Sunday, September 12, 2021

REVIEW: Punderworld (graphic novel, vol. 1) by Linda Sejic

Punderworld is a Greek mythology comic serialized on Webtoon. I bought my copy of this volume brand new.


Hades has been lovesick for Persephone for a century or two, but he's always been too shy to do anything about it. Plus, Persephone's mother, Demeter, is well-known for her stony attitude towards any of her daughter's potential suitors. And surely someone like Persephone would never be interested in a guy like Hades, her complete opposite.

Except she's definitely interested. But she doesn't even know who he is, and all her overprotective mother will tell her is that he's some minor god. It seems like the two will never get a chance to really spend some time with each other, until Zeus gets involved and does a little meddling.

REVIEW: Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto (audiobook) by Alan Stern and David Grinspoon, narrated by the authors

Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto is nonfiction. I listened to it through OverDrive.


This book gives a behind-the-scenes look at the New Horizons interplanetary space probe: what it took to get it funded, the work necessary to get the public excited about Pluto and the mission, some of the decision-making processes along the way, and more.

I didn't write it down, but I believe the primary narrator for this was David Grinspoon - Alan Stern also narrated a bit, but only small sections. (Or I mixed up the names and it's actually the reverse.) Although the narration wasn't terrible, and definitely communicated how exciting and nerve-wracking this mission was, I found myself wishing that it had been narrated by someone else. It took me longer than it should have to get through this book, two checkout periods, and my slight dislike of the narration was part of the reason why. Grinspoon's voice didn't quite work for me.

Monday, September 6, 2021

REVIEW: Library Technology Buying Strategies (nonfiction book) edited by Marshall Breeding

Library Technology Buying Strategies is a nonfiction book I read for work-related reasons. I got it via interlibrary loan.


I read Library Technology Buying Strategies partly to learn more about RFPs (request for proposal) and partly hoping to find tips for evaluating different integrated library systems (ILSs). It provided some of what I was looking for, but not quite in the way I'd hoped, and its organization was odd.

It started with a couple excellent chapters on RFPs - how they're structured, what questions a library needs to answer when writing one, and how to write one, including tips from vendor bid writers. These chapters made me exceedingly glad that I haven't been asked to write an RFP, although they provide excellent information that would make being asked to write one slightly less terrifying (, maintained by Marshall Breeding, is mentioned as a source of RFP examples, as well as lots of other library technology infrormation).

The rest of the book is more of a mixed bag. Chapters 3 and 4 cover resource sharing (interlibrary loan, consortial resource sharing) and the technological issues libraries need to consider. Chapters 5 and 6 cover cloud computing solutions (website hosting, server hosting, data storage, SaaS, ASP, PaaS, the pros and cons of cloud computing vs. local systems management, etc.). Chapter 7 covers library services platforms, which are a type of library resource management system that take a different approach than traditional ILSs. Some examples are Ex Libris' Alma, OCLC WorldShare Management Services, Kuali OLE, and Sierra. Breeding also considers SirsiDynix's BLUEcloud suite to be a library services platform, although at the moment it still relies on libraries to be using either SirsiDynix's Horizon or Symphony ILSs. The final chapter covers criteria to consider when purchasing e-book platforms.

REVIEW: Invisible Differences: A Story of Asperger's, Adulting and Living a Life in Full Color (graphic novel) story by Julie Dachez, adaptation, illustration, and colors by Mademoiselle Caroline, inspired by and in collaboration with Fabienne Vaslet

Invisible Differences: A Story of Asperger's, Adulting, and Living a Life in Full Color is, from what I can determine, an at least semi-autobiographical graphic novel. The main character is named Marguerite, but I'm fairly certain her experiences are based on Julie Dachez's own experiences with being diagnosed with Asperger's.

The story takes place somewhere in France. Marguerite is 27, has an office job she doesn't enjoy, and a routine she rarely deviates from. Her happiest time is when she's at home with her cats and little dog. Unfortunately, at work she's considered rude for not making smalltalk with people or going out to lunch with her coworkers. The open office plan makes it impossible for her to concentrate, and Marguerite's preference for loose and comfortable clothing is viewed as unprofessional. Her personal life isn't necessarily peaceful either - her boyfriend Florian wants her to go out with him more, but social situations exhaust her.

Eventually Marguerite is diagnosed with Asperger's and finds it liberating. It reassures her that there's nothing wrong with her - she's just different.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

REVIEW: ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.: The Complete Series (anime TV series)

ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. is a political thriller that feels like a slice-of-life story, or occasionally even like a strange comedy. It was an impulse purchase during a Right Stuf sale. I hadn't heard anything about it and wasn't expecting much from it, so it was a pleasant surprise when it turned out to be really good.

That said, I spent a good portion of the beginning of the series with no clue what kind of show I was watching. ACCA takes place on an island composed of 13 territories, each with a vastly different culture and way of life. ACCA is an organization that was originally created to protect the kingdom's peace and guard against the threat of a coup d'etat. Jean Otus, a member of ACCA's Inspection Department, travels to each of the 13 territories and attempts to figure out whether there's really a coup brewing in this seemingly peaceful land. What he doesn't initially realize, however, is that his actions are being interpreted by nearly everyone around him as signs that he's involved in the supposed coup.

Was the coup real, or a paranoid bureaucratic fantasy? Was I watching some kind of absurdist comedy or an actual political thriller that just happened to contain frequent snack breaks?