Friday, January 05, 2018

My Reading List for 2017

Welcome to my 2017 Reading List and end of year report. You may notice  I did a bit of housecleaning on this blog, including a small title change (as well as the URL); I also edited the "about me" stuff to simplify things. I think the new title in this blog is more plain, reflective of  how I try to be as a librarian. I was also inspired by that one poem (you can see it in my profile). My four readers have likely noticed I blog a lot less here. One of my recent resolutions is to avoid drama as much as possible, and the library field can have a lot of drama. Life is already tough in the "Hard Times" without having to worry over the asshats in my profession too. In addition, I just do not find too many things of interest to blog about here. So I just post here now and then if something comes up, but I am in no rush. One thing I am hoping to do is to go back to posting my notes on library literature I read, and I may shoot to do that once a week. (By the way, just because I am not blogging here much does not mean I am not reading, keeping notes, and doing professional development. I've done some nice presentations, including one at LOEX, but that is another story). We will see how it goes. I am not quite ready to shut down this blog, but the hiatus periods may stay. At the end of the day, I just feel I have more interesting things, and things that make me happier, to blog about elsewhere.I am at peace with that. I keep doing this list  here mostly because I started the tradition here. If the day comes I turn off the lights on this blog, I will move this feature over to The Itinerant Librarian.

On a positive note, I have been happily blogging and posting book reviews at The Itinerant Librarian blog. I have turned that blog into a small  but nice book blog. I am making plans to add some additional reading related content in 2018, so stay tuned for that. A big reason I do it, besides the fact I  enjoy reading and sharing what I read, is to serve in some small way as form of reader's advisory. By the way, if you are an author, editor, or publisher, and you think you have a book I may want to read and review, check out my book review statement, then let me know. I'd be happy to consider it if fits with my review statement and reading interests.

On another positive note, I recently came to my five years anniversary working at Berea College. I even got a small letter from the college president about it. Deity of choice allowing, I hope to stay here for a while longer (let's see if we can make at least another five, you know, start small and work our way up).

Getting to the reading part, even without reviewing my list of books for 2017, I could already feel I read less when compared to last year. The "Hard Times" we are living in the U.S. have wreaked havoc on my reading mood. I often read in the evening before bedtime, and I am often too tired to read, or I just tune out. In November, when I was reading some political/social issues books, I just finally burned out, and I declared a self-imposed moratorium on reading anything related to politics, social issues, activist topics, and/or most current events. In addition, I trimmed my feeds on social media to minimize my exposure to that kind of stuff because in the end it boiled down I need to do some self care and keep some sanity. In fact, I have a politics, social issues, activist, and/or current events moratorium on social media, with the penance that if I slip and post something on those topics, I have to post something about kittens to atone. A few kittens have made my feeds, but the number is dwindling. I am just done with the overall stupidity, selfishness, and bullshit at large. Thus I am doing my best to read more escapist and recreational things. Despite all that, I managed to read some good stuff, and that is always a good thing.

So for 2018 pretty much, this is where I stand:




A small reason I have read less in 2017 is that in my effort to escape the reality of the "Hard Times" I have  been binging on watching DVDs for films and specially for old television series. I have gotten some of those from my local public library. I will probably make a separate post to list some of the things I have enjoyed on video.

