Posts Tagged ‘spirits (alcoholic and otherwise)’
This is the last batch of book reviews I did for 2016. If you missed any, click the links below and check them out. As always, if you read any, feel free to comment and let me know your thoughts. Also, suggestions for things you think I may want to read are always welcome. Links below go to my reviews.
- Took a tour of Kentucky and some old bourbon distilleries with The Birth of Bourbon.
- Read about some great women in Wonder Women.
- I read some of Gabriel García Márquez’s speeches in Yo No Vengo a Decir un Discurso.
- I continue to enjoy the Conner and Palmiotti run of Harley Quinn in Harley Quinn, Volume 5: the Joker’s Last Laugh.
- I also read and reviewed Usagi Yojimbo: Thieves and Spies.
- I learned a few new things as I read about La Santa Muerte.
- Did a little zen with Cold Mountain.
- 2016 was an election year, so naturally I got a book or two relevant to the season. I even got a book about the Pendejo In Chief, and it is a pretty good one. Plus, it is a graphic novel biography. The book is Trump: a Graphic Biography.
- I ended the year with a review of an oracle cards deck that became a favorite of mine: The Halloween Oracle. If you do divination and/or use cards for meditation, you might want to consider this one, whether it is Halloween or not.
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.
The list of books I wish to read some day continues to grow, but such is life. So many books, so little time. Part of doing these posts is that I also enjoy reading about new (or new to me) books, and I also hope my three readers might find an idea or two of a book to read next.
Items about books I want to read:
- This caught my eye in part because my father-in-law worked for Bethlehem Steel at the Gary, Indiana site for many years. He retired before the company went down and out. Still, it is tragic that the site has become a megacasino. Talk about how the mighty have fallen. There is a new book detailing that story, and you can read about it in this article via In These Times. The book is From Steel to Slots: Casino Capitalism in the Postindustrial City.
- This book features 12 recipes of basics that, supposedly will enable to eat the rest of your life. The book is called Twelve Recipes, and it was featured at Wink Books.
- Picturepedia is the kind of book I would have loved as a kid, and I would probably still enjoy it today. Wink Books highlighted it.
- Based on a True Story reviewed the book The Year of Living Danishly. The book’s author tries to figure out why Denmark is the happiest place in the world. I can tell you this. If I had the chance to go and stay, I’d be happy to learn Danish and live there.
- A Case for Suitable Treatment highlights the first volume of the manga The Testament of Sister New Devil.
- I always enjoy books about books and bibliophiles, so Rare Books Uncovered sounds like a good one to add to this list. It was reviewed at The Virginian-Pilot.
- Here is one that can go for the 2016 Horror Reading Challenge I am doing now. The book is Joe Hill’s The Fireman, which was reviewed at RA for All: Horror blog.
- What do you know? Someone wrote a book on old office supplies. The author is profiled in Collectors Weekly, and the book is Reading & Writing Accessories: A Study of Paper-Knives, Paper Folders, Letter Openers and Mythical Page Turners. It never ceases to amaze me the stuff people will write books about.
- After reading Carlton Mellick III’s ClownFellas (link to my review),I have wanted to read more from that author. Here is one of his books I am adding to my TBR list: Apeshit, and it was reviewed at Horror Novel Reviews.
- Turns out Eduardo Galeano had one more book left, and it is now being published posthumously. The book is El Cazador de Historias, and you can read about it at Que Leer (article in Spanish).
- Want to learn more about Mexican drug cartels and how they use violence? You can read The Evolution of Los Zetas in Mexico and Central America: Sadism as an Instrument of Cartel Warfare. You can get the book free from the U.S. Strategic Studies Institute here. I learned about it via GPO’s Government BookTalk blog.
- Sure, you can drink the usual stuff. Or you can get out of your comfort zone and drink some different things like this guy, the author of The Year of Drinking Adventurously. The book was reviewed at Drinkhacker.
- The Llewellyn blog highlights a new book release: The Mindfulness Habit. This may fit in nicely with the Self-Help books challenge I am doing this year.
- One more addition, and I saw this one via social media. I know I had to add it to my reading list right away. The book is Welcome to Dumbfuckistan, (link to Amazon; book new at this time, not on WorldCat yet) and it was discussed at Attn.com.
Lists and bibliographies:
- The New York Review of Books features a review essay on two books about the history of suburbia in the United States.
- Book Riot offers a list of short philosophical books for the challenging political times we are living in. From the list, I read the On Bullshit a while back.
- They also offer a list of queer-friendly comic publishers to check out. I have read works from some of the folks listed, so I can attest at least some of the work the guys on the list put out is good.
