Friday, May 3, 2013

Recent Reads from the Library

This year I've been buying books less and using the library more, which isn't helping me with my large unread pile, but let's save that for another post.  One of the things I'm loving about the library is that I can order things online, sort of.  I search through the OPAC (online public access catalog for the non-librarians out there) and submit a hold request or an interlibrary loan request and the library sends an email when the requested item is ready for pick up.  One thing about hold and interlibrary loan requests is that you don't know exactly when a book will arrive - it could be two days from now or it could be two months.  Between February and April I submitted several requests and a bunch came through at the same time.  Consequently, my current reading list has been quite interesting .  Here's a look at recent reads I picked up at the library:

Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright 
Before reading this I knew little about Scientology other than that it was created by a science fiction writer and celebrities seem to flock to it.  Going Clear takes a hard look at Scientology, chronicling its beginnings and evolution over the past few decades.  Author Lawrence Wright goes out of his way to present a fair look at Scientology, including literally hundreds of notes to both back up his writing and acknowledge where others might disagree with his reporting.  After reading this I am still not quite clear as to what the tenets of the belief system are, or by extension, what attracts people to this religion, and I'm not sure I want to know.  Going Clear paints a pretty chilling picture of the religion.

Hot Ticket by Olivia Cunning
Hot Ticket is a steamy romance full of rock stars, pain and pleasure, and childhood trauma that manifest itself in the form of self-hurting.  After Wright's book I needed something fun and light.  Maybe light isn't the best way to describe Hot Ticket, but it was definitely fun.

Gothicka: Vampire Heroes, Human Gods, and the New Supernatural by Victoria Nelson
Based on the book flap, Gothicka will explore how the "Gothic, Romanticism's gritty older sibling" has grown since the 18th century and in the 21st century evolved to the point where the monsters are now heroes.   Kind of sounds like a dissertation, but I'm willing to give it a try, after all I do like my vampires, werewolves and other supernatural creatures.

The Tribunal: Responses to John Brown and Harpers Ferry Raid edited by John Stauffer and Zoe Trodd
I'll probably just skim this tomb's 500 plus pages of small print.  I don't really know much about John Brown.  In fact, I had never heard of him until coming across Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen.  Ever since then I've been interested in learning more about John Brown and the Harpers Ferry Raid but for whatever reason haven't gotten around to it. 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy: Fear and Trembling in Sunnydale edited by James B. South
I've read a few other pop culture & philosophy type books and have really enjoyed them.  Plus, I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer so this should be a win. 

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I look forward to your comments. Tell me about the books you're reading.