Goodreads Book Tag

Found at my friend’s blog, The Itinerant Librarian.

WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU MARKED AS READ? 

• Bee Wilson, Consider the Fork: How Technology Transforms the Way We Cook and Eat

Actually it wasn’t, but I have been reading so many books that finding a time when something in here is not already outdated is tough. So I am “freezing time: for the moment. 

I really liked this book but I wish it were a bit more “narrative”–not fully pedagocical but a bit more structured. But it is an exemplar of current popular science, no doubt.

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

As of this writing, I was reading the following: 

  • Bill Crowley, Renewing Professional Librarianship: A Fundamental Rethinking
  • Peter Levine, Healing Trauma: A Pioneering Program for Restoring the Wisdom of Your Body
  • Elaine Aron, The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You
  • Joseph Campbell, Myths to Live By (Reading together)
  • Michael Twitty, The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South
  • Samin Nosrat, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking
  • Tristan Gooley, The Lost Art of Reading Nature’s Signs: Use Outdoor Clues to Find Your Way, Predict the Weather, Locate Water, Track Animals—and Other Forgotten Skills
  • Benjamin Bergen, What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves
  • Barnes & Ambaum, Unshelved (Unshelved, #1)
  • Kissell, Take Control of Getting Started with Devonthink 2
  • Carlson, Take Control of Your Digital Photos

Clearly, some of these are currently being read less than others.

WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU MARKED AS TBR?

As of this writing, it was Hope Jahren’s Lab Girl.

WHAT BOOK DO YOU PLAN TO READ NEXT?

I cannot remotely know that at this point. I could easily tell you a list of 12 or more that I would love to be able to say are next. But that’s dreaming.

But …. After reading Bagge’s biography of her, I really want to dig into Zora Neale Hurston’s Of Mules and Men, which I own and have already pulled off the shelf to have near at hand. I also have a book of collected short stories of hers, with one that Bagge mentioned in the notes I am dying to read. But I own those and there are library books–both multiple books and multiple libraries–that take precedence in one strong sense over books I own.

DO YOU USE THE STAR RATING SYSTEM?

I do. I also use a star rating for my reviews here on the blog. They should match as I am pulling the stars for here from what I gave in Goodreads. But if I write a “big” review of a book for the blog then it is the canonical review. I may copy it into Goodreads, or I may not, but I do put the link to the blog post into Goodreads.

ARE YOU DOING A 2018 READING CHALLENGE?

I am doing the Goodreads reading challenge for 2018.

My 2018 Goodreads Challenge badge showing 283 of 90 read

Here are my 2018 challenge goals to myself as from my 2018 Books and Reading Goals post:

“My overall book goal is 90 books for 2018. I have a list of potential books-to-be-read divided into categories but decided not to post it or hew to it either.

My main goal is to read more translations; total 12. Maybe without the goal of reviewing them too I can actually get close to 10-15% of the total being translations.

I think that is pretty much it. I will track a few categories and such but if I fail to do a good job then I intend and hope not to pressure myself into going back and getting the data straight. If I end up with a raw number of books read of 90 or more, of which 12 or more are translations then I will be satisfied with my 2018 reading goals (based on this criteria). The end of the year may well bear different criteria.”

[As of 13 October, I have read 15 translations and over 280 books! I consider my challenges met, although the percentage of translations is lower than I wanted; but I also didn’t think I’d be at >300% of my main goal in early October!]

DO YOU HAVE A WISHLIST?

I do. However, there isn’t that much of current desire on it and I’m not sure why some were put on. I have also weeded it pretty heavily, as one must.

I just realized. I took this to be a wishlist, like an Amazon one, or like the paper versions I handed to my relatives when I was a kid. Perhaps it’s meant to imply more like a list of to be read books. But Goodreads has that as a basic feature so …. Nothing says one can’t use an Amazon wishlist simply as a list of books to be read by borrowing from a library or such but then there are better tools for that; Goodreads, a library catalog itself (although CAVEATS), Zotero, and so on.

WHAT BOOK DO YOU PLAN TO BUY NEXT?

I cannot remotely know that at this point.

DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVORITE QUOTES? 

Yes, quite a few favorites but am too lazy to retrieve/recall anything at this point.

WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE AUTHORS?

Richard Stivers, Gail Carriger, George Eliot, Bill Watterson, Wilkie Collins, …

HAVE YOU JOINED ANY GROUPS?

I have, but I do not participate. I joined the Goodreads Librarians Group simply so I could catalog books not in the system. Once in a while I correct things too. But I do no “group stuff,” no social, in it.

Visual language: or a new wander

In which I begin a new intellectual wander amongst the idea of visual language, particularly in comics, or at least that is how I got interested in it in a roundabout way.

My son and my friend Dave will probably laugh at me as this is the kind of thinking they’ve both done for much of their lives. They are visually arty. And musically. I am neither.

Past wanders

I am not sure that I am going to continue homebrewing and I am, after my last session of doing so, seriously reconsidering my beer judging. But those are different stories. This is about a new rabbit hole. “Psst, over here. “

Context

As my Thursday AM coffee shop book, I am currently reading Smits, Rik. The Puzzle of Lefthandedness. Translated by Liz Waters, Reaktion, 2011, and it is fascinating! At least to a left-hander from a family of left-handers. Old enough that my parents were “seriously discouraged” from using said left hand and that even my doing so was looked down on, at the least, at school. Yes, I smeared a lot because that stupid non-smearing way to supposedly hold your pencil was dreamt up by a right-handed zealot with a sadistic streak. [That’s my story.]

Anyway, fascinating book! It is a series of 38 essay-ish pieces (I am about halfway through) about left-handedness but also about the concepts of left and right and their symbolic meanings, and so on. Sort of like 38 takes at tossing a dart at the dart board of the topic from 38 different points in space from all around the target. So, thus, not a coherent, long-form, argument, but a truly interesting way to break off into related topics.

