Omnium Gatherum: 11may2022

An irregular hodgepodge of links beyond the library curated together from @OmniumGatherum at Hrmtc I∴O∴ and more … Omnium Gatherum for May 11, 2022.

Here’s a selection of notable things I’ve recently found that you may also be interested in checking out:

  • Today Is the Perfect Day to Start Reading Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’—No, Really. It’s Canon.. Sink your teeth into this once-a-year opportunity.” This started on May 3 … but it runs through Nov 7. Sign up for updates as they happen, sign up to get it via email.
  • Crowdfunding campaign with 6 days to go: “Steve Jackson Games’ Knightmare Chess Variants and Options. A collection of variants and optional rules for Knightmare Chess, the Original Game of Chaos on the Chessboard!”—”Knightmare Chess is back! Over the last few years, we’ve watched as Knightmare Chess prices continued to climb on the after-market, the game becoming more and more difficult for new players to add to their collections. Earlier this year, we took action to make the game more readily available: the Knightmare Chess reprint is available now at our online store, Warehouse 23! It wasn’t enough to simply reprint the game, though, so we collected four different Knightmare Chess articles into a single A6-sized booklet, creating a compact booklet that fits neatly in your Knightmare Chess box!”
  • Crowdfunding effort with 19 days to go: “Brindlewood Bay: Cozy Murder Mystery RPG. Solve murder mysteries in a creepy-cozy town.”—”Brindlewood Bay is a tabletop roleplaying game that combines Murder, She Wrote with H.P. Lovecraft. In it, you play a group of elderly women, members of the local Murder Mavens Mystery Book Club, who help the authorities solve murder cases in a picturesque New England Town. Over the course of their investigations, they become aware of a dark occult conspiracy that connects the cases, and will eventually have to face that conspiracy in order to save their community. The game is low-prep and easy to play no matter your experience with tabletop roleplaying games.” “Brindlewood Bay is a groundbreaking murder mystery game for 1 Keeper (GM) and up to 4 players. It’s Powered by the Apocalypse but also uses the innovative Carved from Brindlewood mystery system where even the Keeper doesn’t know the solution! The game is inspired by cozy mystery shows like Murder, She Wrote, but also takes inspiration from supernatural fiction and police procedural shows from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. In the game, you play a group of elderly women enjoying their retirement in the picturesque New England town of Brindlewood Bay. … we get to see these women enjoying their lives, helping and supporting each other, and pursuing their favorite hobbies, which are called Cozy Activities in the game.”
  • The Archetypal Temple: and Other Writings On Masonic Esotericism [Amazon, Bookshop, Local Library] by Jaime Paul Lamb—”Abounding in unprecedented insights and observations, Jaime Paul Lamb’s The Archetypal Temple and Other Writings on Masonic Esotericism is a compendium of essays highlighting Freemasonry’s relationship to Western Esotericism, with the multivalence of the temple archetype as its central, unifying theme. As Lamb surveys Masonic ritual and symbolism from the perspectives of astrology, cosmology and occult philosophy, he situates Freemasonry as a living and evolving tradition. It is in this spirit that Lamb points to a Freemasonry that is applicable to the modern mind’s quest for meaning, authenticity and, ultimately, a place in the cosmos.”
  • Weiser Antiquarian Books Catalogue No. 271 A Miscellany is now on-line .”
  • Preview of Freemasonry in Haiti by Leah Gordon, forthcoming this year. “An intimate exploration of Haitian Freemasonry in photographic images and text. For this project, renowned photographer Leah Gordon is joined by Dr. Katherine Smith as editor of a selected collection of texts. This book will also feature an extensive introduction by Dr. Henrik Bogdan.”
  • Reproductive Justice Starter Kit“—”As a contribution to the movement for reproductive justice, health, and freedom, we’ve discounted our Reproductive Justice Starter Kit: five books that illustrate and analyze the interlocking methods of social control, stigmatization, and oppression that necessitate and inform the fight for reproductive justice for all. Get all five for $55.”
  • Class War! Starter Kit“—”This starter kit includes Brandon Weber’s accessible and inspiring history of labor struggle in the US, Joe Burns’ indispensable articulation of class struggle unionism as both a guiding philosophy and practical strategy, Justin Akers Chacón crucial analysis of capitalist exploitation on both sides of the US-Mexico border and argument for the necessity of working-class internationalism, Grace Chang’s landmark assessment of immigrant women’s work, and Dan Georgakas and Marvin Surkin’s classic account of the Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement and the League of Revolutionary Black Workers.”
