Terrorism: Theirs & Ours

Review by Meg Duke
Published in 2001 from a lecture given in 1998, this book gives one hard slap of historical context to any American (manipulated by the mass media) worried about "terrorism" --> which neither the government nor the media defines

The Compleat Moonshadow

Review by Meg Duke
Art so beautiful it kept me reading despite the underwhelming and plotless storyline. Classic loss-of-innocence story, the highlights being interesting/grotesque representations of capitalistic society, its ability to cloak the means-end relationship, and a caricature of those who control it.

Stray Toasters

Review by Meg Duke
Enticing art style + disturbing storyline = extremely engaging

Nonviolence Ain't What it Used to Be: Unarmed Insurrection and the Rhetoric of Resistance

Review by Ruth Davidson
Overall this is a fun read that makes a lot of interesting points about why protests do and don't "work." The theme that really resonated with me is that context matters when weighing different strategies for public protest-picking the right strategy is impossible without considering social contexts such as likely media coverage and the race/class/gender of the participants. This book was originally a Ph. D. thesis, and parts of it read like one-heavy on the jargon, though the author does take pains to define their terms well.

The New Left: A Documentary History

Review by Ruth Davidson
I loved this compilation-the analysis by the editor Teodori is a reminder for those of us not alive during the 60's that it was hard to see where things were headed politically in 1968-1969. But the real value of this book is simply that it's got so many essays and transcripts of speeches by historical figures such as Stokeley Carmichael. It's always illuminating to see primary sources and reflect on how and why things get misrepresented in historical analysis.

T.A.Z.: The Temporary Autonomous Zone

Review by Meg Duke
radical prophetic hypnotic linguistic magic

The Art of Self-Directed Learning

Review by Aidan Fay
I read this in 2 hours or less and it was time very well spent. It made me inspired to work hard in creative ways but also to respect the power of my autonomy and ability to say "no" when people "force" hard work upon me. Kind of a merging of all the good aspects of the philosophies of the counterculture and the dominant culture in relation to work and education. It suffers in that it still kind of revolves around makin money and success stories of naturally highly motivated people instead of finding the success in initial failure, but it still vibes high if you know how to extract the good stuff.

The Gay Revolution

Review by Ruth Davidson
This book has a lot of deep background and it's clear the author was very good at interviewing her sources. It was nice how the context was set for the strategies chosen by various activists. The only thing that was a little distracting was the goofy descriptive language used seemingly in an attempt to humanize various people.

The Sandman: Overture

Review by Danny Canham
Both sequel and prequel to the original series, this standalone story bookends the narrative arc of Dream's adventures. It's probably my third favorite entry after Brief Lives and World's End. Filled with the kind of beautiful, vibrant art and fantastic storytelling most of us have come to expect from Gaiman and his collaborators, it's a stunning collection

The Unknown Revolution: 1917–1921

Review by Bill Svoboda
This is a solid 4 star-except for the 2019 intro. In his intro, Iain McKay spends 89 pages saying exactly what Voline goes on to say in the main section of the book- and Voline's prose, as well as his arguments are clear, forceful and easy to read. This is a book that would benefit so very much from a current day exploration of (relatively) non-ideological matters of viewpoint, context and nuance (example: the conflicted role of the SRs)-instead, McKay spends it "beating a dead Bolshevik". In regards to the main text of this book, anyone seriously interested in 20th century history or leftist ideology will want to at least skim parts of it (one of the great advantages to reading non-fiction is that it can be read "out of sequence", skimmed and or read in small bits and pieces). One of these small pieces-Voline's conversation with Bukharin- pp. 244-245, was, for me one of the most revealing parts of the entire book. ********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** Trying so hard to look over our shoulders, we march backwards into the future.

Cloud Atlas: A Novel

Review by Bill Svoboda
Yet another "3.5 stars". "Cloud Atlas" is not as good as David Mitchell's later novel "Bone Clocks"-or really any of the best modern/postmodern novels, sci-fi or otherwise. Arguably, the most valid reason for having "Cloud Atlas" is that it was made into a very fine big budget film - a rare case where I thought the movie was better than the book. Lest I sound like I'm being too harsh-and to give you an idea of how high my bar is for "Exceptional" - check out Robert Stone's "A Flag For Sunrise" and "Damascus Gate" Hari Kunzru's "Gods Without Men" or (especially-since it covers very similar ground) Kim Stanly Robinson's "Years Of Rice And Salt". It is NOT that David Mitchell is unlikeable and/or bad as a writer ("Bone Clocks", for instance has some amazing and memorable chapters)-it's that (so far) he has problems (structural and otherwise) with his novels-and ends up with a finished product that is less (as opposed to greater) than the sum of it's parts (and yes, that happens to be one of my main criteria in judging the quality of a book's contents-fictional or otherwise.)