Six of Pentacles from the Modern Spellcaster's Tarot deck
The Six of Pentacles, from The Modern Spellcaster's Tarot Deck.
Another positive in 2017 is that I continue with my Tarot and oracle card studies. The main form of engagement with this is my morning ritual of a daily Tarot card draw. If you are interested, you can follow me on Twitter, where I am posting a photo of the daily card with my reading of  it. I do a daily card and the underneath card (i.e. I see what  is lurking under the deck). Based on the Twitter posts, I am considering exploring Instagram for sharing those photos. We will see. I am also working on focusing my commonplace blog, Alchemical Thoughts, into a bit more of a Tarot and divination blog where I can share some readings, some exercises, reviews of decks and books on Tarot, oracles, and other esoterica. The reviews are likely going to be crossposted from The Itinerant Librarian. Speaking of Alchemical Thoughts, for the month  of January I am participating in the "31 Days of Tarot" challenge. I am posting the daily prompts there, and I am crossposting them to my Tumblr, The Alchemical Annex. If interested, feel free to check that out. Here is the link for the first day. I am finding that studying Tarot, along with some esoteric topics, has helped me find some peace and calm in the "Hard Times," so I foresee I will keep at it. By the way, studying Tarot and oracle has also made me into a bit of a deck collector. However, I have at least one tight rule for any deck I add my collection: I have to be able to read with it. A deck may have gorgeous art, but if I am unable to actually use it, it is not going into my collection. This is why I do not add Marseilles-style decks (read here decks with non-illustrated pip cards); I can't really use them as they do not do much for me. However, there is a Marseilles-style deck I'd be willing to make an exception for and add to my collection, and that is Ciro Marchetti's Tarot Decoratif (which is actually a bit of homage to Marseilles with some Rider Waite Smith blended in. Link to Ciro's site). On a side note, I do have two Marseilles decks (reproductions, of course), and those were gifts from special people, which is why I have kept them. For those, I recently got myself a good book on Marseilles Tarot to teach myself how to work with such decks better. I will let you know down the road how that experience goes.
    Let's get on with it and look at what and how I read in 2017. After the list, you will find my comments and remarks. Note that books with an asterisk (*) are rereads.

    January:
    • Becky Diamond, The Thousand Dollar Dinner.
    • Inazo Nitobe, Bushido: The Soul of the Samurai (graphic novel adaptation). 
    • Scott Jerry, Zits Sketchbook 1
    • The Usual Gang of Idiots, The Mad Bathroom Companion: Gushing Fourth Edition.
    • Mark Kurlansky, Paper: Paging Through History
    • Kaelan Rhywiol, Nera's Need.
    • Mike Barr, et.al., Star Trek Archives Volume 4: The Best of Deep Space Nine.*

    February:
    • P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast, Marked (House of Night, Book 1).  
    • Lee Hammock, Halo Graphic Novel
    • Rebecca Hankins and Miguel Suarez, Where are all the Librarians of Color
    • Mario Benedetti, Biografia para encontrarme.  
    • John Lewis, March: Book Three
    • C.S. Goto, Blood Ravens: the Dawn of War Omnibus (Warhammer 40,000).*

    March:

    •  Yoav Ben-Dov, The Marseille Tarot Revealed
    • Artisan Press, Why We March
    • John Palfrey, BiblioTech (audiobook edition).
    • Colette Baron-Reid, The Enchanted Map oracle cards (oracle deck kit with book). 
    • Jennifer Worick, Things I Want to Punch in the Face (audiobook edition). 
    • Tommy Dades, Friends of the Family
    • Jay Fonseca, Banquete Total
    • Scott Martin, Bringing the Tarot to Life

    April:

    • Jen Mann, People I Want to Punch in the Throat (audiobook edition).
    • Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential (audiobook edition).
    • Leeza Robertson, Tarot Court Cards for Beginners
    • Yankee Magazine, Living Well on a Shoestring
    • Melissa Cynova, Kitchen Table Tarot
    • Josh Katz, Speaking American
    • Jason Aaron, Showdown on the Smugglers' Moon (Star Wars comics).
    • Penelope Bagieu, California Dreamin'
    • Ray Garton, Live Girls

    May:

    •  Eileen Kaur Alden, Super Sikh, Issue 1
    • Matt Kindt, Divinity III: Stalinverse.
    • Colin Dickey, Ghostland
    • P.J. O'Rourke, How the Hell Did This Happen?
    • Sideshow Collectibles, Figure Fantasy: The Pop Culture Photography of Daniel Picard
    • Jancis Robinson, The 24-Hour Wine Expert
    • Serafin Mendez Mendez, Puerto Rico Past and Present: an Encyclopedia
    • Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop
    • Clay Cane, Live Through This

    June:

    • Cullen Bunn, Battlestar Galactica: Folly of the Gods
    • Kathryn Petras, The Stupidest Things Ever Said Book of Top Ten Lists
    • Roger Langridge, Betty Boop.
    • Jennifer Adams, Emma: a BabyLit Emotions Book
    • Jennifer Adams, Treasure Island: a BabyLit Shapes Primer
    • Andy Diggle, James Bond: Hammerhead
    • Vincent Terrace, Television Series of the 1960s
    • Michael Ruhlman, Grocery