  • The Oxford Annotated Mishnah [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library], eds Shaye J.D. Cohen, Robert Goldenberg, and Hayim Lapin—”The Mishnah is the foundational document of rabbinic law and, one could say, of rabbinic Judaism itself. It is overwhelmingly technical and focused on matters of practice, custom, and law. The Oxford Annotated Mishnah is the first annotated translation of this work, making the text accessible to all.”
  • The Locked Tomb Is Back in This Exclusive First Look at Nona the Ninth. Nona is going to gatekeep, gaslight, and girlboss her way into your hearts, and we’ll thank Tamsyn Muir for it.” About Nona the Ninth [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Tamsyn Muir, book 3 of The Locked Tomb series, due September 2022—”Her city is under siege. The zombies are coming back. And all Nona wants is a birthday party. In many ways, Nona is like other people. She lives with her family, has a job at her local school, and loves walks on the beach and meeting new dogs. But Nona’s not like other people. Six months ago she woke up in a stranger’s body, and she’s afraid she might have to give it back. The whole city is falling to pieces. A monstrous blue sphere hangs on the horizon, ready to tear the planet apart. Blood of Eden forces have surrounded the last Cohort facility and wait for the Emperor Undying to come calling. Their leaders want Nona to be the weapon that will save them from the Nine Houses. Nona would prefer to live an ordinary life with the people she loves, with Pyrrha and Camilla and Palamedes, but she also knows that nothing lasts forever. And each night, Nona dreams of a woman with a skull-painted face…”
  • Lessons Learned from a Year Listening to the Fictional Octopus in My Head. Shelby Van Pelt on an Unlikely Friend and Saying What You Mean.” About Remarkably Bright Creatures [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Shelby Van Pelt—”For fans of A Man Called Ove, a charming, witty and compulsively readable exploration of friendship, reckoning, and hope that traces a widow’s unlikely connection with a giant Pacific octopus. After Tova Sullivan’s husband died, she began working the night shift at the Sowell Bay Aquarium, mopping floors and tidying up. Keeping busy has always helped her cope, which she’s been doing since her eighteen-year-old son, Erik, mysteriously vanished on a boat in Puget Sound over thirty years ago. Tova becomes acquainted with curmudgeonly Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus living at the aquarium. Marcellus knows more than anyone can imagine but wouldn’t dream of lifting one of his eight arms for his human captors—until he forms a remarkable friendship with Tova. Ever the detective, Marcellus deduces what happened the night Tova’s son disappeared. And now Marcellus must use every trick his old invertebrate body can muster to unearth the truth for her before it’s too late. Shelby Van Pelt’s debut novel is a gentle reminder that sometimes taking a hard look at the past can help uncover a future that once felt impossible.”
  • The 10 Most-Banned Books in America. Each one is a moving paean to self discovery, inclusivity, and the strength we find in embracing difference.”
  • Stranger Than Sci-Fi: How Science Nudges Fiction Into New Frontiers.”
  • Lithub Essay About Plagiarism Looks Very Plagiarized. The essay, by Jumi Bello, was pulled offline shortly after its publication.”
  • Bookstore Workers Are Forming Unions Over Low Pay and Lack of Benefits.”
  • Reclaiming Pamela Moore from the Sisterhood of Sad Literary Girls. Emmeline Clein on the American Tradition of Fetishizing Women Writers, Then Forgetting Them.”
  • Dave Eggers offers to replace books a South Dakota school board wants to pulp. The writer calls the planned destruction of copies of five titles – by Bernardine Evaristo, Alison Bechdel, Imbolo Mbue and Stephen Chbosky as well as his own – ‘an unconscionable horror’.”
  • Short story writer Deesha Philyaw: ‘I wanted to challenge the church’s obsession with sex’. The author of the acclaimed The Secret Life of Church Ladies on the Black American Christian community, sexual shame and coming to terms with her queerness.” About The Secret Lives of Church Ladies [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Deesha Philyaw—”The Secret Lives of Church Ladies explores the raw and tender places where Black women and girls dare to follow their desires and pursue a momentary reprieve from being good. The nine stories in this collection feature four generations of characters grappling with who they want to be in the world, caught as they are between the church’s double standards and their own needs and passions. There is fourteen-year-old Jael, who has a crush on the preacher’s wife. At forty-two, Lyra realizes that her discomfort with her own body stands between her and a new love. As Y2K looms, Caroletta’s “same time next year” arrangement with her childhood best friend is tenuous. A serial mistress lays down the ground rules for her married lovers. In the dark shadows of a hospice parking lot, grieving strangers find comfort in each other. With their secret longings, new love, and forbidden affairs, these church ladies are as seductive as they want to be, as vulnerable as they need to be, as unfaithful and unrepentant as they care to be, and as free as they deserve to be.”