Hellboy, Volume 10: The Crooked Man and Others

Review by Ryan Schafer
Hellboy is my latest addiction. Chalk full of zany reinterpretations of obscure folklore, european mythos, and history, it's brilliant and imaginative and original. This series has more in common with the Sandman, Preacher, and Swamp Thing than with superhero franchises like Daredevil or Batman. I devoured the first 9 volumes and then discovered that we did not have the 10th! Hope you all will give the series a try and consider the merit of adding the rest to our collection ;)

Arcana: Musicians on Music

Review by Future Man
Arcana: Musicians on Music is an incredible collection of essays by many great modern composers and improvisers of the American avant-garde. Edited and including a preface by John Zorn, this collection includes a sprawling array of writings, including a piece by Marc Ribot disparaging the technical short-fallings of the guitar, an essay on silence by pianist Anthony Coleman, who was featured in the recent installation of our Future Jazz series, and an essay and set of notated exercises by Bill Frisell, which are as minimal yet profound as his guitar playing.

Hippie Modernism The Struggle for Utopia

Review by Bill Svoboda
"Hippie", and to a lesser extent, "Modernist" are both pejorative terms- moreover, they are somewhat mutually exclusive- but I guess this contradiction is part of the appeal of this particular "brand". Not being an expert in either brands , graphic arts or museum curation/art world politics, this book was puzzling to me. But apparently this brand has some real economic value in that it has already been picked up by the world of high fashion, as well as causing a nice buzz in art circles. It just seems foreign and rather arbitrary -a catchy and certifiably saleable idea which lacks cohesion and probably makes a lot more sense to a graphic designer than to someone trying to radically restructure our dysfunctional society. I found some interesting things in this hodge-podge , but to me, (a "hippie utopianist") the whole was less than the sum of the parts.

The End (Nilsen)

Review by Future Man
The End is a quiet moment in existential questioning following the death of a loved one. The improvisational and direct style of the writing and drawing carries with it the fresh impact of the moment a feeling surfaces, and makes this a powerful work which elegantly translates the feeling of loss and the subsequent journey to acceptance.

herb mastering the art of cooking with cannabis

Review by Bill Svoboda
If you're running an industrial kitchen to make cannabis edibles-with a regular source of twigs, trimmings and other commercial growing by-products -featuring a number of different strains (and it's all organically grown)-then this cookbook makes a certain amount of sense. Each and every recipe calls for the use of overprocessed, homogenized oil and/or butter infusions. Treating your very own primo buds this way is wasteful, expensive and unnecessarily time consuming-as well as a desecration on the order of boiling vegetables for hours and then slathering them with 1000 island dressing, or pouring ketchup on a very well done steak. There is shockingly little useful information here- HOW COULD THEY COMPLETELY FORGET TO MENTION DOUBLE BOILERS?!? This alone is an inexcusable example of Bad Kitchen Technique. They show little knowledge of/respect for the unique tastes and effects of various strains. There is very little context and zero amount of humor-instead you get Terribly Earnest & Thoughtful self congratulatory screeds alongside glossy, yummy food porn photos (the best thing about this piece of New Age Arriviste coffee table trash).

The Perineum Technique

Review by Future Man
The Perineum Technique is a cleverly drawn realist fiction exploring the disturbing way that technology is so frequently used in sexual courtships and the ways that intimacy develops in a world of hyper-connectivity. Told in the same casually dark style characteristic of their other work, this is a great addition to the English translations of French comics duo, Florent Ruppert and Jérôme Mulot.

The Mystery Play

Review by Danny Canham
The softness of a watercolor art style belies the macabre in this short graphic novel by Grant Morrison. God is found dead and everyone is looking for the truth at the heart of the matter. Part allegory, part pataphor, Morrison blends philosophy and theology in a small town neo-noir setting to question reality itself. It was a fun, quick read, but unlike some of Morrison's longer works,, it feels like it's missing some of the depth it deserves to really explore the subject matter. Muth's art playfully weaves together the mystery play within the mystery and matches the darker tone of the story overall.

Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Universe

Review by Kristal McKinstry
I haven't read it, but hearing an hour long interview of him speak on the subject suggests he has great insight from both mystic and pure scientific realms.

Capacity

Review by Roar RAWWRRR
Capacity is an excellent narrative of a metaphysical journey to access the many possibilities of imagination within one self without going crazy in the process. The not going crazy part is key. Interweaving biographical elements with delicious 4th wall breakdowns to include the reader in the story arc and, seasoned throughout with 7 compilations of short stories, Theo Ellsworth might just be looked back at in history as one of the greatest writers and illustrators of our time and this book is certainly one that can be used to establish him as such. Highly reccomend for anyone who enjoys graphic novels and the creative process to read thia.

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