    July:

    •  Andy Schmidt, G.I. Joe: Future Noir, Volume 1
    • Sybille Titieux de la Croix, Muhammad Ali.
    • Alana Fairchild, The Isis Oracle (oracle cards deck with book kit). 
    • Gerard Way, Doom Patrol, Volume 1: Brick by Brick
    • Joanna Powell Colbert, The Gaian Tarot (Tarot cards deck with book kit). 
    • Sarah Vaughn, Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love
    • Leonardo Lucarelli, Mincemeat
    • Matt Kindt, X-O Manowar, Volume 1: Soldier
    • David Gonzales, Homies
    • Norman Ohler, Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich
    • E.K. Johnston, Ahsoka (Star Wars YA novel). 

    August:

    • Jimmy Palmiotti, Harley Quinn, Volume 2: Joker Loves Harley
    • Graham Masterton, Figures of Fear.















    • Tracking books this year got a little tricky. I left GoodReads mostly after it got acquired by the online book retail behemoth. I discovered BookLikes, which is a bit of a hybrid between GoodReads and Tumblr, and I was using that to keep track of books as well as another place to post  my reviews. Well, last year BL had some serious clusterfuck where they were down for almost two months with no response whatsoever. A few of us thought the site was gone for good. They hobbled back online, but I have not gone back since. I may in the future; I have not decided yet. So, I reluctantly went back to GoodReads for tracking, where I just record I read something and rate it. I do not post reviews in GR unless requested.

    Finally, first of all, thank you for hanging around and stopping by the blogs throughout the year. Also thank you for reading this far on this post. Hope you will come back in 2018. As I have done before, I am ending this post with a sampling of reading reports from other bloggers out there. By the way, if you did an end of year reader summary, and you want to share it, you are welcome to share it in the comments.






    Friday, September 29, 2017

    Booknote: Television Series of the 1960s

    (Post crossposted from The Itinerant Librarian)

    Vincent Terrace, Television Series of the 1960s: Essential Facts and Quirky Details. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2016. ISBN: 978-1-4422-6834-0.

    Genre: nonfiction
    Subgenre: reference, television, trivia, pop culture
    Format: hardback
    Source: Berea branch of the Madison County (KY) Public Library


    This is a reference book about trivia of 1960s television shows. If you watched TV during this decade, or like me caught the reruns in syndication later, you'll remember these were some of the most loved and popular shows of American television. They were so popular that they keep providing fodder for remakes and movie adaptations, often with  bad results. There is something to be said for not messing with classics.

    The book is arranged as follows:

    • Short introduction where the author describes how the book was put together. 
    • 82 individual entries arranged alphabetically. 
    • An index that is basically actor's names. There is also an additional thematic index, which may be more valuable. 
    As the author states, this book does not have essays or opinions. It is just a collection of facts and trivia about the shows. The book covers programs that premiered from January 1, 1960 to December 31, 1969. The author notes that shows that premiered in the 1950s and were still running in first run in the 1960s are not included. Some examples of shows not included are Bonanza, The Donna Reed Show, Gunsmoke, Perry Mason, and Zorro. The author focuses on really trivial facts, not so much things you could find in places like imdb.com. You get things like street addresses, names of pets, and other details that other sources often miss. A fascinating thing for me is show producers, intentionally or not, could be very inconsistent. Street addresses and car license plates often change without reason, sometimes even in midseason.

    So how did the author compile all this? He acquired and watched every available episode of each show. And not every show is featured in the book; it depends on what information is available. A show like Dr. Kildare, very popular in its time, is not included in the book because there  is not enough available material to make an entry. In the end, the book is a selective compilation that often documents details not found elsewhere.

    This is a book to browse at your leisure. For shows I knew, it was nice to go down memory lane and recall details. I also learned about some shows I did not know before. Entries are pretty basic, just the facts. There are a few black and white photos, but overall the book is minimally illustrated. For television buffs, this may be a good option. I'd say public libraries may wish to consider it. Academic libraries with strong pop culture programs may see it as an optional selection.

