Category Archives: Books

Final Call: Star Trek 50th Anniversary Online Book Club

In honor of one of my favorite franchises, I’ve been hosting the Essential Star Trek Novels Reading Club Fall 2016-Spring 2017 in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek.  You may have missed the previous online book discussions, but you have one last chance!

The selections for this book club reading list are based on the io9 article “Essential Star Trek Novels That Even Non-Trekkers Should Read“.  Since I’d not read most of them despite being an avid Trekkie, I decided this was a challenge I should accept.  Who will join me on this accursed mission?  The meetings will take place online via Google Hangouts, so send an email to themcnabbist@gmail.com with your deets!

The last session is June 4, 2017 @ 3pm EDT (US) in which we’ll discuss The Captain’s Daughter by Peter David

Again, if you’re interested in participating, email me at themcnabbist@gmail.com and I’ll give you deets!

Live Long and Prosper, Friends

-The McNabbist

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McNabbist Holiday Traditions + Reading List

It’s been a crazy few weeks here in McNabblandia!  I thought I’d share with you two of my wacky holiday traditions and I ask you return the favor.

The first is a long-standing tradition.  When I was a teen, my mother and I used to drive around town in search of the best holiday yard displays.  We’d arm ourselves with hot chocolate or mint mocha’s and spend an hour driving around and enjoying holiday yard displays.  There was an occasional “oooh” or “aaah” for really good ones.  We’d have Christmas music playing on the radio (our favorite was and is “Feliz Navidad“).  It was a cheap but very nice way to spend an evening.  Now, we take my younger cousins to do the same thing.  We already have the date booked!

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The second is finding a short Christmas/Holiday-related novel to read.  I base my decision on which to read based solely off the title and/or cover.  Last year, Santa Clawed by Rita Mae Brown was one of my choices.  This year, I’ve decided on The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding by Agatha Christie and The Christmas Cat by Melody Carlson.  First things first, I want to know about a pudding that goes on an adventure.  I mean, who doesn’t?!  Also, I love a good mystery.  And, of course, since I’m a Crazy Cat Lady, a title that includes the word ‘cat’ automatically makes it awesome, no?  Only time will tell!

 

I decided to start a new tradition this year after seeing the idea RTed by Library as Incubator – Make A Book Advent Calendar.  So, I have a pile of books and graphic novels (in addition to my two holiday reading picks) I’ve set aside hoping to read them between now and January 6th.  Most of these are not holiday-related, but items I own but have never read.  Unlike the post suggesting you have one a day, I knew there was no way I could read some of these, which are novels, in one day.  So, I improvised. Have you ready any of these?

*This is the December read for the Star Trek 50th Anniversary Online Book Club.  We’d love more participants!

**This graphic novel is about one of Captain Sulu’s first runs on the Excelsior! ❤

Don’t forget to let me know your wacky holiday traditions, whether you’ve read any items in my Book Advent Calendar, and what you’re reading, watching, or playing this holiday season!

Best,

The McNabbist

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REMINDER: ESSENTIAL STAR TREK NOVELS BOOK CLUB FOR 50TH ANNIVERSARY!

In honor of one of my favorite franchises, I’d like to announce the Essential Star Trek Novels Reading Club Fall 2016-Spring 2017 which I’m launching in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek.  You may have missed the September 28th online book discussion, but no worries, we have many more novels left – you can still join in!

The selections for this book club reading list are based on the io9 article “Essential Star Trek Novels That Even Non-Trekkers Should Read“.  Since I’d not read most of them despite being an avid Trekkie, I decided this was a challenge I should accept.  Who will join me on this accursed mission?  The meetings will take place online via Google Hangouts, so send an email to themcnabbist@gmail.com with your deets!

Some of these titles will be available as either print and/or ebooks from your local library, but not all of them.  Plan time to stalk used offline and online bookstores for copies of some of these titles.

