard Times ahead are the Latin American novels of the dictator. Book Riot has a list of four of these for your consideration. And yes, there are others we could add to the list. I have read two from the list.
  • Book Riot also has a list of “100 Must-Read Graphic Memoirs.” I do not think every single title is a must-read, but there are some gems in the pile if you have the patience to look.
  • The Information Literacy Weblog has a small list of some free books on social media research overseas with links to the resources.

 

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.

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.

I recently came across this list of “100 Must-Read Books About Books.” I tend to be very skeptical when I see one of these 100 books lists of whatever the topic is that inspired the compiler because very often the stuff on those lists is just not that great. In the case of some so-called classics that are being forgotten, perhaps they are best left forgotten. Now in terms of books about books, as a librarian and as an avid reader, I find the topic interesting. I do read some books about books, mainly nonfiction. I have found that fiction “about books” is not really that great, and often the “books” are actually tangential and not the main focus even. In terms of the nonfiction in this topic, there are some books I even reread now and then.

So, what have I read from the list? Not as much as you would think. Some of what I have read is good, and there are even one or two I might recommend. Others not so much, and there are even books I have abandoned because they were just bad. I am going to comment a bit on the ones I have read, that I may have tried to read, or have on my TBR list. If I reviewed the book, I will link to it.

From their fiction list:

  • Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie. I read this eons ago (I think it was before I started reviewing books), and I remember hating it. I mainly hated the ending. Yea, there is something about books, mostly because there is some reading of Balzac going on but other than that it’s about two guys pining for a girl.
  • The Club Dumas by Arturo Pérez-Reverte. I read this in its original Spanish. I remember it being a very intricate book. The attention to detail about the antiquarian book trade is something that folks who find that interesting will enjoy. As I note in my review, there is a movie based on the book, but it leaves a lot of stuff out from the book.
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I am familiar with it mainly because I had to teach it in high school. I probably will not be rereading it any time soon due to that experience.
  • The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. Another one that I read ages ago. I remember struggling to get through it; Eco packs a lot into the book. You can tell the guy is a literary theorist. However, I felt reading it was worth it, and I am planning on rereading it down the road.
  • The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books #1) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. This is one I dropped. I actually picked it up in original Spanish as well, and I tried to read it. It was terrible in terms of the writing and the sappy material. What the hell readers see in this author to make this such an overrated book is beyond me. The Cemetery of Forgotten Books was an intriguing idea, and it is probably the reason so many librarians drool over this book, but it is just not a good book. You want stories about books and depositories and so on? Go read some Borges.

From their nonfiction list:

  • Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason by Nancy Pearl. Nancy Pearl is the uber heroine for most librarians, especially those who do reader’s advisory. Do not get me wrong; she has done a lot to get people reading. However, she has sort of become a “franchise” and books after this first one feel more like she is stretching the brand. She has not reached Chicken Soup for the Soul series level yet.  I read this one and her second book, More Book Lust. They are nice books to browse, and as I said in my reviews, the first book is the best of the set.
  • The Book of Lost Books: An Incomplete History of All the Great Books You’ll Never Read by Stuart Kelly. Another one I dropped. I thought this really had potential, but damn it was one seriously boring reading.
  • The Book on the Bookshelf by Henry Petroski. I have this on my TBR list, but I am highly skeptical about picking it up. I tried reading his other book on the history of pencils, The Pencil: a History of Design and Circumstance, but I dropped it because it was, again, a seriously boring book. Now keep in mind, I enjoy microhistory books. Those are books that delve deeply into a single subject, so it pained me to drop that one. So on the one hand, I want to give this other book a chance, but on the other hand, ugh.
  • The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell. I recently read this one, and it was one I really liked.
  • Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman. Read it a while back.
  • A History of Reading by Alberto Manguel. Another one I read a while back. This is one I am planning on rereading soon. Manguel is a great and very evocative writer. Not listed, amazingly enough, is Manguel’s other book, The Library at Night, which is excellent, and if you are a librarian, it will make you feel all warm and fuzzy too.
  • A Passion for Books: A Book Lover’s Treasury of Stories, Essays, Humor, Love and Lists on Collecting, Reading, Borrowing, Lending, Caring for, and Appreciating Books by Harold Rabinowitz. This is one of my favorite books. In fact, I listed it in my recent post on comfort books.
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. I read this. Hated it. The book went on to become a selection for women’s book clubs wanting to read something “edgy” as it deals with book censorship in Iran and women there trying to read illicit books. Problem is the book is not that good in terms of writing and when you get down to it not that interesting either. But I guess after a few glasses of wine during book club, it may look better.
  • Sixpence House: Lost in a Town of Books by Paul Collins. I liked this one, but I also had some reservations about it. You can check out my review.
  • So Many Books, So Little Time: A Year of Passionate Reading by Sara Nelson. I read this too. It had its pluses and minuses. Again, feel free to click the link and check out my full review.
  • A few other nonfiction titles from the list I have on my TBR list:
    • Forgotten Bookmarks: A Bookseller’s Collection of Odd Things Lost Between the Pages by Michael Popek. I do follow the blog for Forgotten Bookmarks, so I am interested in seeing what selections made the book.
    • A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes, and the Eternal Passion for Books by Nicholas A. Basbanes. I have read other books by Basbanes, and oddly enough, have not read this one yet. I do have it on my shelf to get to it down the road.
    • The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession by Allison Hoover Bartlett. My local public library has this an audiobook, and since I am doing an audiobooks reading challenge for 2016, I may pick it up.
    • The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester. I have heard good things about this one, so maybe one day I will get to it.
    • Used and Rare: Travels in the Book World by Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone. I want to read this mostly because I have read something else by these authors.