The last couple chapters I read started with one on left and right in the murder genre of Western painting. Because of course “we” have one! ::sigh:: Then there was one on the violence towards women—almost always sexual—in Western painting. This also included the object of the male gaze, the “harlot.” Next was one on left and right in married couples portraits, and single portraits also, which also translates into where the woman stands in a traditional church wedding and which side she exits on, etc.

Interspersed throughout these chapters were talk about how all this depiction of movement [arriving vs departing, messengers with good news versus bad news, etc. transferred to most other forms of art and much of culture, including the stage, the silver screen, comic books and graphic novels, advertising, and so on. Much of this was also looked at cross-culturally; in literate cultures, much hinges on direction of writing and reading.

The point

All this really got me thinking as I have been reading so many graphic novels, comics, and some manga and I am often lost by the artwork and I am self-aware enough to know that sometimes it isn’t simply me or bad art but that I just don’t understand the conventions; especially true regarding manga and other forms of Japanese comics/anime.

Neil Cohn

Over the past weekend I discussed this with my wife and she started poking the Interwebz and found the the following article: Cohn, Neil. Comics, Linguistics, and Visual Language: The Past and Future of a Field. http://www.visuallanguagelab.com/P/NC_Comics&Linguistics.pdf. Accessed 6 Mar. 2018.

Yesterday I got a chance to print it and read it and it was mind-blowing how perfect it was for me. It isn’t exactly a practical lexicon of comics art, if you will, or not at all, which is what I sort of wanted: something to the point without being overly theoretical or way too wordy or …. I wanted the perfect “document” for me. This is a very close second and, in many ways, better, in that it provides a great entry into what I am looking for.

The article is exactly what the title purports to be: Comics, Linguistics, and Visual Language: The Past and Future of a Field. It shows why “a language of comics” is the wrong object of study and that it is actually “visual language,” akin to “spoken” and (I forget what he called them, but) “manual,” that is signed languages.

Lots of great citations, as he has a good lit review early on, and then looks at the topic from most angles of study in linguistics, covers the research done in that area and the research needed, along with what the proper questions and concepts are in that area, and how they map, if at all, and whether that matters, to other forms of language (for instance, photology versus phonology).

Scott McCloud

The heaviest cited piece he uses is: McCloud, Scott. Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. First HarperPerennial edition, HarperCollins Publishers, 1994, of which he says, “…, contemporary works on comics in a linguistic light—both in America and abroad—have exploded since the publication of comic artist and theorist Scott McCloud’s (1993) graphic book Understanding comics.” and “McCloud’s approach has permeated nearly all linguistically-driven studies since its publication” (4). Ten total cites to it. The author has 20 cites to his own work. But that is spread across 11 different titles versus one. [Not saying that isn’t fair as he seems mighty prolific. I still need to check out Cohn’s website, http://www.visuallanguagelab.com/] But McCloud’s book seems to be the object to engage with in the article and in linguistics and comics since 1993.

When I looked up McCloud’s book to see if we had it at COCC—which we did—I saw that we had a 2nd McCloud book so I grabbed it too when I went up to get Understanding comics. It too is a graphic novel, McCloud, Scott. Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels. Harper, 2006. And next to it was another early classic, also cited by Cohn, so I grabbed it as a possibility: Eisner, Will. Comics and Sequential Art: Principles and Practices from the Legendary Cartoonist; [Incl. New and Updated Material. Norton, 2008.

 I have read his fiction graphic novel, The Sculptor.

Wissenschaft

Of course there is language to this kind of thing but at what level of analysis and so forth? Or is it all practical versus theoretic and where and how have they influenced each other? I need a Wissenschaft on visual language.

Seeing as I do not have one—although that linguistics article went a long way towards portions of theory, and McCloud’s books, along with possibly Eisner’s, will hopefully provide some great practical knowledge—I will have to construct my own.

But that is par for the course:

“Wissenschaft incorporates science, learning, knowledge, scholarship and implies that knowledge is a dynamic process discoverable for oneself, rather than something that is handed down. It did not necessarily imply empirical research.

Wissenschaft was the official ideology of German Universities during the 19th century. It emphasised the unity of teaching and individual research or discovery for the student. It suggests that education is a process of growing and becoming.” (Wikipedia, “Wissenschaft.” Emphasis mine; spelling mistake Wikipedia’s)

I love Wissenschaften since they are, amongst others things, intellectual histories and that is my favorite kind of history by far. I also agree with the philosophy of education.

A New Wander

I have been needing a new rabbit hole—a new intellectual wander—and I do believe I have found it. No idea how far I will go but there are still a handful of citations to look into from Cohn’s article. I mean, seriously, how could I, with my assorted background(s) not read “Impossible Objects as Nonsense Sentences”? A title like that is like an opiate to me. And I have a few books to begin with; two of which are nonfiction graphic novels, my favorite kind.

2018 Books and Reading Goals

As I said in my previous post, 2017 Books and Reading Follow-up, I am greatly simplifying this year. I am generally happy with my reading, but not my reviewing or the amount of data collection. So changes are warranted.

Reviews: will do them when and if moved to do so and they will be of whatever quality I am moved to. Otherwise I simply do not care or, at least, hope not to let the lack of a review bug me.

My overall book goal is 90 books for 2018. I have a list of potential books-to-be-read divided into categories but decided not to post it or hew to it either.

My main goal is to read more translations; total 12. Maybe without the goal of reviewing them too I can actually get close to 10-15% of the total being translations.

I think that is pretty much it. I will track a few categories and such but if I fail to do a good job then I intend and hope not to pressure myself into going back and getting the data straight. If I end up with a raw number of books read of 90 or more, of which 12 or more are translations then I will be satisfied with my 2018 reading goals (based on this criteria). The end of the year may well bear different criteria. ::sigh::

2017 Books and Reading Follow-up

Intro

I am going to try and follow-up on all of the goals and things I set myself to track in my 2017 reading.

