Friday, January 26, 2024

Friday Book Recommendations (Jan 26)

This week's reads

They Walked Like Men by Clifford D Simak: This was one of the very few books my father in law ever recommended to me, and I'm not sure why he ever read it out of the stuff he was picking up for tag sales. I had no idea what to expect and initially I was very concerned that it was a coded metaphor for white flight. Whatever he meant by it though, it hits very hard and very topical today in ways I don't want to spoil. It is a 1950s SF book with a stalwart report, his girl Friday, and saving the world via mechanism only a little less silly that Indian Slim Whitman's Indian Love Call, but it's worth the time. 

Tasting History by Max Miller: yes, I did read the other gay man made famous on the internet by cooking historical meals during the internet cookbook. And I liked it! Mostly i enjoyed it for the historical anecdotes and potentially gameable material about food in ancient Rome. Not likely to cook anything from it but happy to have it. I expect the historian/archaeologist kiddo will groove on it 

E-Man in First Comics by Joe Staton and others: So the energy ace has two real series - the Charlton Comics one from the 1970's and this one from the 1980's. The series vascilates based on who's writing it - the original concept was serious enough stories that E-Man would bounce off of in an interesting way with delightful artistic jokes slid in by Joe Staton. When Staton got the book re-started by First in the 80's a change in his has the first few issues of this volume as densely packed parodies of contemporary events and fellow comics creators, the latter of which could get, to be honest, mean spirited. By about issue 7 or so the book changes back to the original design as either Staton starts writing himself or changes to other writing partners. These issues hold up better in my opinion as they aren't so rooted in time. That being said, the pot shots against scientology and 80's fire and brimstone fear-generating grifter-preachers remain sadly relevant. Mostly I'm reading it for the art and the side gags - the whole extended bit with the snake in issue 9 is just comedy gold that my friend Tom and I would quote for years. 

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