An extraordinary Sunday.

Sundays are usually pretty peaceful, good music, a few customers walking in and spending money, and loads of reading…

An_extraordinary_Sunday

An extraordinary Sunday

 

A couple of Sundays ago we were playing host to a couple of thingies at mothership Goobe’s.

  1. Book walk organized by the good people at The Humming Tree’s book tentacle – Books and Brews.
  2. Science Fiction discussion – Dystopias: Orwell’s 1984 & Animal Farm, Bradbury’s 451 and Atwood’s The Handmaid’s tale.

The book walk was rescheduled and we were moved from the first stop to the last (Which was ask expected kind of a bummer – people tired after a whole day of visiting bookstores, buying books and lugging them around)

Had to juggle staffing of minions and would have to splice the SF discussion, managed to get some reading done.

Regular customer who is a scientist that frequents Goobe’s walked in, we had a neat chat about his work and some flux that is going on in the Evolutionary Biology academic scene, nice.

Another repeat customer from the states who works for a big legal drug firm, walks in after sometime, he is back for a training project. He thanked me for suggesting the Shashi Tharoor’s new book – The era of darkness. Always reassuring to hear that folks like books suggested. Spoke to him about the shit which we have been up to. Introduce the two of them and hear the sweetest thing.

“This man has been the only thing that has maintained my sanity during my stay here” Yeah, of course most people hate their fucking jobs, hate traffic and other shit that has been going down, my scientist friend answers that “for you, me and many other people” Fuck, if I were to die right now, I would die a happy man just hearing that but there is much more to be done.

Both customers buy a shit load of books, smile, look really happy with their haul or whatever, say thank you and leave, the scientist promising to come for the SF reading.

Read some more, a few interruptions.

Sci-fi dude and dudette walk in with a mathematician, no this is not a joke, it was the first of the reading group. Two ladies walk in along with Amit and Vijay co-pilots of this ship. The talk began with an introduction and confession of which of the 4 required reading books were actually read. Most had read two at least and surprisingly none had read the Atwood book.

Discussion was pretty sweet, covered the books, the references to the current state of affairs, how AI can be nasty because it is based on human learning – usually ends up sexist or racist, how pigs walk away in human clothes (Fuck Orwell was a harsh motherfucker), how most people think we are living out 1984 not Huxley’s Brave new world, what would be a perfect voting system (including books which have people hooked up to a neural network, some with further enhancements that make them superior), a little talk on Dick (PKDick i.e) and how he is super awesome, how the word Ubiquity was derived from Dick’s UBIK, and how most dystopias offer no real hope, though 451 does offer hope through the book people who memorize books (as the books are being eradicated by other people), yes dystopias are fucking beautifully depressing.

Main Sci-fi dude pulled out a quote from Orwell that is so fucking prescient that it is going to make your hair stand…

“ We don’t all have the privilege of fighting in the front line, but at least we can all keep fit. Remember our boys on the Malabar front! And the sailors in the Floating Fortresses! Just think what they have to put up with.”

Sounds familiar? Hrn?

Now do you want to begin to fall in love with Science Fiction?

Took this pic of the folks that came for the reading…

Bangalore_Sci_Fi_Club, Dystopia_discussion, Goobe's, Science,Fiction, Dystopia_1984, Dystopia_Fahrenheit_451, Dystopia_The_Handmaids_tale, Dystopia_Animal Farm.

1984, Fahrenheit 451, The Handmaids tale, Animal Farm Dystopian discussion

Book walk people started walking in, got Amit and Vijay to talk about what we are, the bashful fuckers did an excellent job – A description of what we are not; “We hate romance – bad ones at least, good ones we will keep, we hate pulp – cant get rid of it fast enough.”

Then a bit of what we are; “We love Science Fiction, we love non-fiction and we love literature, we are a book store, we are a library and we buy pre-loved books with joy and have been doing it for the last eight years and counting…”

Also about why we have composters at the entrance to the store – it’s the best decentralized way of taking care of some of the shit we generate at home – 60% of your wet waste, why send it to a landfill? Seriously do it, all thinking individuals should be doing it already.

Daily_Dump_composters

Dump not trump 😛

 

Introduction by the little energizer bunny from THT, talk about the importance of independent stores, something about amazon (heckling from the booksellers – “FUCK AMAZON”), a little about advantage of asking for suggestions from people that love books and some more stuff that I forget.

Walkers browse, some come for suggestions, some make requests for books that we do not have.

Rang up a tidy amount – about a third of what we used to do pre-demonetization (do’nt see any fucking “development” here awesome fudged GDP numbers or not)

Spoke to a little lady who seemed to be some kind of whip for a young IT co, got to drink masala chai (with too much masala) from a box – yeah that was weird.

Book walk people leave.

Met two ladies from the Indian Institute of Science,  who are going to organize discussions with students and the unwashed masses, at our store no less. That was pretty sweet, while having this discussion, one of the girls tells me that she thinks a dude sitting on one of the lower steps was trying to take a photo/go live on FB or some perv site (she had a short blue summer dress on) Got up, abused the man for a bit in bad hindi and asked him to leave. Apologized to the ladies, I had nothing to do with it and had no reason to apologize, I somehow felt responsible for “mankind” fuck – we are really quite fucked up.

Ask the girls for suggestions of books that pushed them over to science when they were younger,  received an email with a bunch of links to the brain pickings site, and a huge ass list of excellent books on Science. We accept the fact that our knowledge is very limited and the only way to change that is by asking for help when its required. We are on for a discussion at the store on the last weekend of the month. Really excited to be participating in the insertion of Science into culture (pop?). Will be working with the super awesome Gathr on this (they curate beautiful interactions and learning sessions, seriously you need to check em out.)