I have read 13 out of 100 with some additional drops. Do keep in mind that though it is a big list, there are books missing. Have you folks read any of the books on the list? Do you folks have a favorite book about books and reading that did not make the list? Let me know in the comments. If it was good, tell me why it was good, and I will add it to my TBR list. If it was bad, let me know why I should avoid it. Folks talking about books, good and bad, after all is one way reader’s advisory works out.

 

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.

Welcome back folks. This is my list of the books I reviewed at The Itinerant Librarian for the month of April 2015. I will mention these are not necessarily ones I read in April; it is the ones I managed to get reviewed in the month. As always, if you find one of them interesting enough to read, feel free to let me know. Comments are welcome.

  • I continue to enjoy Scott Snyder’s American Vampire series. This is still one of the best comics series going on at this time. This month, I reviewed volume 4 and  volume 7 in the series.
  • I read a little bit of Western with All-Star Western, Volume One and All-Star Western, Volume 2.  If you like Gotham City, this comic series gives you a look at the early days of that city way before Batman.
  • Did a little blend of erotic romance with gothic fiction. This month I reviewed Mitzi Szereto’s Darker Edge of Desire.
  • I read a little manga as I finished off the other two volumes I had of the Spawn: Shadows of Spawn series.
  • In the American South, manners, or at least gentility and the appearance of manners, are of utmost important. As I learned in reading this book, Being Dead is No Excuse. Learn not only the proper manners for a funeral but also, and likely more important, what to do for the reception after the funeral and cemetery burial.
  • I took a ride in a very different amusement park with Deadman Wonderland, Volume 1.
  • I enjoyed a bit more Star Wars, Shakespeare style, with The Empire Striketh Back and The Jedi Doth Return. This really has been a fun series to read.
  • I am a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, especially the originals (you know, before Nickelodeon and others sanitized them for kids). If you want to go back to the early days, IDW is putting out a new compilation, and I started reading it with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Collection, Volume 1.
  • Now just because I have a soft spot for early TMNT, it does not mean that I do not enjoy modern iterations. This crossover was neat, and one the kids will likely enjoy. The book is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Ghostbusters.
  • This one will go down as one of my best reads in 2015 when I do my end of year reading reflection and list. It is a book I think that more people should read to learn more about the mortuary industry and more. The book is Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.
  • I continue reading the manga series Adolf. This month, I reviewed the third volume.
  • I always find the process of making alcoholic spirits to be interesting. In addition, since moving to Kentucky, I have been a  bit more interested in learning about bourbon. So, to help that interest along, I recently read Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey.
  • This was a graphic novel that I will admit I was not sure what to make of it. Perhaps one of you folks might want to try it and let me know what they think. The work is Dark Engine, Volume 1. This is one that I may or not seek out the next volume.
  • I finally got the review up for the last book the Dean’s Faculty Book Reading Group read on campus. The book is Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies. If the topic of migrant workers interests you at all, this is one to read.