  • In ‘Horizons,’ a discarded global view of science shines. What if everything we’re taught about the history of astronomy and physics is wrong?” About Horizons: The Global Origins of Modern Science [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by James Poskett—”The history of science as it has never been told before: a tale of outsiders and unsung heroes from far beyond the Western canon that most of us are taught. When we think about the origins of modern science we usually begin in Europe. We remember the great minds of Nicolaus Copernicus, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Albert Einstein. But the history of science is not, and has never been, a uniquely European endeavor. Copernicus relied on mathematical techniques that came from Arabic and Persian texts. Newton’s laws of motion used astronomical observations made in Asia and Africa. When Darwin was writing On the Origin of Species, he consulted a sixteenth-century Chinese encyclopedia. And when Einstein studied quantum mechanics, he was inspired by the Bengali physicist, Satyendra Nath Bose. Horizons is the history of science as it has never been told before, uncovering its unsung heroes and revealing that the most important scientific breakthroughs have come from the exchange of ideas from different cultures around the world. In this ambitious, revelatory history, James Poskett recasts the history of science, uncovering the vital contributions that scientists in Africa, America, Asia, and the Pacific have made to this global story.”
  • Paper Girls: Amazon Reveals First Look at Sci-Fi Mystery Series. The adaptation of Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang’s comic is coming soon.” About Paper Girls: The Complete Story [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Brian K Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson, Jared K Fletcher—”Finally, the entire Eisner Award-winning epic in one complete volume, with a new cover from co-creator CLIFF CHIANG! Four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls from the year 1988 uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this critically acclaimed series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood. Collects PAPER GIRLS #1-30″
  • Hernan Diaz: ‘I Wouldn’t Be the Person I am Without Borges.’ The Author of Trust Talks to Jane Ciabattari.” About Trust [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library]> by Hernan Diaz—”An unparalleled novel about money, power, intimacy, and perception. Even through the roar and effervescence of the 1920s, everyone in New York has heard of Benjamin and Helen Rask. He is a legendary Wall Street tycoon; she is the daughter of eccentric aristocrats. Together, they have risen to the very top of a world of seemingly endless wealth—all as a decade of excess and speculation draws to an end. But at what cost have they acquired their immense fortune? This is the mystery at the center of Bonds, a successful 1937 novel that all of New York seems to have read. Yet there are other versions of this tale of privilege and deceit. Hernan Diaz’s TRUST elegantly puts these competing narratives into conversation with one another—and in tension with the perspective of one woman bent on disentangling fact from fiction. The result is a novel that spans over a century and becomes more exhilarating with each new revelation. At once an immersive story and a brilliant literary puzzle, TRUST engages the reader in a quest for the truth while confronting the deceptions that often live at the heart of personal relationships, the reality-warping force of capital, and the ease with which power can manipulate facts.”
  • The Aztec Way of Empire.” Excerpt from The Aztecs: Lost Civilizations [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Frances F Berdan, part of the Lost Civilizations series—”In this rich and surprising book, Frances F. Berdan shines fresh light on the enigmatic ancient Aztecs. She casts her net wide, covering topics as diverse as ethnicity, empire-building, palace life, etiquette, origin myths, and human sacrifice. While the Aztecs are often described as “stone age,” their achievements were remarkable. They constructed lofty temples and produced fine arts in precious stones, gold, and shimmering feathers. They crafted beautiful poetry and studied the sciences. They had schools and libraries, entrepreneurs and money, and a bewildering array of deities and dramatic ceremonies. Based on the latest research and lavishly illustrated, this book reveals the Aztecs to have created a civilization of sophistication and finesse.”
  • Reggie Fils-Aimé interview for his new book, Disrupting the Game. ‘My body is ready’: How Reggie learned to speak Nintendo’s language of fun Nintendo’s former executive talks his new book, Disrupting the Game.” About Disrupting the Game: From the Bronx to the Top of Nintendo [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Reggie Fils-Aimé—”Reggie Fils-Aimé, retired President and Chief Operating Officer of Nintendo of America Inc., shares leadership lessons and inspiring stories from his unlikely rise to the top. Although he’s best known as Nintendo’s iconic President of the Americas-immortalized for opening Nintendo’s 2004 E3 presentation with, ‘My name is Reggie, I’m about kicking ass, I’m about taking names, and we’re about making games’-Reggie Fils-Aimé’s story is the ultimate gameplan for anyone looking to beat the odds and achieve success. Learn from Reggie how to leverage disruptive thinking to pinpoint the life choices that will make you truly happy, conquer negative perceptions from those who underestimate or outright dismiss you, and master the grit, perseverance, and resilience it takes to dominate in the business world and to reach your professional dreams.”