Asked the ladies to approach schools some schools, there was some talk about how the system educates kids-rote learning and not encouraging curiosity.

This has to change.

Hung out with the minions and discussed the day that went by, which was pretty fucking awesome.

While killing some beers a library regular walked in and asked for some sort of self help book, asked him why he wanted to read rubbish, most self help books can be absorbed through the title, give a brief speil on Science Fiction and he selects Dick’s awesome Do androids dream of electric sheep?

We genuinely feel we have saved this brave readers soul.

Want to see more awesome shit happen?

Buy at a fucking indi bookstore, people who work there usually love books as much as you do some, perhaps a little more.

 

We see glowing grey cells and they are beautiful.

The beauty of buying seconds from customers is that you get a chance to peer into a collectors mind. You get to see patterns, interests, hurt and some times obsessions. When you come across a big lot of books, this would have to be over 50 books pretty pictures turn up. Say five boxes of books? You might have landed up with a lifetime of book buying. Patterns, interests, obsessions. Always obsessions. What?

Obsessions, thing with people who read is that they are a really curious lot and sometimes go to extremes to quench their thirst, to get satiated.

Continue reading

KICK-ASS, by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr

If you ever wanted to be a super hero, fantasized of sporting a mask and just heading outside to some kick-ass? Well, this is the book tailored for you – the comic that starts where other super-hero books stop. Kick-Ass is realistic super heroes taken to the next level. Miss out at your own peril! Wolverine: Enemy of the State’s team of Mark Millar (Civil War) and John Romita Jr. (World War Hulk) reunite for probably the best new book of the 21st century. This title collects Kick-Ass numbered 1-8.

And the cinematic adaptation! If you’ve ever wondered what it’d be like if some fool – and an untrained kinda nerdy high school fool, at that – decides to don a superhero costume and prowl the slimy streets in search of mischief, this’ll be an eye-popper-go and watch it!

The central figure is comic-book-reading 16-year-old Dave Lizewski who does not have a tragic a past, no radioactive insects bites, no exposeure to a magic words and he’s not an orphan from an exploded planet. To quote Miesur Lizewski, his origin is he was bored. But under Mark Millar’s insanity, Dave’s story takes on this dark, outrageous, ultra-violent turn while still staying somewhat in the periphery of what’s real.

This trade collects the first eight issues and welcomes you into an urban bloodbath. Don a wet suit and looking for trouble, odds are you’re gonna end up bumping against some seriously hard MOTH%$FUC*&RS. And when your only super powers are perseverance and some talent for soaking up punishment, you’ll most likely end up hurtin real bad. Dave gets severely pounded his first time going up against some thugs, and then he gets bowled over asss over heel by a hurtling car.

Months of recovery from his injuries, and one would think Dave’s learned his lesson. But then Dave puts on the costume again and resumes his night patrols. And then, while bracing some muggers, Dave becomes an overnight online sensation, the first real-life superhero. The Internet even gives him his superhero code name. And soon other costumed freaks are following in his footsteps, including a badasss ten-year-old girl expertly wielding swords. Go throw your hands in the air for the lethal and potty-mouthed Hit-Girl. And, okay, with Hit-Girl, Millar does wander past what’s believable. But she’s such a cool character that we have to, have to give her a pass.

Despite the Rob Liefeld intro, this trade is a pure awesomeness, but it’s horribly suited for children, nuns, and perhaps Armenians. Profanity and nudity are a healthy presence. Let me say that KICK-ASS is bloody and brutal and subversive and simply in your damn f—– face, and Millar shows you why no one’s actually gotten away with putting on a costume and stomping on amoral lowlifes in real life. Artist John Romita, Jr. comes in with some of his best stuff and there’s even a bit of Frank Miller vibe in his art. Saying that this series is violent is to understate matters, kinda like suggesting that Big Daddy exhibits questionable parenting skills. One may go as far as saying Mark Millar is insane, and I’m sticking to that. But the guy is also a master of his craft, and so we eat up his dish of bloody visceral bombast, and I also relish how Dave and, later, Red Mist go about on their new careers (Meanwhile, Big Daddy & Hit-Girl’s relationship is really too dysfunctional to be relatable). So is this an unflinching, credible look at costumed vigilantes in the real world? Probably more so than not. The dialogue, by the way, rings true, as does Dave Lizewski. And the story is funny as well. Dave Lizewski is a compelling character, and the kid is seriously disturbed. Still doesn’t keep me from saying that his alter ego absolutely friggin’ rules!

KICK-ASS, by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr

KICK-ASS, by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr

The Secret World of Walter Anderson By Hester Bass (Author) and E.B. Lewis (Illustrator)

Walter Anderson was considered to be quite an odd person, rowing across twelve miles of open water in a leaky skiff to reach Horn, an uninhabited island without running water or electricity. But this solitary artist didn’t much care what they thought as he spent weeks at a time on his personal paradise, sleeping under his boat, sometimes eating whatever washed ashore, sketching and painting the natural surroundings and the animals that became his friends. Here Walter created some of his most brilliant watercolors, work he kept hidden during his lifetime. In a beautifully crafted picture book biography, writer Hester Bass and Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator E. B. Lewis pay homage to an uncompromising American artist.

This book would make a wonderful addition to any art class, especially the classes that teach that “art is an adventure.” (Ms. Bass’s words.) “The Secret World of Walter Anderson” is just lovely. If you love art, artists, or nature, this book is for you.

The Secret World of Walter Anderson By Hester Bass (Author) and E.B. Lewis (Illustrator)

The Secret World of Walter Anderson By Hester Bass (Author) and E.B. Lewis (Illustrator)

The Secret World of Walter Anderson By Hester Bass (Author) and E.B. Lewis (Illustrator)

The Secret World of Walter Anderson By Hester Bass (Author) and E.B. Lewis (Illustrator)