LWR: Flaccid Drug-Crazed Lady Killers

That time again: some short blurbs about what I’ve just finished reading, as well as a week-themed rating: if Monday is the day we most despise, and Saturday is the day we most look forward to, then this scale represents my rating system:

Monday = “I threw the book across the room (from the free throw line, into the trashcan).”
Tuesday = “I threw the book across the room (then picked it up and reluctantly finished it because I need to know what to complain about most).”
Wednesday = “I (sort of) tossed the book (half-way) across the room (into a bucket of lukewarm water).”
Thursday = “I threw the book across the room (so that I could crawl back to it).”
Friday = “I threw the book across the room (because I saw someone who needed it in their face at that very moment)”
Saturday = “The book threw itself across the room (because I don’t deserve its explosive brilliance).”

I have a lot athletic-like emotions about books, okay?

9781328663795_8e391Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich by Norman Ohler

Translated by Shaun Whiteside

This is either a clunkily written book or a clunkily translated book. Or both. The organization of the book is confusing, constantly going back and forth between the frontlines and Hitler’s headquarters with little transitional material. The cast of characters for the German war effort is massive. I saw no effort to translate those characters for the English language American publication, so it was confusing for an American reader. The subject material is fascinating, but outrageous. In places where I expected to see citations (in some of the conclusions that required support), there were none. In other places where citations were not needed, they abounded.

I am also philosophically opposed to stigmatizing addiction by associating it with fascist murderers. And with dismissing the Nazi atrocities by juxtaposing them with habitual drug use.

Publication date: March 2017
Publishing house: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Rating: Tuesday – keep your salt closeby while reading.

9780425213902Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters by Peter Vronsky

Vronsky’s thesis to counter the public perception that women can’t be aggressive killers. An interesting premise, but his lack of compassion does give me pause. Do I think women can be just as aggressive as men? Absolutely, but Vronsky doesn’t exactly address the “how” and the “why” in his title. He is more interested in categorizing the killers than exploring the individual psychology of his title.

Publication date: 2007
Publishing house: Berkley
Rating: Wednesday – good true crime stories, but not analytical at all.

9781631492181_e6682Always Happy Hour: Stories by Mary Miller

If Mary Miller’s last novel was a love letter to adolescence, her latest work is a series of love letters to arrested development. Miller glorifies life’s unevents: the life that happens between life happenings. The stories are connected through first person female narrators who inhabit roughly the same age and economic bracket. Their voices are distinct, but not distinct from one another’s. Miller develops a new archetype: the single female worrier, the insecure young woman who rejects the wisdom of maturity. The stories in Always Happy Hour compose one large emotional landscape, which might be more relatable than event-based narratives.

Publication Date: January 2017
Publishing house: Liveright
Rating: Friday – join the Sisterhood of the Perpetual Happy Hour


Happy reading!
~jan

Blurb: SHELTER by Jung Yun

img_20160315_142929.jpg

photo by @bookpeople on instagram

“This book is haaaaaaard,” is what I posted on Instagram the day I started this book. Kyung Cho is a college professor who is facing the loss of his home. Then a random act of violence forces his parents, people who he cut out of his life, to move in with him. With his parents comes the painful past he’s been trying to erase–a past that can cost him everything he has, depending on how he chooses to react.

Shelter is the ultimate in fucked up family drama. “Shelter,” in any form, is conspicuously absent from this story. Forgiveness is shallow and impermanent, and though scars have faded over time, the emotional wounds are still very much open. Kyung wants to erase his past, but he faces down the uncertainty of the future. Kyung lives in an in-between, timeless state, but he is at risk of being steamrolled by the forward march of time itself. Jung Yun has written the quintessential Korean-American novel, deftly describing how Korean attitudes of obligation, fairness, and resentment clash and (possibly) overlap American attitudes towards these same ideals. I’m certain that it will become a “discovery” of literature: one of those slow burns that will eventually explode into the landscape of literature over time.

img_20160307_214349.jpg

Wolf blanket recommended, but not included.

Happy reading,

-jan

Viva la Webolution!

Another thing I wrote about online communities and enthusiasm

BookPeople

-This post comes from our inventory manager Jan

Online Creators and Their Communities Are Our People, Too

I’m in no way overstating when I say that here at BookPeople, we care about community. We love serving communities that are built from the ground-up. And the most visible ground-up communities these days are happening online.

The Internet is a big place. Really, really big. And, being designed by hippies, the web, of course, has no hierarchical structure. Everything is (somewhat) equal on this massive web that just keeps growing by the nanosecond (YouTube has over a billion unique users who generate over a billion views daily [source]). And yet, humans–being the amazing, social wizards that we are–have found ways to not only interact with one another, but connect.  These online communities consist of membership based on anything from identity to shared interest and are mediated on access to…

View original post 546 more words

It’s the End of the World…and We Love It!

My blog post and 2nd floor display for the End Of The World at BookPeople.

BookPeople

Processed with VSCOcam with n1 preset

Let’s face it: the world is going to end…and we’re obsessed with it. It’s all over our news, our movies, our television shows, even–especially–our belief systems. Whether it’s eschatology (a theology concerned with the final events of human history, or the “end times”), millenarianism (a belief in a coming transformation), the end of certain ancient civilizations’ calendars (as was predicted in English-language news media for December 21, 2012), Ragnarok (as was predicted in English-language news media outlets for February 22, 2014), Timewave Zero (having to do with calculating Novelty Time and reading the I Ching–I don’t understand it, but I sound smart mentioning it), mega-disasters, mass extinctions, global climate change, pandemics…you name it, we love it.

Well, we love to speculate on it. I’m sure once these come to pass, it will be quite unpleasant for all of us. And yet, we dwell on these unpleasantries to the…

View original post 620 more words