First though, I am going way minimal next year. I really found that I don’t give a crap about much of this—especially the writing of reviews and the godawful amount of data tracking. Who needs it? Life is way too short. [More on this soon.] I am happy enough with my reading and need less pressure; especially so regarding self-pressure.

The writing of reviews : several of my challenges involved writing and posting reviews as part of the challenge but fairly early in the year I decided I simply did not care. If a book sparked a well-done review out of me then “Woohoo!” But if not then move along, quickly. And let the pressure go. …

2017 Reading Challenges & Goals

http://marklindner.info/blog/2017/01/01/2017-reading-challenges-goals/ 2017curr #2017poss #2017look #2017gnc #2017nfc #2017transl #2017reading

Generic goals: [# finished in 2016 : # finished in 2017]

  • More poetry; re-reading encouraged here [2 : 8 [3 re-reads]] Excellent!
  • More erotica, sex & gender [3 : 9 + 1] Also excellent.
  • More literature [1 : 6] Also excellent.
  • More librariana [1 in progress; slowly : 3] Better.
  • Translations same-ish [14 : 6, gave up on 1] Oh. My. Perhaps a little commitment here next year.
  • More ebooks [8 : 27] Very excellent.
  • Nonfiction same-ish [54 : 53] Cool.
  • More essays and short stories [1?, unknown for sure : 4 + 3] Also excellent.
  • [Fiction 48]
  • [Total books [F / NF / Poetry] 48 + 53 + 8 = 109]

Books currently reading being read [2017curr]

Finish all 4 of the books I am supposedly currently reading.

Finished 1 of 4 : Glushko, et al. – The Discipline of Organizing

2017 Books To Read Challenge (personal) [2017poss]

2017 Books To Read Challenge (personal) post

Total of 85 books (which includes some 8 on pause) I challenge myself to complete 2 from each of the 16 categories and a total of 35

Finished 17. Currently reading one together, of which we are on page 258 of ~307. So not so good. But I also don’t care. [See below for breakout.]

2017 “the looking all around list” Self-Reading Challenge [2017look]

2017 “the looking all around list” Self-Reading Challenge

At least 30 of 40 categories read in.

Finished 28 categories, with a possible 1-2 more if seriously scour list. A total of 21 titles met these 30. Not shabby. [See below for breakout.]

2017 A Novel Idea selection (Deschutes Public Library, Bend, OR)

Homecoming by Yaa Gyasi [A Novel Idea] I finished this on 01 January 2017 and it was excellent.

2016-2017 Author! Author! Literary Series

Finished 1 of 3.

  • Dave Eggers : 19 January 2017 [not reading anything for this]
  • Anthony Doerr : 4 February 2017 : All the Light We Cannot See
  • Siddhartha Mukherjee : 10 April 2017 : The Emperor of All Maladies [gave up]

Categories I am tracking in 2017:

  • fiction 48
  • nonfiction 53
  • ebooks 27
  • translations 6
  • beer 18
  • biography / memoir 10
  • Central Oregon 1
  • cookery 2
  • erotica 9
  • essays 4
  • graphic novels 37 : 29 F / 8 NF
  • history 16
  • language 4
  • librariana 3
  • literature 6 [but, oh the counting thereof …]
  • on pause Bagan with 4; ended with 6 [others?]
  • philosophy 3
  • photography 2
  • poetry 8
  • post 2016 election 9
  • renewal 4
  • re-reads 7
  • science 8
  • sex & gender 1
  • short stories 3
  • tech & software [2016poss only] 2
  • together
  • wander 7
  • YA & children 12
  • [gave up 4]

Challenges hosted elsewhere

2017 Goodreads Challenge

My goal is 100 this year, same as last year.

Finished 108, but seems 1 is missing. Should be 109.

2017 10th Annual Graphic Novel/Manga Challenge [2017gnc]

24 for Silver Age [all needed reviews]

Read 37. Reviewed 12. Yay! Not yay.

Nonfiction Reading Challenge 2017 [2017nfc]

Read a minimum of 50 nonfiction books and review a minimum of 25 of these.

Read 53. Reviewed 9. Yay! Not yay.

Books in Translation Reading Challenge 2017 [2017trans]

Read a minimum of 16 translations and review a minimum of 12 of these.

Read 6. Gave up on 1. Reviewed 2. Not yay. At all.

2017 Books To Read Challenge (personal)

2017 Books To Read Challenge (personal) http://marklindner.info/blog/2016/12/17/2017-btr/

Finished 17 out of 35 challenged from a total of 85 books (which includes some 8 on pause). I also challenged myself to complete 2 from each of the 16 categories.

We are currently reading one together, of which we are on page 258 of ~307, but won’t finish it tonight [31 Dec 2017].

Beer and Brewing [4: 18 total]

Water: A Comprehensive Guide for Brewers (Brewing Elements) – John J. Palmer and Kaminski [own] Read 25 February – 24 March 2017

New Brewing Lager – Noonan [own] Read 13-18 February 2017

The Brewer’s Companion – Mosher [own] Read 7-8 February 2017

The Homebrewer’s Companion – Papazian [own] 21-25 January 2017

Central Oregon [*1 : 1 other]

*Hiking Oregon’s History – William L. Sullivan [DPL] [own] [currently reading]

Erotica [0 : 9 others]

History [1 : 16 total]

Hip Hop Family Tree, v. 1 [have Lib] Read 24-26 April 2017

Librariana [1 : 3]

Cataloging the World: Paul Otlet and the Birth of the Information Age – Alex Wright [own]Read 2 February – 27 April 2017

Language [Language and related] [1 : 4]

Integrationist Notes and Papers 2014 – Roy Harris [own] Read 27 January – 3 February 2017

