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Tea’s Weird Week: 8 Books on my Fall Reading List

TeaWeirdWeek

Tea’s Weird Week is posted here every Thursday.

September has been really busy, as it seems every September is. Major event tomorrow night and Saturday– the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference. If you’re in the general Wisconsin area, hope to see you there. More info: https://milwaukeeparacon.com/milwaukee-para-con-2018/

Besides that, I’ve been working day jobs, freelancing articles, and working hard on finishing book manuscripts. It’s good, busy is good. But sometimes, what can one do in a situation like this but to dream of crisp fall days, drinking a hot caffeinated beverage in pajamas and reading a good book? Today I thought I’d share my fall reading list, I’m looking forward to these. Will I finish all these titles by the end of fall? Probably not. But here’s what’s on the docket.

Let me know if you’ve read any of these.

Feed

(1.)  Feed by Mira Grant

This is the fall selection for the dystopian book club I founded, the Apocalypse Blog Book Club. I’m about halfway through and enjoying it. It’s a zombie apocalypse with a journalism twist. Fun stuff. Join the club on Facebook, this is our fall selection and we choose a winter selection next month.

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(2.) Someday Jennifer by Risto Pakarinen

Risto is a cool dude and an editor at Scandinavian Traveler, where I’ve done some freelance work. It’s a novel with an 80s nostalgia theme, is about all I know. I pre-ordered it, the English translation is out later this month. Looking forward to it!

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(3.) Bitten: The Secret History of Lyme Disease and Biological Weapons by Kris Newby

I mentioned this in a previous Tea’s Weird Week, where I talked about programs like Operation: Big Itch and other insect experiments. I’m interested to read this as it lays out the theory that Lyme Disease was developed by a government program to create “weaponized ticks.” That’s pretty fucked up.

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(4.) Good Time Party Girl: The Notorious Life of Dirty Helen Cromwell, 1886-1969 by Helen Cromwell and Robert Dougherty

One of the reasons I’m thrilled to have a book out with Feral House next year (American Madness, August 2020) is that their catalog is just bulletproof. I could grab any book they’ve put out and find it interesting. That’s certainly the case with Good Time Party Girl, the autobiography of a notorious underworld madame, “Dirty Helen” Cromwell, who operated The Sunflower Inn in the 1930s-50s here in Milwaukee. I love this type of history.

WiseMan

(5.) The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

Probably about a year ago I asked for recommendations for an epic fantasy series. For some reason I seem to really want to read/ see fantasy stuff in fall and winter (I watch The Lord of the Rings trilogy every December). Two of my friends suggested this series by Patrick Rothfuss. I read the first book in the series,  The Name of the Wind, last winter, and it was great. I was glad to learn Rothfuss is a fellow Wisconsinite (Stevens Point). I started on book 2, but only got about 100 pages in when I was swept away with other stuff.

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(6.) The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America by Jim Acosta

I picked this up when it was first out on a whim, but haven’t cracked it open yet. I still have a romantic vision of journalism and want to read this account of journalism in the Trump era.

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(7.) The Eight Doctors by Terrance Dicks

If you didn’t know, I’m a huge Doctor Who fan, have been since I was a kid. Some of the early novels I eagerly read were the Doctor Who novelizations that were cranked out by Terrance Dicks, who died this month. I thought it might be fun to revisit his work. I singled out this one because it was an anniversary special of a crossover that never happened on screen. However, I see this book getting dragged mercilessly in reviews (which doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like it) and so I might find a better representation of his work… or maybe just skip it. Sometimes nostalgia is best left in your head. In any case, RIP Terrance Dicks, and thanks for your part in me becoming a young, avid reader.

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(8.) Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

Oh yeah, why does this one keep getting lost in the shuffle? Started reading it like two years ago, then boom boom deadline, put it aside, put it further aside. What the hell dude?

Links

Milwaukee Paranormal Conference is this weekend: https://milwaukeeparacon.com/milwaukee-para-con-2018/

Twitter: @TeaKrulos  Facebook: facebook.com/TheTeaKrulos

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The Whovian

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From Forces of Geek:

Doctor Who-mania is currently in full swing with fans eagerly anticipating 2014, the Year of the Who,  which is the 50th Anniversary of the British science fiction television show. Think about that for a moment— a show that, except for a (mostly) dormant hiatus in the 90s and early 2000s has been running for 50 years.

My introduction to The Doctor happened in that colorful pop culture explosion known as the 1980s. My parents couldn’t afford cable or even an elaborate television set. We got about five or six grainy channels if the antenna was leaning the right way.

 My dad, a science fiction fan, recommended we try watching a show on PBS called Doctor Who, which had recently developed a popular following in the States. Tom Baker was the current face of the Doctor, a highly eccentric but intelligent individual, from an alien race named the Time Lords. He travelled through space and time in a blue police call box called the TARDIS. He had a mop of curly hair and a ridiculously long multicolored scarf and was accompanied by a robot dog as well as human companions. He was fond of offering strangers a British candy similar to gummi bears called “jelly babies.”

I immediately loved the show and when the season ended I was thrilled to find out that PBS would fill in the time slot with reruns of episodes from previous Doctor Who seasons, going all the way back to the 60s. My new favorite Doctor was number three, a dapper and distinctly British Jon Pertwee. I had little use for telling time at that age, but I made sure I was parked in front of the TV when an episode of Doctor Who was on. I watched in amazement as Tom Baker regenerated and turned into Peter Davidson. I remember seeing a couple Colin Baker episodes, but that is right around the time that either I or PBS fell out of touch with the Doctor. I caught up on some of these episodes  years later when I found videotapes someone had recorded the episodes on at a thrift store.

As a kid (and maybe even today) I related strongly to the Doctor. Although he was always accompanied by “companions” he was essentially a loner, an outcast. His destiny was a mix of his own determination and the random nature of the universe. He had a peculiar fashion sense, was eccentric, humorous, and occasionally rude or condescending. He was rebellious, a solo force to be reckoned with.  This was what made the show more appealing to me than Star Trek— Starfleet reflected the system too much for me, yes sir this and yes sir that and matching uniforms. (Which is kind of ironic because one of my favorite sci- fi shows now is the reboot of Battlestar Galactica.)

When I felt like an outsider amid my schoolmates, like an unappreciated geek, I pretended I was The Doctor and that the setting in front of me was an inconvenient shithole where  I had accidentally landed the TARDIS. I thought a lot about outsmarting cruel space aliens and  travelling through space and time with attractive British women.

When Doctor Who was revived in 2005, I was hopeful but skeptical. To paraphrase Allen Ginsberg, I had seen the best pop culture artifacts of my generation destroyed by rehashed madness. I was greatly relieved to see that they had updated the show but had captured and even enhanced the tone of the original. Doctor number 11, Matt Smith, has given an enjoyable performance. I, like the many other Whovians out there, look forward to what time and space have in store for the wayward Time Lord for the rest of season seven and the big celebrations next year.

Tea Krulos will be reviewing new episodes of Doctor Who at Forces of Geek starting next week.