New ‘Far Side’ Cartoons

I don’t know if you’re as big a fan of the Far Side cartoons has folks in my house are, but they are the best. And they’re back! Well, sort of…

Just the other day Far Side creator Gary Larson posted on his site alongside 3 new cartoons. He says the new cartoons are a product of his exploring new digital tools, tablets and gizmos. He says he’s having fun again drawing.

Larson stopped making the cartoons back in 1995 because he was bored and said he didn’t want his creations to wind up in the “Graveyard of Mediocre Cartoons”. He hasn’t been drawing much since.

The box collection is a hot item during the holiday season. His books were an easy go-to when our kids were learning to read. And they’re ones my kids still pick up from time to time.

I really enjoyed the cartoons when I was younger and they were being published in the local paper. I’ve never quite figured out what made the cartoons are so funny. They have it all… talking flies, talking dogs, they’re full of bodily fluids and death. Lots of not-so-smart folks and aliens.

Some of the best ones are even just a single panel. I mean seriously, why does this one tickle my funny bone… every… time? I never get tired of watching George Washington Crossing the Street.

If you haven’t flipped through a Far Side collection, hit up your local library or but one at a bookstore. You won’t regret it. And be sure to check out his site as they share multiple cartoons every day from the archive.

And if you’re as big a fan of Gary Larson as we are, it’s time to rejoice! He said in his recent post that this is all still just “exploring and experimenting”, which is fine. I’m glad he has pen in hand and is sharing (but I really am hopeful he’ll start cranking out the funnies once again. I really could use a laugh these days).

Hope you are safe and well these days and surrounded by lots of good books.

Just Mercy is Free to Watch

The movie Just Mercy has been made “free to rent” on just about all of the major streaming platforms. I have not watched the movie (released in 2019) yet, but if it’s half as powerful as Bryan Stevenson’s 2014 book, which it’s based on, then this is something that could help open a lot of eyes and connect a lot of dots for people right now.

I know Just Mercy is one of those books that once you read, you can’t help talking about and recommending to folks.

Just Mercy

Anyway, just wanted to share this news so you can watch the movie, if you haven’t seen it. I’ve checked three movie streaming platforms and they’re all promoting it as ‘free to rent’. I am not sure if the streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) will get it. Though I doubt it.

And do go read the book, if you haven’t already. It’s very well done and scary how recent it all takes place. This country should be past all of this. We’re better than this.

You can follow up with Bryan Stevenson (who speaks in Birmingham pretty often during non-Covid19-times) over at the Equal Justice Initiative’s website. They’re based in Montgomery, Alabama.

Be well.

Online Book Festivals 2020

Summer is here and nothing can stop the book people! At least that’s how I am choosing to see this period of “safe at home” while all of the annual in-person book festivals and events go online.

And I have to admit that I am kind of enjoying the chance to lurk and click and enjoy some spaces and places that I don’t normally go to. This coming week is a BIG one for book festivals. Here is a quick rundown:

BookExpo 2020

This one runs May 26-29 and features more education and librarian support than I remember. Which I take to be a good thing as sometimes the marketing and fluff of BookExpo can be tough to push through and get to the meaty parts.

It looks like all of the author talks and panel discussions will be held on their Facebook page. So keep an eye on that. Here’s the rundown for Day One of the book festival:

BookExpo  book festival

Hay Festival 2020

The Hay Festival, runs May 22-31, and remains one of the best book festivals in the world. This year’s main program has a wonderful outlook and the quality of presentations are amazing. The event is held every year in Hay on Wye in Wales. Hay one Wye is a small town put is brimming with around 25 bookstores, which are packed during the event. I have never been, but I follow it every year and this year seems to be a great year to armchair-travel to Wales for the event as the Hay Festival has a great line up of folks. I’m most interested in the authors speaking under the Philosophy banner and I really enjoyed what Tori Amos had to say. It’s free, but you do have to register, as you can watch things that you have missed.

Hay book festival

TorCon 2020

TorCon is new to book festival circuit. It will run June 11-14 and will feature 8 panels, 20+ authors across Facebook, instagram, etc. They have some pretty recognizable names: Cory Doctorow, Neil Gaiman, V.E. Schwab, and so on. Here’s the schedule so far. If science fiction is your jam, I’d recommend signing up so you can get a final copy of the schedule sent to you.

Tor book festival

Hope you’re doing well and are safe and surrounded by some good books.

WEEK FIVE: My NonFiction November 2019 WRAP

Ok, so this post is obviously really late, but sickness and life got in the way (as they do) and I totally missed posting my Week 5 Recap for Nonfiction November last year (here is my Week 4, Week 3, and Week 2 contributions). But I did want to get this out there as these books (and even some new-to-me bloggers) are still tops on my “to buy and to-be-read” list. I plan on starting Gretchen McCulloch’s book this weekend.

So firing up the old blogging way back time machine. . . going back in 3. . . 2. . . 1. . .

The guiding post from the discussion’s host (Nov. 25 to 29):

“Rennie from What’s Nonfiction is here for a second year – New to My TBR : It’s been a month full of amazing nonfiction books! Which ones have made it onto your TBR? Be sure to link back to the original blogger who posted about that book!”

By far the one book I saw on sooooo many lists this year was Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. It’s one I’ve seen in bookstores (I mean how can you forget that cover), but never picked up. Just based on the frequency it was mentioned, it’s going in the pile. I mean you can’t get this many book bloggers on a Mr. Linky and be lead astray can you?

Moving on, these are the other books that piqued my interest over the past few weeks. I am looking forward to working though this list:

Thanks to all the bloggers that participated in Nonfiction November in 2019. It really is a highlight every year. Such a diverse and cool group of book bloggers talking about topics and books from all over the world. I hope you found some good reads for yourself this November.

Books, Publishing and Birmingham