  • The Elder Of Filth: Our John Waters Interview.” About Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance: A Novel [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by John Waters—”A hilariously filthy tale of sex, crime, and family dysfunction from the brilliantly twisted mind of John Waters, the legendary filmmaker and bestselling author of Mr. Know-It-All. Marsha Sprinkle: Suitcase thief. Scammer. Master of disguise. Dogs and children hate her. Her own family wants her dead. She’s smart, she’s desperate, she’s disturbed, and she’s on the run with a big chip on her shoulder. They call her “Liarmouth”—until one insane man makes her tell the truth. John Waters’s first novel, Liarmouth, is a perfectly perverted “feel-bad romance,” and the reader will thrill to hop aboard this delirious road trip of riotous revenge.”
  • ‘I read banned books’ library card campaign launches in Nashville“—”The Nashville Public Library (NPL) is hoping to give out 5,000 free “banned books” library cards to local readers by the end of the month as Tennessee is among the states embroiled in the ongoing censorship debate across the nation.”
  • After the Revolution: A Novel by Robert Evans“—”Preorder now and you’ll also receive a custom-illustrated bookplate signed by author Robert Evans, while supplies last.” “A chronicle of serendipitous alliances in a dystopia that’s right around the corner. What will the fracturing of the United States look like? After the Revolution is an edge-of-your-seat answer to that question.” About After the Revolution: A Novel [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library] by Robert Evans—”A chronicle of serendipitous alliances in a dystopia that’s right around the corner. What will the fracturing of the United States look like? After the Revolution is an edge-of-your-seat answer to that question. In the year 2070, twenty years after a civil war and societal collapse of the “old” United States, extremist militias battle in the crumbling Republic of Texas. As the violence spreads like wildfire and threatens the Free City of Austin, three unlikely allies will have to work together in an act of resistance to stop the advance of the forces of the Christian ethnostate known as the ‘Heavenly Kingdom.’ Our three protagonists include Manny, a fixer that shuttles journalists in and out of war zones and provides footage for outside news agencies. Sasha is a teenage woman that joins the Heavenly Kingdom before she discovers the ugly truths behind their movement. Finally, we have Roland: A US Army vet kitted out with cyberware (including blood that heals major trauma wounds and a brain that can handle enough LSD to kill an elephant), tormented by broken memories, and 12,000 career kills under his belt. In the not-so-distant world Evans conjures we find advanced technology, a gender expansive culture, and a roving Burning Man-like city fueled by hedonistic excess. This powerful debut novel from Robert Evans is based on his investigative reporting from international conflict zones and on increasingly polarized domestic struggles. It is a vision of our very possible future.”
  • Meet the New Old Book Collectors. A growing cohort of young enthusiasts is helping to shape the future of an antique trade.”
  • ‘Libraries Are Promoting an Agenda to Destroy Families’: Idaho State Rep Partners on Program to Remove Books From Libraries.”
  • How Much Evolution in the Human Brain Has Occurred in the Last 10,000 Years?“—”A child born in 10,000 B.C. was probably just as capable of absorbing the fact and fiction that rain down upon our own children in the information age, which began in the mid-20th century.” I’ve seen that movie.
  • Lowly mushrooms may be key to ecosystem survival in a warming world. Fungi that decompose plant matter may keep ecosystems healthy, especially after drought.”
  • Discoveries shed new light on the day the dinosaurs died“—”We’re never going to say with 100 percent certainty that this leg came from an animal that died on that day … The thing we can do is determine the likelihood that it died the day the meteor struck. When we look at the preservation of the leg and the skin around the articulated bones, we’re talking on the day of impact or right before. There was no advanced decay.”
  • Thoughts on Office-bound Work“—”You have characterized the decision for the Hybrid Working Pilot as being about combining the “need to commune in-person” and the value of flexible work. But in reality, it does not recognize flexible work and is only driven by fear. Fear of the future of work, fear of worker autonomy, fear of losing control. Let us explain.” “We tell all of our customers how great our products are for remote work, yet, we … cannot …?”
  • Lighthouse At The Edge Of The Universe – A Zine RPG Game“—”The Lighthouse is a solo journalling game best played at nighttime before bed or for when you can’t sleep. The Lighthouse is about running a lighthouse in space.” [Print, Digital]
  • Point: “Fearless trombonist invents epic flame-throwing musical instrument. This is for all those who love their classical music dramatic and fiery.” Counterpoint, from 2013, watch: “Unicycling Darth Vader upgrades to Flaming Bagpipes – Keep Portland Weird – The Unipiper *Official*.”
  • Shenanigans! Watch “The Fourth Pillar of D&D.”

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