    In the end, I liked it.

    3 out of 5 stars

    This  book qualifies for the following 2017 Reading Challenges:

    Friday, September 08, 2017

    Booknote: Puerto Rico Past and Present: an Encyclopedia

    (Crossposted from The Itinerant Librarian)

    Serafin Mendez Mendez, with Ronald Fernandez, Puerto Rico Past and Present: an Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood Press, 2015. ISBN: 978-1-4408-2831-7.

    Genre: nonfiction
    Subgenre: reference, Latino Studies, Puerto Rico, country studies
    Format: hardback
    Source: Borrowed from Hutchins Library, Berea College 

    This was a recent acquisition for my library. My library does not have much on Puerto Rico. Before this volume, our copy of War Against All Puerto Ricans (link to my review) was about the only current thing we had, and I ordered that book. Now, we are a small liberal arts college in Kentucky, so I get Puerto Rico as topic is not a high priority. However, when the "latest" books are ones that still spell the island's name as "Porto Rico" that is a problem in my humble opinion. So this reference book provides a start to to alleviating the issue. With Puerto Rico in the news recently in light of the island's economic and humanitarian crisis (here is a small account explaining it a bit), some timely and  basic sources are needed. This reference book at least provides some of the basics.

    This is the second edition of this reference work. I have not seen the first edition, so I cannot do a comparison. According to the current author, the first edition won an ALA Denali Award; the previous edition was published in 1998, so an update was long overdue, and I am glad it got done.

    The one-volume encyclopedia is arranged as follows:

    • Acknowledgments
    • Introduction
    • Chronology of important events. It goes from 1493 to 2015
    • 189 entries arranged alphabetically
    • Two appendices
      • Representative leaders of the first stage of the feminist movement in Puerto Rico
      • Representative writers by generation
    • A selected bibliography

    On the entries, the author writes,

    "It provides longer and extended entries with a deep sense of context as well as reliable historic background. There are new, revised, and extended essays on language, education, religion, geography, the environment, social media, and many other subjects" (xviii). 

    Entries range from historical subjects and topics to politics and pop culture. The book's focus is on more contemporary topics, but it still provides plenty of material for folks interested in history.

    For students, this is a solid resource to learn more about Puerto Rico. The book features entries on major topics that may be of timely interest such as the recently implemented IVU (a sales and use tax, think an "added value tax"), the LGBT movement on the island, and political representation of the island in the United States. Such entries will give a newcomer a broad overview. Readers wanting to dig deeper will find additional entries on more specific topics.

    Each entry includes the essay, cross-references, and a short list of references for those wanting to learn more on a topic. The book also features some good black and white photography on certain topics.

    In addition, I'd say for Puerto Rican readers, this book can be a bit of a nostalgia trip, especially for those like me who have been living in the U.S. mainland for many years. Browsing through the entries brought back many memories.

    This is a good selection for libraries. For students seeking information on Puerto Rico, say for a paper, this is a good start. It can be a very good start for libraries with little or no materials on  Puerto Rico. If you want to say  you have at least something, you can't go wrong with this basic, solid, well-written, and reliable reference book. I'd recommend it for both public and academic libraries.

    Though I think the author tries to be too cheery at times (the island is currently experiencing some seriously hard times), it is a balanced work overall. There are not many books I'd add to my personal collection; I'd add this one.

    (Reference Book, no rating given)

    Wednesday, March 08, 2017

    Booknote: Where are all the librarians of color?

    Rebecca Hankins and  Miguel Juarez, Where are all the librarians of color?: the experiences of people of color in academia. Sacramento, CA: Library Juice Press, 2015. 978-1-936117-83-3.

    Genre: nonfiction
    Subgenre: LIS, minority studies, academia
    Format: trade paperback
    Source: My library (Hutchins Library, Berea College)

    This may be one of those books that more librarians should read, especially non-POC librarians. For me, I had some mixed feelings as I read it. In part, much of what I read is stuff that I have experienced; some of it is part of my life experience. Also, after a while, the book can get a bit repetitive on things like arguing for recruiting more minorities and why that is good for the profession. Now, I agree with those ideas, although I am very skeptical of encouraging people to apply for work in a field with  an over-saturated job market. Just run an online search or two to find plenty of tales of woe from unemployed and underemployed librarians. And no, telling people to just "look for alternative career paths" is not exactly a great solution or comfort. So with those concerns, I kept reading the book.