September 28, 2016 @ 9pm: Planet of Judgement by Joe Haldeman

October 29, 2016 @ 1pm EST: The Entropy Effect by Vonda M. McIntyre

November 27, 2016 @ 2pm EST: The Final Reflection by John M. Ford

December 2016: My Enemy, My Ally by Diane Duane

January 2017: Prime Directive by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens

February 2017: Enterprise: The First Adventure by Vonda M. McIntyre

March 2017: Imzadi by Peter David

April 2017: The Captain’s Daughter by Peter David

If you’re interested in participating, reply to this blog post and I’ll give you deets closer to the date!

Live Long and Prosper, Friends

-The McNabbist

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Review: ‘Incognegro’ by Mat Johnson

After hearing a very interesting NPR interview with Mat Johnson, I decided I simply had to read Incognegro.  Mr. Johnson’s lives and experiences are clearly an inspiration for the superhero known as Incognegro as well as inspiration for his other writings. He describes himself as “mulatto”, being the son of an African-American mother and an Irish-American father.  The struggles of growing up being seen differently by different people is a struggle which I personally often thought about, even though I’m as Western European-American as you can get. As you may know, I’m an Adult Reference Librarian who maintains the adult graphic novel collection at a large urban public library.  You may also know that I’m a self-described geek and anti-racist and a family historian.

I’d seen the graphic novel come and go off the shelves.  My reading list was so long, I told myself I’d get there eventually.  After hearing that interview (linked above), I moved it up the list.

This graphic novel places us in the 1930s where a light-skinned journalist, Zane, goes undercover as a white man in the American South to investigate lynchings for a newspaper based in Harlem.  His newspaper publishes his work under the name ‘Incognegro’.  This means he goes without recognition outside of the office, which is something he grapples with.  He wants people to know that he’s the writer known as Incognegro.

Throughout the graphic novel, we are faced with uncomfortable realities about race in America, past and present. I find the straight forward unapologetically honest tone of this graphic novel refreshing.  The writing is grounded and the black and white artwork, done by illustrator Warren Pleece, doesn’t try to blunt the honest tone.

“Race doesn’t really exist,” Zane says.  “Race is just a bunch of rules meant to keep us on the bottom.  Race is a strategy.  The rest is just people acting.  Playing roles.  That’s what white folks never get. They don’t think they have accents.  They don’t think they eat ethnic foods.  Their music is classical. They think they’re just normal.  That they are the universal and that everyone else is an odd deviation from form. That’s what makes them so easy to infiltrate.”

Grade: 4.5/5

Other works by Mat Johnson:

  • Drop
  • Hunting in the Harlem
  • Hellblazer: Papa Midnite
  • The Great Negro Plot
  • Dark Rain: A New Orleans Story
  • Pym
  • Right State
  • Loving Day

-The McNabbist

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Reading “Preacher” by Garth Ennis

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Last month, I received an email in my inbox from AMC promoting their new television series Preacher.  As a graphic novels librarian and a major fan of AMC’s The Walking Dead, I knew that the new AMC series was based on a graphic novel series by Garth Ennis.  So, despite it not being my genre of interest, I decided to read the first volume of the series before watching the television series*.

Like when looking forward to seeing upcoming films, I went in completely blind.  I didn’t read any reviews, I didn’t flip through the pages to decide whether to read it.  I didn’t even read a synopsis.  I just jumped right in!

*MILD SPOILER WARNING*

After reading the first few pages, I’m sure I looked something like this: o_O

The premise started off interesting – A preacher, Jesse Custer, in Texas who lost his cool with his flawed and unchanging flock whose hypocrisy made him question everything he believed.  An unknown being, called Genesis, travels towards Earth and enters the body of Custer and in the process, kills Custer’s whole flock.  On the journey ahead, he meets up with an Irish Vampire (Cassidy) and an ex-lover (Tulip) as they search for God who, we learn, has abandoned his post and is somewhere on Earth.

