Procrastination 2013

Happy Belated New Year!

I started writing this a couple of weeks ago to post in mid-January – and it had been a while since I had finished the books then….  Some parts of my life just feel as though I am wading through quickly drying mud.  A couple of weeks ago, I was going to title this posting as un-commonalities.  I like procrastination better because it’s actually a word.

What do Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow, Cleopatra: a Life by Stacy Schiff, Fair Game by Patricia Briggs, and Alien Proliferation by Gini Koch have in common? Not much – as far as I can tell. Continue reading

Just Kids

By Patti Smith

Place: Publisher & Year: New York: Harper Collins, 2010

Genres: Nonfiction, autobiography, biography, memoir

ISBN: 9780066211312

Audience: Adults

Number of pages: 279

Settings: Mostly New York City – Manhattan & Brooklyn – but also Paris & Charleville, France & Camden, NJ

Time period: The bulk of the story is set between 1969 – 1978.

Description:  Patti Smith describes her life growing up in NJ and aspirations to become an artist.  At a young age she moves to New York City where she meets a kindred soul, Robert Mapplethorpe.  The heart of this book is about their journey together as friends, artists, and lovers.  They support one another and each other’s work until they are both firmly set on their own artistic pathways. Continue reading

Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species: A Graphic Adaptation

Story by Michael Keller, Art by Nicolle Rager Fuller

Place: Publisher & Year: Emmaus, PA: Rodale, 2009

Genre: Non- fiction, science, biography, history

Format: Graphic novel

ISBN: 9781605299488

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 191

Setting: Earth

Time period: 1831 – 2006

Plot summary: This book is a graphic version of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species as well as a biography of Darwin and a history of evolutionary theory.  The book begins with Darwin having returned to England after travelling around the world on H.M.S. Beagle.  It depicts his life while working on his theory of natural selection; it also depicts his theory and the effects of it upon the current scientific understanding of life on Earth. Continue reading

Sastun: My Apprenticeship with a Maya Healer

By Rosita Arvigo with Nadine Epstein and Marilyn Yaquinto

Place: Publisher & Year: San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1994

Genres: Non-fiction, ethnobotany, anthropology, autobiography, biography, traditional medicine

ISBN: 9780062502551

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 190

Setting: San Ignacio, Belize

Time period: 1980’s (1981- 1993, most of the book’s story is 1981-1987)

Plot summary: When Rosita moves to San Ignacio, Belize with her husband and daughter, they have dreams of establishing a farm along with their medical practices, but find life quite challenging.  When Rosita meets Don Elijio Panti, a well known Mayan healer in the area, she asks to become his apprentice.  She has a thirst for knowledge about the local plants and his healing techniques; she also recognizes that Don Elijio’s knowledge was in danger of becoming lost to the world if he didn’t pass it on to someone else.  Don Elijio, however, politely denies her request thinking that the Mayan spirits would not accept a gringa.  She also had no sastun.  In spite of his rejection, Rosita regularly visits Don Elijio, helping and learning from him.  Eventually, Rosita receives a sastun, and her apprenticeship begins in full. Continue reading

Che : a graphic biography

By Spain Rodriguez ; edited by Paul Buhle

Place: Publisher,Year: New York : Verso, 2008

Genres: Non-fiction, biography, history

Format: Graphic novel

ISBN: 1844671682

Intended audience: Adult

Number of pages: 106

Setting: Argentina, Peru, Mexico, Cuba, Congo, and Bolivia

Time period: 1928 – 1967 and beyond

Plot summary: The story of Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s life and death is presented in a graphic novel format.  The story begins with Ernesto’s birth in 1928 in Rosario, Argentina and gives the reader some background on both Ernesto’s family and Argentinian history.  The story then follows Che’s life as he journeys across South America on a motorcycle with his friend Alberto, finishes medical school, and then begins his life’s work as a revolutionary. Continue reading