CuriousGeorgeReading

And so we continue to add to the ever growing list of books I want to read someday.

Items about books I want to read:

  • The automobile is a big part of the U.S. mythology. Now, there is a book looking at the United States and the American Dream through American cars. The book is Engines of Change, and it was reviewed at San Francisco Book Review.
  • I do find works from and about the WPA to be interesting. This book, also featured at San Francisco Book Review, is an “able reprinting of the WPA travel guide to California, published by the University of California Press.” The book is California in the 1930s. There is also one for San Diego, entitled San Diego in the 1930s.
  • IDW, one of my favorite publishers, has a compilation volume of Judge Dredd. It is discussed at SF Signal. The book is Judge Dredd, Volume 1.
  • Sex education is not just important. It is essential. If you don’t believe me, ask the folks in this small town in Texas who just believed in one of those “abstinence only” education programs. They now have a rampant epidemic of chlamydia in their public high school. Perfect illustration of why you need sex education. Perhaps a comic book like Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf: A Sex Education Comic Book might help. The book was featured in Lambda Literary.
  • I enjoy baking, even if I cannot do much of it myself. I certainly enjoy eating baked goods, maybe a bit much at times. And like this reviewer, “I love interesting but ultimately useless trivia.” I think to a small extent, loving trivia is a requirement to being a good librarian. Anyhow, I digress. Point is here is a book with recipes and a lot of trivia and history about specific baked goods. The book is The Secret Lives of Baked Goods. It was reviewed at San Francisco Book Review.
  • As my four readers know, I enjoy books about books. So of course I have to add The Art of American Book Covers, 1875-1930 to my reading list.  The book was also reviewed at San Francisco Book Review.
  • This book caught my eye in large part due to this interview with the author where she discusses her world building and the setting, which sounded intriguing if you like some scifi with your erotica. The book is Jenna McCormick’s No Rules, and it is part of the series taking place in the fictional world of Illustra.
  • As a manga reader, I am always interested in books about manga to help me learn more as well as do readers’ advisory on it. Via Experiments in Manga here is a review of Manga: Introduction, Challenges, and Best Practices.
  • Another manga book, this time for folks who may want something quick and easy. The book is A Brief History of Manga, and it was highlighted at Contemporary Japanese Literature.
  • Want a little classic horror? Maybe Victorian Ghost Stories: an Oxford Anthology may be for you. It was suggested by Blogging for a Good Book.
  • Once in a while I find something I may want to at least look at via Awful Library Books. Way I see it, someone’s awful book could be someone else’s treasure. As librarians say, every book its reader and every reader its book. Anyhow, is there anyone out there who still remembers Joe Bob Briggs and his, shall we say, unique brand of B-movie reviewing? I do remember his days in Monstervision. At any rate, while Awful Library Books recommends you get rid of his book Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In, there are a few libraries that still have it. Maybe I can get it via ILL if I hurry. By the way, there is also a sequel, Joe Bob Goes Back to the Drive-In.
  • Let’s toss some more erotica into the list. Though I have read Cleis Press titles before, and some featuring gay characters, I have not read one of their gay (read M/M) anthologies yet. No particular reason other than I have not gotten around to it. So to move me to try one out I am listing now their Best Gay Erotica 2013 which I saw reviewed at BDSM Book Reviews. They liked it, so why not? Besides, I need to add titles to that LGBT Reading Challenge I am working on in 2015.
  • Also reviewed at BDSM Book Reviews was House of Sable Locks (Amazon link; not listed in WorldCat). Now, while I do read it, I am not a huge fan of male sub tales. But if they are well written, I will bite. This book sets the tale with some steampunk, which makes it hard to pass up. Sounds like the kind of rare thing I like reading now and then.
  • Another one under erotica, this one is erotic photography. The Library Vixen highlights the book Dirty Rendezvous, featuring the photographic work of Chas Krider.
  • I like having a drink or two now and then, in moderation of course. I also enjoy reading about cocktails and bar culture, even though I am not a big fan of going to bars; I prefer to do my mixology at home. So, here are a couple of books I may want to read down the road, which I found via Drinkhacker. The first one is Liquid Vacation, which looks at tiki drinks. I had no idea tiki drinks were undergoing a revival, but so the reviewers assure us. We’ll see. The second book for this round let’s go with a little history with Gentlemen Bootleggers, which is about a small town in Iowa and its Prohibition-era bootleggers.
  • I always say that if you drink, you should have some food as well. So allow me to point out a couple of books about food. Both were highlighted at the Food Politics blog. Let’s start with The Culinary Imagination, which is “an overview of contemporary food writing and thought.” The other one is Eating Asian America. This one is about the  Asian-American food experience.
  • Here is one that I would consider somewhat work-related (i.e. that an academic librarian should be interested in). Found via review in Inside Higher Ed, the book is Paper Knowledge. Mostly about generation of documents, their move to the cloud, that sort of thing.
  • And speaking of paper, here is a book that sounds a bit more interesting than the previous one. Then again, I will admit I enjoy the work of Nicolas Basbanes, so naturally I have to add his On Paper to my reading list. Review from Times Literary Supplement.
  • Well, workplaces do use a lot of paper, including ones that claim they want to go paperless. Workplaces also have a history and that is captured in the book Cubed: a Secret History of the Workplace. The book was reviewed in BookForum.
  • Keeping a bit longer the secrecy theme, how about state secrets? diplomacy? There is a book on that too, relevant to a time when leaks of information cause a variety of scandals and embarrassments to those in power. The book is Secrets and Leaks, and it was reviewed at Lawfare.
  • I have always wanted to get a good edition of the works of H.P. Lovecraft, and while this one is not complete–it focuses on the stories of his Arkham cycle– it does look pretty good, and it seems to have great art and an essay by Alan Moore. I need to check this out. The book is The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft, and it is reviewed at Bookgasm.