As I said, interesting premise.  Despite being raised Agnostic, even I cringed at some of the blasphemy in this graphic novel.  Add to that, the crude and profane language, and I was immediately sure Mother Theresa wouldn’t have approved.  I personally found it a bit too dark and profane for my personal taste and I was a bit shocked to find not a single character that wasn’t a bit…too disturbing for me.  Having said that, I realize that no human is perfect and that we are all battling inner demons, and maybe that’s one of Ennis’s points.  While I believe that Ennis is clearly a good writer and it making interesting social commentary, I think he relies a little too much on shock value.  My personal grade: B-

However, don’t make your final decision based on my review alone.  As I said, not exactly my genre.  There were numerous positive reviews, including those who were offended by so interested to see what happened next, they simply couldn’t put it down.  Which is definitely the mark of a well-written graphic novel.  It also made Rolling Stone’s 50 best non-superhero graphic novels!

If you don’t mind more than mild spoilers, visit these sites for reviews or more info:

CG Magazine

EE Times

Goodreads

Wikipedia

*You can watch the first season of Preacher here.

If you’re already read it, or you read it after reading this review, respond to this blog post and let me know your thoughts!

-TheMcNabbist

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Reminder: Essential Star Trek Novels Book Club for 50th Anniversary!

In honor of one of my favorite franchises, I’d like to announce the Essential Star Trek Novels Reading Club Fall 2016-Spring 2017 which I’m launching in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek.  You may have missed the September 28th online book discussion, but no worries, we have many more novels left – you can still join in!

The selections for this book club reading list are based on the io9 article “Essential Star Trek Novels That Even Non-Trekkers Should Read“.  Since I’d not read most of them despite being an avid Trekkie, I decided this was a challenge I should accept.  Who will join me on this accursed mission?  The meetings will take place online via Google Hangouts, so send an email to themcnabbist@gmail.com with your deets!

Some of these titles will be available as either print and/or ebooks from your local library, but not all of them.  Plan time to stalk used offline and online bookstores for copies of some of these titles.

September 28, 2016 @ 9pm: Planet of Judgement by Joe Haldeman

October 29, 2016 @ 1pm EST: The Entropy Effect by Vonda M. McIntyre

November: The Final Reflection by John M. Ford

December 2016: My Enemy, My Ally by Diane Duane

January 2017: Prime Directive by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens

February 2017: Enterprise: The First Adventure by Vonda M. McIntyre

March 2017: Imzadi by Peter David

April 2017: The Captain’s Daughter by Peter David

If you’re interested in participating, reply to this blog post and I’ll give you deets closer to the date!

Live Long and Prosper, Friends

-The McNabbist

 

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Essential Star Trek Novels Reading Club for 50th Anniversary!

 

In honor of one of my favorite franchises, I’d like to announce the Essential Star Trek Novels Reading Club Fall 2016-Spring 2017 which I’m launching in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek.

The selections for this book club reading list are based on the io9 article “Essential Star Trek Novels That Even Non-Trekkers Should Read“.  Since I’d not read most of them despite being an avid Trekkie, I decided this was a challenge I should accept.  Who will join me on this accursed mission?  The meetings will take place online via Google Hangouts, so respond with your user name :).

Some of these titles will be available as either print and/or ebooks from your local library, but not all of them.  Plan time to stalk Half Price Books and other used bookstores for copies of some of these titles.

September 28, 2016 @ 9pm: Planet of Judgement by Joe Haldeman 

October 2016: The Entropy Effect by Vonda M. McIntyre

November: The Final Reflection by John M. Ford

December 2016: My Enemy, My Ally by Diane Duane

January 2017: Prime Directive by Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens

February 2017: Enterprise: The First Adventure by Vonda M. McIntyre

March 2017: Imzadi by Peter David

April 2017: The Captain’s Daughter by Peter David

If you’re interested in participating, reply to this blog post and I’ll give you deets closer to the date!

Live Long and Prosper, Friends

-The McNabbist

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