Literature [(lit, poetry, essays, short stories) and literary theory] [ 6 + 8 + 4 + 3 = 21]

Imagination in Place: Essays – Wendell Berry [own] Read to Sara 11 January – 06 March 2017

Philosophy [loosely defined] [2 : 3]

Self and Soul: A Defense of Ideals – Mark Edmundson [own]

Philosophy on Tap – Lawrence [own] Read 21 May – 7 June 2017

Post 2016 Election [0 : 9 others]

Renewal [0 : 4]

Soul: An Anthology – Cousineau [own] Read 1 January – 6 March 2017

Sex & Gender [0 : 1 other]

Tech & Software [2 total]

Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation – Pollan [own ebook] 16 January – 14 February 2017

Abuse of Language—Abuse of Power – Josef Pieper, Lothar Krauth [translation] [library]

Wander [1 : 7 total]

Selected Stories – Walser [translation, short stories]

Assorted/Too Lazy to Classify [0 of 4]

Re-reads [3 : 7 total + 1 in progress]

*Reverence – Woodruff [renewal] [own] [reading]

On the Cusp of a Dangerous Year – Roripaugh [poems] [own] 17-30 March 2017

What Do We Know – Oliver [poems] [own]

Winter Hours – Oliver [poems] [own] Read 6-16 March 2017

On Pause [0 of 8]

2017 “the looking all around list” Self-Reading Challenge [2017look]

At least 30 of 40 categories read in.

Finished 28 categories, with a possible 1-2 more if seriously scour list. A total of 21 titles met these 30.

  • A book about the production of a favorite beverage, or one of great interest : began Alworth’s Cider [intend to get back to it] but let’s be honest, I read ~15 books and beer and/or brewing this year. This is ticked.] 9-17 January 2017 Sustainable Homebrewing by Loftus
  • An ethnography
  • A biography or memoir : 02 January 2017 Johnny Cash by Kleist
  • A work of classic literature
  • A book with more than 500 pages : 09 January 2017 All the Light We Cannot See
  • A book published this year (2017) : 08 February 2017 The Lunar Chronicles 1: Wires and Nerve
  • A book with a number in the title
  • A book by a female author : 01 January 2017 Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  • A book of short stories : 23 February – 12 March 2017 The Slab by Glen Humphries
  • A book of essays : 01-10 January 2017 Ways of Seeing by John Berger
  • A book set in a different country : 01 January 2017 Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  • A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet : 27 January – 3 February 2017 INP 2014 by Roy Harris
  • A book a friend recommended : 12-13 January 2017 March, Book One – Three by John Lewis, et al. Recommended by Angel Rivera
  • A book at the bottom of your to-read list
  • A book more than 100 years old [1917] {older, yes, 150 is 1867} : 19 June – 14 August 2017 Selected Stories by Walser [1916]
  • A book you can finish in a day : 01 January 2017 Howl: a graphic novel
  • A graphic novel : 01 January 2017 Howl: a graphic novel
  • A book by an author you’ve never read before : 01 January 2017 Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  • A book you own but have never read : 01 January – 06 March 2017 Soul: An Archaeology
  • A book that takes place in your home town : 14 December 2017 Eat, Play, Lust by Fenske
  • A translation : 02 January 2017 Johnny Cash by Kleist
  • A book about war or a battle : 09 January 2017 All the Light We Cannot See
  • A book about feminism : 20-21 May 2017  We Should All Be Feminists
  • A self-published book : 3-6 January 2017 Beer, in So Many Words, Adrian Tierney-Jones, ed.
  • A book about the region you live in [Central Oregon]
  • A book of poems or about poetry : 01 January 2017 Howl: a graphic novel
  • A book of erotica : 14-21 March 2017 The Naughty Pleasures Bundle
  • A book on sex/gender : 20-21 May 2017 We Should All Be Feminists by Adichie
  • A book about your professional realm [librariana] : 2 February – 27 April 2017 Cataloging the World
  • An ebook : 16 January – 14 February 2017 Cooked
  • A re-read : 16 March 2017 Winter Hours
  • A book for post-election understanding [fascism, race, economic disparity, social justice, …] : 12-13 January 2017 March, Book One – Three by John Lewis, et al.
  • A book from an opposing viewpoint
  • A book by an author of a different race : 01 January 2017 Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  • A book about a different faith or religion
  • A book from a genre you don’t normally read : 09 January 2017 All the Light We Cannot See
  • A book about Puerto Rico
  • A book about Cuba/Castro
  • A book of Latin American history or literature
  • A microhistory : 12-13 January 2017 March, Book One – Three by John Lewis, et al.

Wrap-Up

So that’s it for my reading in 2017.  I also read 2 issues of Lapham’s Quarterly [Magic Shows and Communication] and they are in Goodreads but how to count them?

Dembecki, et al. – Trickster

Trickster: Native American Tales: a Graphic Collection by Matt Dembecki and many others
Date read: 12-13 February 2017
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Challenges: 2017gnc

Cover image of Trickster: Native American Tales: a Graphic Collection by Matt Dembecki and many others

Paperback, 231 pages
Published 2010 by Fulcrum Books
Source: Deschutes Public Library [Graphic Novel TRICKSTER]

Sara brought this home a while back and it looked interesting. It was.

There are 21 tales represented here by various adaptors and artists. The differing styles of art are either a plus or a minus depending on whether you appreciate more or less of them. I generally did appreciate most of them so it was a bonus for me.

Being Native American trickster tales they generally center on coyote, rabbit, raccoon and raven, although sometimes the trickster does take human form.

At least 25 of the 44 adaptors and illustrators are of Native American descent based on the bios at the back.

Recommended for anyone interested in an assortment of Native American trickster tales.

This met “A book about a different faith or religion” from my 2017 “looking all around” challenge.