 

Lists and bibliographies:

  • The U.S. yet again celebrated Cinco de Mayo. Maybe instead of just drinking, you may want to do some reading and learn more about that date and Mexican history. Here is a Cinco de Mayo reading list. Via University of Nebraska Press.
  • Want to read some mystery? Here is a list of the 101 best crime novels of the last decade. Via The Booklist Reader.
  • Want to read some erotica and kink? Would you perhaps like to do it on a Kindle (or e-reader)? Violet Blue has some suggestions to Kink Your Kindle.
  • Via BuzzFeed, here is a list of 32 Asian American writers to read. Just doing my part to help you diversify your reading.
  • I am not a huge fan of the dystopian genre, but I have read a comic or two in the genre, including a title or two on this list. I think some folks out there may find it of interest. The list is of “Top Ten Superhero-Free Dystopian Comics.” Published at SF Signal.

CuriousGeorgeReading

 

We continue the never ending additions to my ever growing list of books I would like to read some day.

Items about books I want to read:

  • Let’s start up with a little erotica from Violet Blue. She has out a new small collection of short stories entitled Bisexual Husbands (link to Violet Blue’s site. Also available on Amazon. It comes as an e-book).  What is it about? “Seven stories skillfully depict seven different bisexual husbands whose cravings for a same-sex tryst have reached the point of no return, and their wives can’t wait to watch — or join in, sometimes controlling the action.” When it comes to reading erotica, I am willing to try out almost anything, so I am adding this to the TBR list. The book was reviewed at Ms. Naughty’s Porn For Women (and yes, this site can be NSFW).
  • Those who know me know that I enjoy reading microhistories and histories of small things. So, what do you know? There is a book out on the history of planners, meaning those notebooks or devices you use to keep track of appointments, so on. The book is The Accidental Diarist, and it is mentioned briefly at Plannerisms.
  • In my personal blog, The Itinerant Librarian, I have a semi-regular feature entitled “Signs the Economy is Bad.” You should go check it out sometime. Anyhow, in that feature, I have pointed out the demise of the shopping mall as one of those bad signs. Now, there is a book out that looks at just that topic. The book is Retail Revolution: Will Your Brick-and-Mortar Store Survive? The book was mentioned at HBS Working Knowledge.
  • A recent book on the war on drugs that may be interesting and argues that war is on the decline (or should be on the decline). The book is Chasing the Scream. I discovered it at Yes! Magazine.
  • It may not be a good time to be an artist. That is the common wisdom these days. However, the decline of the artistic class is more than just losing the arts. In These Times had a feature on the book Culture Crash: The Killing of the Creative Class. As the article points out, “it’s not just a story about (the impossibility of) making a living making art in modern America. More urgently, it’s another chapter in America’s central economic story today, of plutocracy versus penury and the evisceration of the middle class.”
  • I’ve always found the art and ritual of letter writing fascinating. It really is a pity it has been on the decline. Thus I am always interested in books about the topic. This time we have Kind Regards: The Lost Art of Letter-Writing. The book was briefly reviewed at The Well-Appointed Desk.
  • Here is a collection of short stories that fall within the genre of body horror. The book is Body by Asa Nonami. The book was reviewed in Contemporary Japanese Literature.
  • Again, another small history. This time looking at the lost art of the burlesque. Sure, there may be some practitioners today, but as the review argues, those performers seem to remain mostly in niches. The book is Behind the Burly Q, and it was featured in Bookgasm. The book is a companion to a documentary of the same title.
  • For the folks who like steampunk and cosplaying it, they may like the book International Steampunk Fashions. It was briefly highlighted at San Francisco Book Review.
  • An erotic romance selection. This has been sitting on my feed reader cue a while. I am not quite sure why now; it was probably because it deals with a voluptuous woman (read: carries a bit more to love), which is a type I certainly like. Anyhow, the book is Voluptuous (link to publisher), and it was highlighted in Erotica For All.
  • Moving along, how about little candy. Here is an “intriguing account of candy in the United States.” The book is Candy: a Century of Panic and Pleasure, and it was highlighted in Food Politics blog.
  • Also via Food Politics blog, a history of vegetarianism during the reform era in the U.S. The book is The Vegetarian Crusade.
  • Going for something different, here is a book on polyamory and swinging. The book is My Life on the Swingset (link to author’s website), and it was reviewed at Dr. Dick’s Sex Advice (I do have to warn that website may be a little NSFW).
  • The Hang Fire Books blog highlights the book Bunny Yeager’s Art of Glamour Photography. Yeager was well known for photographing Bettie Page. This is an older book, so we’ll see if we can get our hands on it.
  • If you are like me, you remember some old comic books, and you especially remember the ads in those comics for things like Sea Monkeys and X-Ray specs. Well, there is a book that picks up and highlights those ads. The book is Mail-Order Mysteries, and it was highlighted in Wink blog.

 

Lists and bibliographies:

  • You can find the most interesting and odd things out there when it comes to reading. Here is a list of “Erotic Fiction Fiction Featuring Gay Dinosaurs and Mythical Creatures.” Via Incredible Things.
  • The newspaper El Mundo (Spain) recently had a list of best Spanish (as in authors from Spain and written in Spanish). The article is “1989-2014: las 25 mejores novelas.” The article is written in Spanish. I have not read a single one as of this writing, so I need to get on it.
  • Counterpunch a while back had a list of “100 Best Non-fiction Books (in Translation) of the 20th Century. . .and Beyond.” I know I have read some from this list, but there may be a few more to read yet.
  • Interested in comics? Here is a “Field Guide to Fifteen Feminist Comics.” The list comes from Comic Book Resources. I will be honest, when it comes to graphic novels and comics, I read them because they are good, not because they have some label be it feminist or what have you. From this list, I have read the Saga series, which I highly recommend. I have heard good things about a couple of others, so I will probably pick those up as well.

 

 

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