    If anything, the best parts are the individual stories of those who made it and are gainfully working in the profession. Also, the parts on mentoring and networking at small, local levels were good. There was not enough of that. However, there were many mentions of ALA programs which,  while they may be good, often boil down to "pay to play" (you have to be a member to gain access, and there is no mention of the significant expenses nor the fact many people of color, or just plain many people, might  not have good enough finances to afford said access) and being the right age. As I discovered from personal experience, being too old even if  you are a newly minted MLS can limit some of your options.

    The book is organized as follows:

    • A short preface by Loriene Roy.
    • An introduction by the editors. 
    • Three sections on  the following topics: 
      • "Setting the stage for diversity in the profession." 
      • "How diversity benefits the profession." 
      • "Personal diversity stories." 
    • The book has a total of 13 essays.
     The book does provide a good start on an important topic: the experiences of librarians of color in academia. It can be lonely for us in academia, so at least through this book we get reassurance that we are not alone. For librarians of color who keep up, much of the material is likely familiar ground. For everyone else, especially academic administrators, the book may be an important read. It is not a book to read cover to cover as it can be pretty dry as much LIS literature can be. If you read a bit here and a bit there, and maybe talk about it with others, you may get more out of it. 

    I liked it, but I think I liked the idea more than the execution. LIS school libraries may want to acquire this one. I would also say that colleges and universities with strong interests in minorities and their condition, such as HBCUs and Hispanic-serving institutions among others, need to have this. It was part of why I ordered it for our library, the history of our college. Other campuses interested in diversity may want to consider it.

    3 out of 5 stars.

    * * * * * 

    Some additional reading notes:

    On  the "pay to play:"

    "Such involvement is voluntary and both membership and association work are usually dependent upon the individual paying personal due and creating a plan of involvement-- from attending meetings and conferences to serving on committees and/or election to various offices" (viii). 

    No mention of the  often prohibitive cost of membership (and let's not even go into meetings and conference costs, and woe unto you if your employer lacks the funds and/or willingness to send you anywhere). Two, also not mentioned, is that for many on a tenure track line, being involved is often required, so it is not always "voluntary."

    The isolation, which is something I can relate to:

    "As libraries remain predominantly staffed and structured by the majority White culture, the few librarians of color often find themselves feeling marginalized and without access to a supportive group of similarly diverse-minded colleagues to whom they can relate and confide. This in turn can also affect their own advancement in the profession, as professionals are generally better equipped to grow and succeed when they have such collegial group environments and networks at their disposal" (32).

    A quote I liked that I think more libraries should mind:

    "Running an effective library goes beyond just doing a 'good thing' for a particular minority group; in other words, doing the best work with all of the staff involved is, at a fundamental level, an ethical, inclusive organizational practice to which libraries should aspire" (34).





    Friday, January 13, 2017

    My Reading List for 2016

    Welcome to my 2016 Reading List where I take a look at my year in reading. I feel that I started strong, but then the latter part of the year my reading just slowed down. The lousy election season in the United States certainly did not help my reading mood in the later part of the year. Also new this year is my study of Tarot and oracle cards. I am teaching myself how to read Tarot as a hobby and mainly as a meditation and reflection tool. I have found this new interest to be a calming element. In terms of work, I am entering my fifth year working at Berea College, and overall, it is going well.

    Blogging here at The Gypsy Librarian has slowed down. While I still read LIS literature here and there, I am not reading as much as before. In addition, I find that I honestly could not care less about a lot of the drama in the library field, which means I am not inclined to blog about it. But if something comes up that may be of interest, I will post about it here. As I mentioned in last year's report, I am at peace with blogging less here. I've got other more interesting things going.