This is the 8th book in my 2017 10th Annual Graphic Novel/Manga Challenge [2017gnc]

Image for 2017 10th Annual Graphic Novel & Manga Reading Challenge

Designed by Nicola Mansfield

 

Piskor – Hip Hop Family Tree, v. 1

Hip Hop Family Tree: 1970s-1981, v.1, Fantagraphics Treasury edition by Ed Piskor
Date read: 24-26 April 2017
My rating: Leaving unrated
Challenges: 2017gnc, 2017nfc, 2017poss

Cover image of Hip Hop Family Tree: 1970s-1981, v.1, Fantagraphics Treasury edition by Ed Piskor

Library binding, 112 pages
Published 2016 by Fantagraphics; Fifth Fantagraphics Books edition
Source: Central Oregon Community College Barber Library [ML3531 .P37 1970-1981 v.1

This is what I wrote in Goodreads regarding this book:

I am not going to rate this as I am completely unqualified to rate it. I recognize a few names and a few song titles but most of this is all new to me and as succinctly as it is presented–is it even really a narrative?–provides me no additional info really. I was looking forward to the other volumes and maybe the narrative gets a bit more expansive but this was the early history and the more important to my [lack of] knowledge, in my opinion, so moving on.

I did enjoy it in a sense but with so little grounding in the culture of hip hop this title failed to provide me any real grounding. I have been using graphic novels the last couple of years to explore topics that I may not be ready or willing (with so many other interests) to read a standard, prose, nonfiction book on; e.g.,

These, and several others, have been variable in their ability to inform [entertain/surprise/…] me, but all were better than this one for me.

Recommended for fans of hip hop or folks with some knowledge of the genre and its artists but who want a bit more. I am not saying it is a bad book, just that it did not do what I needed it to do for me to get a better appreciation (and knowledge) of hip hop. No doubt it works better if you have a bit more of a starting background knowledge/awareness.

This is the 9th 7th book in my 2017 10th Annual Graphic Novel/Manga Challenge [2017gnc]

Image for 2017 10th Annual Graphic Novel & Manga Reading Challenge

Designed by Nicola Mansfield

This is the 20th book read and 8th reviewed in my in my Nonfiction Reading Challenge 2017 [2017nfc].

I have read 11 books so far this year in my 2017 Books To Read Challenge (personal) [2017poss] but this is the first to be reviewed. That eleven includes this title and one I finished this morning, though. I have also read from 8 of the 16 different categories so far. Goal is “to complete 2 from each of the 16 categories and a total of 35.” Two categories are “complete” in that sense, re-reads (2) and beer and brewing (3), but that doesn’t mean I won’t read another book on those lists.

 

2017 Reading Challenges & Goals

This post will cover my 2017 Reading Challenges and goals, as I know of them going into the year.

Generic goals: [xx = # finished in 2016]

  • More poetry; re-reading encouraged here [2]
  • More erotica, sex & gender [3]
  • More literature [1]
  • More librariana [1 in progress; slowly]
  • Translations same-ish [14]
  • More ebooks [8]
  • Nonfiction same-ish [54]
  • More essays and short stories [1?, unknown for sure]

Books currently reading being read [2017curr]

Finish all 4 of the books I am supposedly currently reading.

  • Hornsey – Alcohol and its role in the evolution of human society
  • Glushko, et al. – The Discipline of Organizing
  • Wellings – Why Can’t I Meditate?
  • Calvino – Six Memos for the Next Millennium

2017 Books To Read Challenge (personal) [2017poss]

2017 Books To Read Challenge (personal) post

“… total of 85 books (which includes some 8 on pause) I challenge myself to complete 2 from each of the 16 categories and a total of 35”

2017 “the looking all around list” Self-Reading Challenge [2017look]

2017 “the looking all around list” Self-Reading Challenge

At least 30 of 40 categories read in.

2017 A Novel Idea selection (Deschutes Public Library, Bend, OR)

Homecoming by Yaa Gyasi [A Novel Idea] I finished this on 01 January 2017 and it was excellent.

Sara and me entering Deschutes Public Library for the 2017 A Novel Idea unveiling (Dec 2016). Photo courtesy DPL.

Sara and me entering Deschutes Public Library for the 2017 A Novel Idea unveiling (Dec 2016). Photo courtesy DPL.

2016-2017 Author! Author! Literary Series

Author! Author! or here

  • Dave Eggers : 19 January 2017 [not reading anything for this]
  • Anthony Doerr : 4 February 2017 : All the Light We Cannot See
  • Siddhartha Mukherjee : 10 April 2017 : The Emperor of All Maladies

Categories I am tracking in 2017:

  • fiction
  • nonfiction
  • ebooks
  • translations
  • beer
  • biography / memoir
  • Central Oregon
  • cookery
  • erotica
  • essays 
  • graphic novels
  • history
  • language 
  • librariana 
  • literature 
  • on pause 
  • philosophy 
  • photography
  • poetry 
  • post 2016 election
  • renewal 
  • re-reads 
  • science
  • sex & gender
  • short stories
  • tech & software [2016poss only]
  • together
  • wander 
  • YA & children

Challenges hosted elsewhere

2017 Goodreads Challenge

My goal is 100 this year, same as last year.

2017 10th Annual Graphic Novel/Manga Challenge [2017gnc]

Image for 2017 10th Annual Graphic Novel & Manga Reading Challenge

Designed by Nicola Mansfield

24 for Bronze Age

The next two I also did last year and hope to do again but I have yet to see if they are being hosted so these are placeholders for now. The reason I am putting these here considering they are already included in my goals is that they require me to write reviews to get credit. I do not review every book I read but I do want to try to get many written so these goals/challenges help with that.

Update 03 January 2017: It does not appear these challenges are happening this year. The host has not posted anything at their blog since October and has not answered any comments regarding this year’s challenges. [I certainly hope things are OK in their lives.]