- Horror Novel Reviews posted their list of 15 best horror books so far. RA for All: Horror offers their kvetching and critique of the list. Because for every book list you have to have someone gripe about what made it or not into the list. It’s like a rule of readers’ advisory or something.
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.“
Here is the list with links of books I reviewed at The Itinerant Librarian for the month of April 2016. If you missed any or you are curious, feel free to click and check them out. Comments are always welcome.
- I discovered a new to me series with Ghost Fleet, Volume 1. I already got volume 2, and I will be reading it and reviewing it soon as well.
- I learned a bit about the production politics of tequila and mezcal in Divided Spirits.
- I also read some essays and learned a bit about cocktails and their lore with Cocteles con historia.
- Read Harlan Ellison’s classic Night and the Enemy.
- I continue to enjoy the spy series featuring Dick Grayson in Grayson, Volume 2. NetGalley is making the third volume available. If I get approval, I will read and review it soon as well.
- I also continue to enjoy the run of New Suicide Squad. This month, I read the second volume in the series.
- And one more DC Comics title I read and reviewed this month was Martian Manhunter, Volume 1.
- I had a bit of fun learning about things you can and not do with duct tape with The Jumbo Duct Tape Book. Plus I learned some trivia. For instance, what is the deal with saying Duck Tape or Duct Tape? One is the general name, the other is a brand name that has become ubiquitous. Read the book to learn more.
- Did a bit of spiritual reading with The Tibetan Art of Positive Thinking.
Here are the links to the books I reviewed at The Itinerant Librarian for the month of January 2016. Not as many this month as I was putting together my reading challenges for 2016. Still, I got some good ones in. Feel free to check them out, and as always, comments are welcome.
- Want to learn more about what makes a big segment of the Republican Party tick? You can read The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism. This is a book I do recommend as it is very relevant to the 2016 elections. In fact, this book had so much to learn, that I made a second post with additional reading notes about the book.
- I started my Tarot journey with a gift I received over the holidays: The Illustrated Guide to Tarot by Jane Lyle. The book is part of a kit that included a deck of Marseilles Tarot cards. One my personal projects this year is to teach myself how to read the Tarot, mostly for personal meditation and reflection, but perhaps some day, I may read cards for others, at least for friends.
- I reread Lewis Black’s book, Me of Little Faith. This time, I did it in audiobook format.
- I got some inspiration on happiness with Happiness A-Z.
I fell a little behind on this, so here they are. Feel free to check out the reviews. As I have said before, just because I reviewed them this month, it does not mean I read them in the same month. In terms of review writing, this was a pretty productive month for me. If you read any of these, or you have other comments, feel free to comment below.
- I continued reading John Lewis’ story with March: Book Two. I highly recommend this series.
- I read and reviewed some Batman titles:
- I explored a bit of New York City in Discovering Vintage New York.
- I also took another look at New York City through the eyes of some of its people with the graphic novel Pawn Shop.
- Nemo: River of Ghosts. If you enjoyed Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the Nemo trilogy is a follow up to that. I read one of the volumes in the trilogy.
- Robert Kirkman is pretty much known now for The Walking Dead. But before he wrote that paean to stand your ground types and bullies (seriously, the comic may have started well, but it has become that by now), he wrote stuff that was fun. One of those was Battle Pope, and I read and reviewed Battle Pope, Volume 1 and Volume 2. And I have the other three of five to read soon.
- I laughed with Garfield and Jon:
- Reviewed a couple of Star Wars juvenile graphic novels, which I was also reading for a reading challenge.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Collection, Volume 2.
- Did a little road trip travel with Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure. Harry was pretty much the last president to get in a car, as in his own privately owned car, and go on a road trip as a common man after his presidency.
- Got a little bound reading erotica with Tie Me Up.
- Kept up a bit with politics and religion (two things that should not mix, but hey, this is the U.S.), and if nothing else, I am a bit more glad to be a heathen after reading The Evangelicals You Don’t Know.
- I also kept up a bit with my trade as librarian and worked to maintain by readers’ advisory cred by reading and reviewing The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Historical Fiction.
- I also read a history of the American public libraries in Part of Our Lives.
- DC Comics rebooted Lobo, and I read the first volume of the reboot: Lobo, Volume 1: Targets.
- This is one I would add to my personal collection, and one that people who want to cut through b.s. should keep handy. The book is Spinglish. It’s about deceptive language.
- What if superheroes decided to unionize? That is the premise in C.O.W.L. Volume 1: Principles of Power. I enjoyed this one, so I hope to keep reading the series down the road.
- Another excellent graphic novel selection was Punk Rock and Trailer Parks.
- And still another was The Names.
- With the new film coming down soon, I figure this will be popular. I reviewed New Suicide Squad, Volume 1: Pure Insanity.