Friday, July 9, 2021

Book Review: All Of The Marvels by Douglas Wolk

I had the opportunity to read an early galley of the upcoming book All Of The Marvels by Douglas Wolk. He took on the herculean task of reading more than 27,000 Marvel comics in order to present a "traveller's guide" to those looking to dove into the rich tapestry that is the Marvel narrative. 
Being a life-long comic reader myself, one who discovered Marvel in the early 70's, I have my own winding history with their output. However, mine was even spotty - preferring Spider-Man and team titles like the Avengers, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men to others like Thor, Daredevil or Iron Man. Having a Marvel Unlimited subscription has helped me in recent years to correct that, allowing me to devour runs of titles I never picked up back in the day. 

Wolk does a good job in this book giving an overview of certain issues to vist, also hitting some spotlights on specific favorite characters (as much as 320 pages will allow). There is a stronger focus on runs post-2000 as well as the early years from the 1960's. The 70's and 80's get some mention too, while the 90's - a very rough period for comics in general - gets a deserved glossing over. 

One particular thing I really liked is the Appendix which gives a nice overview of the Marvel universe history in just a few pages. I would recommend highly for folks who might only know Marvel from the movies or TV shows to read that first. 

This book is scheduled for an October release. I had already tagged it for my to-order list for the library. I think it contains some solid advice on tackling a deep dive into the Marvel continuity that will benefit my patrons.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Book Review: Sweet Dreams - The Story of the New Romantics

Sweet Dreams: The Story of the New Romantics provides an in-depth look at a decade-long period of the music and cultural scenes of Britain. Author Dylan Jones zooms in on the period from 1975 to 1985 and the second invasion of British music. This study goes from the heyday of punk to the peak of new-wave, through the birth of MTV and the culmination of Live-Aid.

Written in a style reminiscent of a documentary script, Jones presents the reader with an eye-witness account of this period by those who were key to it. Through interviews, the reader hears from the likes of David Bowie, Bryan Ferry, Adam Ant, Martin Fry, Malcolm McLaren, Sade, the members of bands like Culture Club, Duran Duran, the Eurythmics, Heaven 17, Spandau Ballet, and so many more.

For someone like me who is a music-nerd that came of age during this particular decade, this book is a fascinating read. Even if you think you know a lot about these artists and their albums, I can guarantee you will find a number of interesting nuggets of trivia within these pages. It might even inspire you to revisit some of your favorite music from this period.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Book Review: The Vinyl Detective - Low Action

This is the fifth and latest book in the Vinyl Detective mystery series. In this one, our record aficionado protagonist and his girlfriend Nevada are hired to find a rare pressing of the first album by the all-female punk rock band Blue Tits. However, that band's former lead singer Helene Hilditch also has been the target of several murder attempts.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Book Review: Bread Bags and Bullies

Everyone who knows me and knows this blog understands how big of an influence the 1980's were in my life. For a bulk of this decade, I was in high school and college. The music, the TV shows, the comics, and everything are touchstones for me. So, when I heard about my Twitter author-friend Steven Manchester's upcoming book, I was very excited to check it out.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Rest In Peace, Aretha Franklin

Rest in peace to the Queen of Soul - Aretha Franklin.

Born March 25th, 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee, Aretha Louise Franklin got her start singing in her father's church. Her earliest recordings were part of the soundtrack of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's. She lived much of her life in Detroit, Michigan, where she died today at age 76.

She left behind over six decades of musical performances and history. Truly, she was and always will be a legend.

For more from Aretha Franklin, click here.

Monday, January 1, 2018

The Stranglers - Feline (35th anniversary)

Today (January 1st) back in 1983, the English rock band the Stranglers released Feline, its seventh studio album. The record charted at number 52 in Germany, 39 in the Netherlands, number 18 in New Zealand, number 16 in Norway and number 4 in the UK.

For the complete review, click here.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Book Review: Ashes

Middle-aged brothers Jason and Tom Prendergast thought they were completely done with each other. Perceived betrayal had burned the bridge between them, tossing them into the icy river of estrangement. But life – and death – has a robust sense of irony. When they learn that their cruel father has died and made his final request that they travel together across the country to spread his ashes, they have no choice but to spend a long, long car trip in each other’s company. It’s either that or lose out on the contents of the envelope he’s left with his lawyer.