So I will redo these on my own terms.

Nonfiction Reading Challenge 2017 [2017nfc]

Master level 16-20 books (top)

Read a minimum of 50 nonfiction books and review a minimum of 25 of these.

Books in Translation Reading Challenge 2017 [2017trans]

Linguist 10-12 books (top)

Read a minimum of 16 translations and review a minimum of 12 of these.

Wrap-up

So … lots of diversity in my 2017 reading goals. I am looking forward to this year of reading.

2016 Reading Challenges followup

This post covers my 2016 Reading Challenges and goals, as best as my data and time allow.

Personally set goals and some counts

Total number of books finished in 2016:  120

  • Nonfiction:  54
  • Fiction:  64
  • Graphic novels: 60
  • Ebooks:  8
  • Beer & Brewing:  15
  • Biography:  2
  • Central Oregon:  3
  • Cookery:  6
  • Erotica/Sex & Gender: 3
  • History: 5
  • Librariana:  0; 1 in progress very slowly
  • Literature/Language:  2
  • Memoir:  2
  • Philosophy:  3
  • Photography:  2
  • Poetry:  2
  • Renewal:  5
  • Science:  6
  • Tech/Software:  2
  • Translations: 14
  • Wander: 3
  • YA & Kids:  13

I know one book counted as both fiction and nonfiction: Aesop, Five Centuries of Illustrated Fables. No doubt some counts in some of the categories could be retroactively changed if I felt like reanalyzing many entries. For instance, science just went up by 2 [doubled] with just a quick look. Taking data as is though until I see a need to do otherwise. It has already received a fair bit of “fact checking” and cross-checking.

These were my generic goals for 2016:

  • More poetry; re-reading encouraged here,
  • More erotica, sex & gender.
  • Less graphic novels.
  • More literature.
  • Librariana? didn’t read any in 2015. “Who have I become?, one might ask.
  • Translations check.
  • Ebooks check.
  • Nonfiction check.
  • More essays and short stories.

How did I do on these?

Not so well. I read 1 less in poetry [3 vs 2 (2015 vs 2016)]; same number on erotica, sex & gender [3]; less than two-thirds as many graphic novels, so nailed this one [99 vs 60]; 7 less in lit [8 vs 1]; still 0 in librariana but I am working on one (very slowly); 7 less translations [21 vs 14]; 28 less ebooks [36 vs 8]; 14 less nonfiction [68 vs 54]; and as best I can tell no change in essays and short stories [0? vs 1?]. Not so well at all. The only one I actually accomplished was reading less graphic novels. ::sigh::

Books currently reading being read [2016current]

Finish all nine of the books I am supposedly currently reading.

  • Dunegan – Best Hikes Near Bend (A Falcon Guide)
  • Berlin – The Power of Ideas
  • Oliver – The Brewmaster’s Table
  • Bennett, ed. – Japanese love poems
  • Bishop – Living with Thunder
  • Gilbert – Collected poems [gave up]
  • Kabat-Zinn – Full Catastrophe Living
  • Farhi – The breathing book
  • Hornsey – Alcohol and its role in the evolution of human society

Finished 5 and gave up on one. Sara and I were reading that to each other and we both agreed to quit it. So calling this 5 for 9. Not great but acceptable.

2016 Books To Read Challenge (personal) [2016poss]

Read 12 of 44 possible

Read 11 of 12. Of the 11 categories I read books from this list in 7 of them [and one is currently being read from another for 8]. I read books in all those other categories, just not from this list. So calling this one close enough.

2016 Goodreads Challenge

My goal is 100 this year, up from 75 last year. I have been alternating between demolishing my goals and being a bit over here for several years.

Made this a while ago. Not quite as early or numbers as high as last year but I also read a lot less graphic novels. Total read is 120.

Challenges hosted elsewhere

Nonfiction Reading Challenge 2016 [2016nfc]

Master level 16-20 books (top) Reached 20 on 05 June 2016 [well, finished reading; not posted yet],

25 reviews posted. 54 nonfiction books read in total.

Books in Translation Reading Challenge 2016 [2016trans]

Linguist 10-12 books (top)

12 books reviewed. 14 translations read.

2016 9th Annual Graphic Novel/Manga Challenge [2016gnc]

  • 12 for Modern Age [Reached 31 January 2-16]
  • So 24 for Bronze Age [Reached 8 May 2016]
  • 52 for Silver Age [Reached 15 December 2016]

52 reviews posted but 60 graphic novels or manga read.

More breakdowns [books by month; from libraries]

These are the books I finished in 2016 by month (6 were started in 2015 and 1 in 2014!):

Author Title

January

  • Bennett, ed. Japanese love poems
  • Oliver The Brewmaster’s Table
  • Modan The Property
  • Fetter-Vorm Trinity
  • Berlin The Power of Ideas
  • Harris Integrating Reality
  • Hester Vegan Slow Cooking: For Two or Just for You
  • MacLean ApocalyptiGirl: Aria for the End Times
  • Lee and Hart Messenger: The Legend of Joan of Arc
  • Brrémaud and Bertolucci Love: The Fox
  • McKendry Aesop, Five Centuries of Illustrated Fables
  • Brontë, A The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
  • Modan exit wounds
  • Pond Over Easy
  • Tezuka Ode to Kirihoto
  • Way & Ba The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite [1]
  • Abouet & Oubrerie Aya
  • Modan Maya makes a Mess
  • Way & Ba The Umbrella Academy: Dallas [2]
  • Foster Porter (Classic Beer Styles 5)