    Blogging at The Itinerant Librarian has gone along nicely. That blog is growing into a good book review blog. I review both new and older selections I get from various sources. If you think you have a book I may want to read and review, check out my book review statement. I read a lot, and I read a variety of things, but I do not read everything, which is why I created the review statement. Reading and reviewing books is one of the best parts of being a librarian and reader. As I mentioned in last year's reading report, getting to know a few authors and editors is also a nice part of being a book blogger.

    So, without further fuss, here is the list of books I read in 2016. As always, an asterisk (*) after a title indicates a book I reread:

    January:

    • Jane Lyle, Tarot Deck: Explore the Power of Tarot (book and deck kit).
    • Troy Little, Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
    • Russell Brettholtz, Side-Kicked.
    • Rob Williams, Star Wars Rebellion, Volume 2: The Akahista Gamble
    • Don Brown, Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans.
    • Paul M. Barrett, Glock: The Rise of America's Gun.
    • Lewis Black, Me of Little Faith (audiobook edition)*
    February:

    • Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, Harley Quinn Volume 3: Kiss Kiss Bang Stab
    • Greg Rucka, Shattered Empire (Star Wars graphic novel)
    • Jen Campbell, The Bookshop Book
    • Natasha Knight, Given to the Savage
    • John Leguizamo, Ghetto Klown
    • Elizabeth Warren, A Fighting Chance (audiobook)
    • Margie Lapanja, Food Men Love
    • Julio Patán, Cocteles con historia
    • Donnie Cates, The Ghost Fleet, Volume 1: Deadhead
    • Ted Rall, Bernie
    • Kevin B. Eastman and Peter A. Laird, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Collection, Volume 3

    March:

    • Jim Berg, The Jumbo Duct Tape Book
    • Daniel Lipkowitz, LEGO Star Wars in 100 Scenes
    • Sarah Bowen, Divided Spirits
    • Harlan Ellison, Night and the Enemy
    • Sean Ryan, New Suicide Squad, Volume 2: Monsters
    • Tom King, Grayson, Volume 2: We all Die at Dawn
    • Rob Williams, Martian Manhunter, Volume 1: The Epiphany
    • Masahiko Murakami, Nichiren
    • Christopher Hansard, The Tibetan Art of Positive Thinking.
    • Kim W. Andersson, The Complete Love Hurts
    • Jerry Scott, Zits Unzipped
    • Charles Soule, Lando
    • Staci Mendoza, Reading and Understanding the Mysteries of the Tarot.
    • Robert Kirkman, Battle Pope, Volume 3: Pillow Talk
    • Jerry Scott, My Bad: a Zits Treasury.
    • Robert Kirkman, Battle Pope, Volume 4: Wrath of God

    April:

    • Isabella Alston, Tarot Cards
    • Jessa Crispin, The Creative Tarot
    • Josh Mack, The Hobo Handbook
    • James Swallow, The Blood Angels Omnibus, Volume 1.
    • Richard Matheson, Hell House
    • Dick Lehr, Black Mass
    • Scott Snyder, Batman, Volume 8: Superheavy
    • Bathroom Readers' Institute, Uncle John's Factastic Bathroom Reader

    May:

    • Louis Jordan, Llewellyn's Complete Book of Tarot
    • Patrick Gleason, Robin: Son of Batman, Volume 1.  
    • Brian Azzarello, Batman: Europa
    • Josephine Ellershaw, Easy Tarot (book and deck kit).
    • Scott Adams, When Did Ignorance Become a Point of View (Dilbert).
    • Jeff Jensen, Green River Killer
    • Donny Cates, The Ghost Fleet, Volume 2: Over the Top
    • Jason Aaron, Vader Down
    • Daniel Way, Deadpool by Daniel Way: The Complete Collection, Volume 1
    • Wilfred Santiago, 21: the Story of Roberto Clemente

    June:

    • Thich Nhat Hahn, Silence
    • Sarah Cooper, 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings
    • Ellen DeGeneres, Seriously...I'm Kidding (audiobook).
    • Erik Burnham, Ghostbusters International

    July:

    • Nicholas Pileggi, Casino.  
    • Adrian Tomine, Scenes from an Impending Marriage
    • David Wilkie, Coffee with Jesus
    • Corinna Sara Bechko, Aliens/Vampirella.  
    • David Wilkie, A Second Shot of Coffee with Jesus
    • Tom King, Grayson, Volume 3: Nemesis
    • Benjamin Law, Gaysia
    • Rachel Kramer Bussel, ed., Dirty Dates
    • Barbara Moore, Tarot for Beginners
    • Amanda Conner and  Jimmy Palmiotti, Harley Quinn, Volume 4: A Call to Arms
    • Sarah A. Chrisman, True Ladies and Proper Gentlemen

    August:

    • Stephanie McMillan, The Beginning of the American Fall
    • Gustavo Duarte, Monsters! and Other Stories
    • Miguel Ruiz, Jr., The Mastery of Self
    • Carol Peachee, The Birth of Bourbon
    • Suzanne Corbie, Tarot Workshop: an Introductory Guide to Tarot (audiobook).
    • Gabriel García Márquez, Yo No Vengo a Decir un Discurso
    • Sean Michael Wilson, Cold Mountain: The Legend of Han Shan and Shih Te.
    • Bill Maher, New Rules (audiobook edition)*

    September:

    • Winifred Gallagher, How the Post Office Created America.
    • Stacey DeMarco, The Halloween Oracle (deck and book kit). 
    • Emelyn Rude, Tastes Like Chicken
    • Denys Leary, Why We Suck (audiobook edition)*

    October: 

    • G.B. Trudeau, Yuge! 30 Years of Doonesbury on  Trump
    • Editors of Rock Point, Cats in Sweaters.  
    • Tomas Prower, La Santa Muerte
    • Amanda Conner and  Jimmy Palmiotti, Harley Quinn, Volume 5: The Joker's Last Laugh.
    • Carole Cable, Cable on Academe.*


    November:

    • Alex Mar, Witches of America
    • Joseph D. Pistone, The Way of the Wiseguy
    • Sam Maggs, Wonder Women
    • Mira Grant, Rolling in the Deep.
    • Stan Sakai, Usagi Yojimbo, Volume 30: Thieves and Spies
    • M.R. James, et.al., Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, Volume 1
    • Paul Dixon, Contraband Cocktails


    December:

    • Barbara Moore and Aly Fell (illustrator), The Steampunk Tarot (deck and book kit).

    Here are the numbers:


    For 2016, I read a total of 92 books, including 4 re-reads.

    Number of books read in 2015: 123, including 2 re-reads (the 2015 list).
    Number of books read in 2014: 152, including 2 re-reads (the 2014 list).
    Number of books read in 2013: 173, including 2 re-reads (the 2013 list).
    Number of books read in 2012: 117, with 6 re-reads (the 2012 list).
    Number of books read in 2011: 119, with 3 re-reads (the 2011 list). 
    Number of books read in 2010:  119, with 6 rereads (the 2010 list).
    Number of books read in 2009: 98, with 5 rereads. I believe this is the first time I started to actively track rereads. (the 2009 list).
    Number of books read in 2008: 111 (the 2008 list).
    Number of books read in 2007: 85 (the 2007 list).
    Number of books read in 2006: 106 (the 2006 list).
    Number of books read in 2005: 73
    Commentary, other numbers, and additional thoughts:

    • I knew even without doing the final tally that I read fewer books this year. As I mention, the latter part of the year was just rough overall. On the positive, I do feel that I got to read some really good books this year, and I will do a post later highlighting the best books I read in 2016. 
    • The re-reads I did for one of my reading challenges. You can view my Reading Challenges for 2016 page to see how things turned out. In a nutshell, I completed 10 out 12 reading challenges I set out to do. As of this post, I am in the process of selecting what reading challenges I will attempt in 2017. Given how bad the latter part of 2016 was and  that I am not expecting 2017 to be any better in a lot of ways, I am probably going to keep the goals on the low side to be safe. 
    • Best month: March with 16 books. 
    • Worst month: December with 1 book. 
    • 61 books in print. The majority of what I read is in print, which reflects my preference to read in print.
    • 25 e-books. Majority of these I read via NetGalley. One of them came from my local public library's Overdrive offerings.
    • 6 audiobooks. These I  read mainly for the Audiobooks Reading Challenge I did last year. Not sure if I will repeat this challenge given the quality and selection of audiobooks in my local public library leaves a lot to be desired. They are good in other areas, but the audiobook collection has been neglected, and it shows in old out of date titles with minimal appeal. 
    • 6 fiction books read. Most of these were for the Horror Reading Challenge I did. This was a challenge I enjoyed, and I may repeat it again this year. I did rediscover that I do like the horror genre. Graphic novels and manga are not included in this number regardless of them being fiction or not.
    • 46 nonfiction titles. Again, this shows that I prefer to read nonfiction. This number does not include graphic novels and manga, though I did read some of those that could be classified as nonfiction such as graphic biographies. Tarot books are included in the category of nonfiction for me. 
    • 46 graphic novels. These could be fiction or nonfiction. I did not read any mangas this year, though I have bought a few new series. Maybe I can get to some of them in 2017. 
    • I read 53 books from my local public library, which at this time is the Berea branch of the Madison County (KY) Public Library. Most of my popular type reading comes from the public library for me. 
    • I read 2 books from my library, Hutchins Library, Berea College. 
    • No interlibrary loans (ILL) this year. It was not for lack of things I would have wanted to do ILL for, but more that I was busy enough with what I had to read already. 
    • I read 13 books that I own. 
    • Other numbers I find of interest: 
      • Erotica and/or sex writing: 3
      • LIS: 0. I had a few in my office I had checked out, but I did not get around to them. To be honest, I did not feel much of a loss. These days I am very selective about any LIS books I may pick up for reading. I still do read articles and keep up with what is left of the librarian blogosphere, so I feel at peace in this regard. We will see if I pick up anything in LIS in 2017. 
      • Tarot and/or oracle cards and/or divination: 9. As I mentioned, I began to study Tarot (and oracle cards to a lesser extent) seriously in 2016. As a result, I have been reading in this topic. When I get a deck that comes with a substantial companion book, I read the book, and I review both the book and the deck. In addition, I will be reviewing any individual decks I get to use and any standalone Tarot books. One of the best ones I read this year on this was Jessa Crispin's The Creative Tarot (link to my review). In addition, I was able to add these books to the tally of the Self-Help Junkie Reading Challenge I did in 2016. 
      • Pagan/Other beliefs/inspirational: 4. In this category I put stuff that deals with spirituality broadly. Though Tarot and paganism do not have to go together, they often do, so naturally as I read about Tarot I got curious about some pagan traditions. So among other things I read a book on witchcraft and witches in  the United States and another on La Santa Muerte. I also read some other inspirational books including a couple of graphic novels featuring Jesus in a coffee shop. I often label myself as a heathen, but it  does not mean I am a pagan per se, well, at least as far as I know. In this regard, I am more of a curious explorer, but I am finding a bit of a soft spot for some pagan paths. We'll see what kind of books on this I pick up in 2017. As a final comment, a couple of the books in this category also qualified for the Self-Help Junkie challenge.
      • Books I was offered for review (not from NetGalley or Edelweiss): 2. This has slowed down a bit for me. In part, this was due to the lousy year, which affected my reading mood, which meant there were books I did not get to in the most timely fashion. I have a few more left, and I hope to get to them in 2017.
      • Books in Spanish: 2. I was happy to see that this year I managed to read something, anything, in Spanish. For me, reading in Spanish keeps my in touch with my heritage.

    Looking ahead, as of this post, I am currently reading the following:

    • Mark Kurlansky, Paper: Paging Through History.
    • P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast, Marked (House of Night, Book One).
    • C.S. Goto, Blood Ravens: the Dawn of War Omnibus (Warhammer 40,000).
    Also, for 2017, I have already read two books, which I will be reviewing on the blog soon:

    • Becky Diamond, The Thousand Dollar Dinner
    • Inazo Nitobe, et.al., Bushido: The Soul of the Samurai (graphic novel adaptation).

    Finally, here are some other folks who looked at their year's end reading:


    Thank you for reading and stopping by. I hope you come back and check out my list of best books read in 2016, which I hope to publish soon.

    Happy reading in 2017.