February

  • Wang Koko Be Good
  • Brrémaud and Bertolucci Love: The Tiger
  • Foster Brewing Porters & Stouts
  • Williams A Pictorial History of the Bend Country
  • Backes Cannabis Pharmacy
  • Modan Jamilti and Other Stories
  • Hayden The Story of My Tits
  • Alanguilan Elmer
  • Simone, et al. Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues (1)
  • Simone, et al. Red Sonja: The Art of Blood and Fire
  • Black The Anti-Inflammation Diet and Recipe Book
  • Morrison, et al. The Invisibles : say you want a revolution
  • Strong Brewing Better Beer
  • Waters Tipping the Velvet

March

  • Gunders Waste Free Kitchen Handbook
  • Thug Kitchen Thug Kitchen Party Grub
  • Dunlap-Shohl My degeneration: a journey through Parkinson’s
  • McQuaid Tasty
  • North & Henderson The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 (2015)
  • Delavier Delavier’s core training anatomy
  • Hennessy, Smith and McConnell The Comic Book Story of Beer
  • Vitrano The Nature and Value of Happiness
  • Hoffman Survival lessons

April

  • Tucholke Wink Poppy Midnight
  • Immonen & Immonen Moving Pictures

May

  • Miyazaki Princess Mononoke: The First Story
  • Rail Why Beer Matters
  • Tezuka Apollo’s Song
  • Lawson & Smith Sidewalk Flowers
  • Guojin The Only Child
  • Stuppy, et al. Wonders of the plant kingdom
  • Rail The meanings of craft beer
  • Miller Dave Miller’s Homebrewing Guide
  • Jackson The New World Guide to Beer
  • Kemp A bouquet of gardenias
  • Love Bayou, volume one
  • Dysart, et al. Neil Young’s Greendale

June

  • Yana Toboso Black Butler I
  • Yana Toboso Black Butler II
  • Stevenson Nimona
  • Dunegan Best Hikes Near Bend (A Falcon Guide)
  • Chapman The 5 Love Languages
  • Love and Love Shadow Rock
  • Love and Morgan Bayou, volume two
  • Toboso Black Butler III
  • Ratey Spark
  • Toboso Black Butler IV
  • Tonatiuh Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras
  • Halloran The new bread basket
  • ACSM ACSM’s Health-Related Physical Fitness Assessment Manual

July

  • DeConnick, et al. Bitch Planet, Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine(Bitch Planet (Collected Editions))
  • Miller Water: A Global History (The Edible Series)
  • Kissell Take Control of Upgrading to El Capitan

August

  • Martin, et al. A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel, volume 1
  • Herz & Conley Beer Pairing
  • Martin, et al. A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel, volume 2
  • Arcudi, et al. A god somewhere
  • McCool and Guevara Nevsky: a hero of the people
  • Martin, et al. A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel, volume 3
  • Martin, et al. A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel, volume 4
  • Ottaviani & Purvis The imitation game
  • Vaughan, et al. Paper Girls 1
  • Abel La Perdida
  • Carriger Prudence (The Custard Protocol; 1)
  • Carriger Imprudence (The Custard Protocol; 2)
  • Ottaviani & Wicks Primates: The fearless science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Gladikas
  • Owens How to Build a Small Brewery
  • Orchard Bera the one-Headed Troll

September

  • Rowling The Tales of Beedle the Bard
  • Cantwell & Bouckaert Wood & Beer
  • McCoola & Carroll Baba Yaga’s Assistant
  • Hales, ed. Beer & Philosophy

October

  • Samanci Dare to disappoint: growing up in Turkey
  • Ellis, et al. Trees, volume one: In shadow
  • Schuiten & Peeters The leaning girl
  • Tsutsumi, et al. Out of Picture Volume 1: Art from the Outside Looking In

November

  • Stockton South Sister: a Central Oregon volcano
  • ATK Healthy Slow Cooker Revolution
  • Protz The ale trail
  • Smith The Wander Society
  • Krucoff Healing Yoga for Neck and Shoulder Pain: Easy, Effective Practices for Releasing Tension and Relieving Pain
  • Hensperger & Kaufmann The ultimate rice cooker cookbook
  • Sumner Brewing Science, Technology and Print, 1700-1880
  • Duarte Monsters! and Other Stories

December

  • Maltz, ed. intimate kisses
  • Milne The Complete Tales & Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh
  • Out of Picture Volume 2: Art from the Outside Looking In
  • Brown Andre the giant: Life and legend
  • Hanh How to walk
  • Brubaker & Phillips Fatale, Book 1: Death Chases Me (Fatale #1)
  • Brubaker & Phillips Fatale, Book 2: The Devil’s Business (Fatale #2)
  • Ottaviani & Big Time Attic Bone Sharps, Cowboys, and Thunder Lizards: Edward Drinker Cope, Othniel Charles Marsh, and the Gilded Age of Paleontology
  • Smith, et al. Long Walk to Valhalla
  • Colfer, et al. The Supernaturalist
  • Montellier & Mairowitz The Trial
  • Culbard, Edginton; Doyle The Hound of the Baskervilles
  • Bagieu Exquisite Corpse
  • Bishop Living with Thunder
  • Bryson Tasting whiskey
  • Dawson The Place WherE I Come From

Totals finished per month are:

  • Jan 20
  • Feb 14
  • Mar 9
  • Apr 2
  • May 12
  • Jun 13
  • Jul 3
  • Aug 15
  • Sep 4
  • Oct 4
  • Nov 8
  • Dec 16

Not entirely sure what happened in April, July September or October. Perhaps I simply was reading more longer books then and thus finished less. Or, I cut my right index finger to shreds along with minor finger and hand injuries in April so … who knows?

 From libraries:

  • Central Oregon Community College Barber Library: 12
  • Deschutes Public Library: 58
  • Summit (consortium): 7
  • OSU-Cascades: 3
  • Interlibrary Loan: 1 [suspect is a bit higher]

So, 81 of 120 books came from libraries. Not bad. Then again, several of these started out as books from the library that I/we went on to purchase.

Wrap-up:

There is always more can be said–genders of authors; but that is pretty much a mug’s game–and perhaps I have forgotten something I wanted to count or add but oh well. I have straightened out some categories to track for 2017–things to make life easier, or at least I hope. I already have two posts re books in 2017 up but at least one more will be coming.

2017 “the looking all around list” Self-Reading Challenge

This is my self-reading challenge for 2017, which I am calling the “the looking all around list.” I based it on a challenge I found online and did in 2015: Another reading challenge for 2015 with the resuts here: 2015 Reading Challenge follow-up.

Credit Jonas Ginter, https://www.bluewin.ch/de/digital/netzreporter/2014/04/360-grad-timelapse-zeitraffer-miit-gopro.html

Credit Jonas Ginter, https://www.bluewin.ch/de/digital/netzreporter/2014/04/360-grad-timelapse-zeitraffer-miit-gopro.html Found via a Google Images search for “360 photo” and non-commercial use.

There are 40 categories on my list and I challenge myself to read books from at least 30 of them.

NB: I will count the same book in more than one category. [One book in 2015 counted for 6 and perhaps even a 7th I could not fully verify. Which is why I removed some of those weirder categories. “An author under 30”? Whatever. Wisdom, insight, and/or beauty can come at (most) any age.]

Books for this challenge are, or will be, on my 2017look shelf in Goodreads.

As I said, I based this on the previous one I did in 2015 but took out some of the more ridiculous, to me, categories and placed in some of my own. I also sent what I had out to two of my book reading, challenge doing, friends, Elizabeth and Angel, and got great replies with suggestions for categories and for books to fill some of them.

I had “A book for post-election understanding [fascism, race, economic disparity, social justice, …]” and Elizabeth suggested I expand that into “A book from an opposing viewpoint, A book by an author of a different race, A book about a different faith or religion,  and A book from a genre you don’t normally read.” I did and left my original as i have some things in mind that fits that but possibly not the expanded ones.

Angel suggested “A book about Puerto Rico, A book about Cuba/Castro, A book of Latin American history or literature, and A microhistory.” I already have several microhistories on my assorted lists so that was an easy one. I also tend to like them, at least the better ones. The Technology of Orgasm is one of my favorite books.

I believe they both may have suggested others but this is what I chose from their wonderful suggestions.

I encourage you all to take any or all of this list or to make your own or some combination and challenge yourself in your reading in 2017. If you read few books but do read other forms of writing then modify as needed.

Without any further ado, here’s my 2017 “the looking all around list” Self-Reading Challenge:

  • A book about the production of a favorite beverage, or one of great interest
  • An ethnography
  • A biography or memoir
  • A work of classic literature
  • A book with more than 500 pages
  • A book published this year (2017)
  • A with a number in the title
  • A book by a female author
  • A book of short stories
  • A book of essays
  • A book set in a different country :
  • A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet
  • A book a friend recommended
  • A book at the bottom of your to-read list
  • A book more than 100 years old [1917] {older, yes, 150 is 1867}
  • A book you can finish in a day
  • A graphic novel
  • A book by an author you’ve never read before
  • A book you own but have never read
  • A book that takes place in your home town
  • A translation
  • A book about war or a battle
  • A book about feminism
  • A self-published book
  • A book about the region you live in [Central Oregon]
  • A book of poems or about poetry
  • A book of erotica
  • A book on sex/gender
  • A book about your professional realm [librariana]
  • An ebook
  • A re-read
  • A book for post-election understanding [fascism, race, economic disparity, social justice, …]
  • A book from an opposing viewpoint
  • A book by an author of a different race
  • A book about a different faith or religion
  • A book from a genre you don’t normally read
  • A book about Puerto Rico
  • A book about Cuba/Castro
  • A book of Latin American history or literature
  • A microhistory

Of these 40 categories I challenge myself to read at least 30 of them.

On why Aesop’s Fables

I wanted to make myself a quick note so I could remember in the future why I chose to re-read Aesop’s fables in the upcoming immediate future.

Friday morning (Jan. 15, 2016) I wrote this in my journal:

“11:12 AM Just had my third Aesop’s reference this morning! The beer place, Brontë, and now my crossword.”

I figured the universe was trying to send me a message of some kind so on Friday afternoon while at work I grabbed myself a copy of Aesop, Five Centuries of Illustrated Fables, selected by John J. McKendry and published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1964.

My first reference came via Facebook to the article “Napa’s Mad Fritz brewery stakes out new terroir” in the San Francisco Chronicle. Mad Fritz’s beers are named after specific fables from Aesop, such as The Larks in the Corn, or The Viper and File. All in all, the brewery and beers sound fantastic and I might have to put a little effort into getting my hands on some. The labels are also beautifully illustrated and “The moral takeaway is noted on the back label.”

My second reference came while reading further in Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. On page 95 of the Oxford World’s Classics edition we read,

“If life promised no enjoyment within my vocation, at least it offered no allurements out of it; and, henceforth, I would put my shoulder to the wheel* and toil away, like any poor drudge of a cart-horse that was fairly broken in to its labour, and plod through life, not wholly useless if not agreeable, and uncomplaining if not contented with my lot.”

In the Explanatory Notes on p. 424 we learn that “put my shoulder to the wheel” is a “proverbial expression, from Aesop’s fable of Hercules and the waggoner. ODEP, 729.” [ODEP is the Oxford Dictionary of English Proverbs, 3rd edn. (1971).

The third reference came as I waiting on my sandwich bread to toast for lunch. I was working on the 2 September 2015 Los Angeles Times crossword when 65 across popped up with “Greek storyteller” as the hint and who, of course, should be the answer? Our friend Aesop.

I’m not one much for “signs” but something was prodding me here.

I went with it. I hope that I can find what it is the universe may have been pointing at.

I have since seen several other Aesop references but that is the way these things go, isn’t it?