Thursday, October 19, 2017

History of the Human Body

Hands. Photography. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016. Accessed 13 Oct 2017.
You've enjoyed popular works that combine science, history, and culture, such as books by Mary Roach (Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers) and Diane Ackerman (A Natural History of the Senses). Your interests are many and varied, and don't exclude the cosmetic. You are curious about the workings of the human body and how the body has been regarded over time - physiognomy and phrenology are ideas you've heard about before, for instance - and are not squeamish. You like to know how things work, and you don't mind finding out through observation rather than experimentation. If some or all of these statements apply to you, we have just the booklist for you!


Teeth: The Untold Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle For Oral Health in America by Mary Otto


Hair: A Human History by Kurt S. Stenn

Plucked: A History of Hair Removal by Rebecca M. Herzig

Country Music Hair by Erin Duvall

Hair Fashion and Fantasy by Laurent Philippon

Of Beards and Men: The Revealing History of Facial Hair by Christopher Oldstone-Moore


Leonardo's Foot: How 10 Toes, 52 Bones, and 66 Muscles Shaped the Human World by Carol Ann Rinzler.


Being a Dog: Following the Dog Into a World of Smell by Alexandra Horowitz


Balance: A Dizzying Journey Through the Science of Our Most Delicate Sense by Carol Svec

Human Sexuality

The Anatomical Venus: Wax, God, Death & the Ecstatic by Joanna Ebenstein

Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History by Florence Wilson

Vagina: A New Biography by Naomi Wolf

The Seeds of Life: From Aristotle to da Vinci, From Sharks' Teeth to Frogs' Pants, the Long and Strange Quest to Discover Where Babies Come From by Edward Dolnick [eBook]

Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story by Angela Saini [eBook]

Impotence: A Cultural History by Angus McLaren

Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body by Susan Bordo

Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners by Therese Oneill


Anatomies: A Cultural History of the Human Body by Hugh Aldersey-Williams

Your Inner Fish: A Journey Into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body by Neil Shubin

The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease by Daniel Lieberman.

Bone Rooms: From Scientific Racism to Human Prehistory in Museums by Samuel J. Redman.

Illness & Death

In the Kingdom of the Sick: A Social History of Chronic Illness in America by Laurie Edwards

The End of Memory: A Natural History of Aging and Alzheimer's by Jay Ingram

Death's Summer Coat: What the History of Death and Dying Can Tell Us About Life and Living by Brandy Schillace

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Make Mine Miniature: Crafting on a Small Scale

We have dabbled in a fair amount of crafts over the years - knitting, check; scrapbooking, check; sewing our own clothes (or at least costumes), check. But apart from a brief foray into knitting felted hearts to use as patches and an even briefer one into the world of mini-zines, we have generally shied away from anything miniature. The eyestrain! The fiddliness! The attention to detail! We've just never had the patience. But we are amazed by the amount of crafts that can be accomplished in miniature, from baking to creating tiny weapons to model-building to gardening to book-making. Do you like to create in miniature? Let us know your craft of choice in the comments! Or, for inspiration, check out our list below.

The Fairy House Handbook by Liza Gardner Walsh

Fairy Gardening: Create Your Own Magical Miniature Garden by Julie Bawden-Davis

Microcrafts: Tiny Treasures to Make and Share compiled by Margaret McGuire, Alicia Kachmar, Katie Hatz and friends

Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi: More Than 40 Itty-Bitty Minis to Knit, Wear, and Give by Anna Hrachovec

Amigurumi Toy Box by Ana Paula Rímoli

Carving Japanese Netsuke For Beginners by Robert Jubb

Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction: Build Implements of Spitball Warfare by John Austin

Miniature Scrapbooks: Small Treasures to Make in a Day by Taylor Hagerty

New Ideas for Miniature Bobbin Lace by Roz Snowden

Miniature Worlds in 1 1/2 Scale by Susan Penny

Basic Scenery For Model Railroaders by Lou Sassi

Pocket Pies: Mini Empanadas, Pasties, Turnovers and More by Pamela Clark

A Beginner's Guide to the Dolls' House Hobby by Jean Nisbett

Making Miniature Dolls With Polymer Clay by Sue Heaser

Minigami: Mini Origami Projects For Cards, Gifts and Decorations by Gay Merrill Gross

Terrarium Craft: Create 50 Magical, Miniature Worlds by Amy Bryant Aiello

Terrariums Reimagined: Mini World Made in Creative Containers by Kat Geiger

Exquisite Miniatures in Cross Stitch and Other Counted Thread Techniques by Brenda Keyes

More Making Books By Hand: Exploring Miniature Books, Alternative Structures, and Found Objects by Peter Thomas [eBook]

50 Yards of Fun: Knitting Toys From Scrap Yarn by Rebecca Danger

Mini Skein Knits: 25 Knitting Patterns Using Small Skeins and Leftovers by Lark Crafts

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Hayao Miyazaki's Best Loved Children's Books

MIYAZAKI'S SPIRITED AWAY (2001). Photography. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016. Accessed 10 Oct 2017.
We can't help it - we're unashamed fangirls of the films of Hayao Miyazaki, as you can see from our past blog posts. So, when we found a list of Miyazaki's 50 favorite children's books, we were intrigued and wanted to share. There were some obvious ones - several "time-tested Western classics," and he made a movie based on The Borrowers, after all - and you can find a few of his choices namechecked in the documentary The Kingdom of Madness and Dreams. So, without further ado, we present to you the complete list of Miyazaki's favorite children's books, as available in the library catalog! We hope you find something you'd want to check out, or share with the children in your life, that will hopefully create a bit of  Miyazaki magic.

The Borrowers by Mary Norton

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

When Marnie Was There by Joan G. Robinson [eAudiobook]

Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome 

The Flying Classroom by Erich Kästner

Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Eagle of The Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, père

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Heidi by Johanna Spyri

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by  Lewis Carroll

The Little Bookroom by Eleanor Farjeon

Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne

Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio by Pu Songling [eBook]

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

The Hobbit by  J. R. R. Tolkien

Journey to the West by Wu Cheng'en [eBook]

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by  Jules Verne

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

The Little Humpbacked Horse by Pyotr Pavlovich Yershov

The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge [eAudiobook]


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Happy Belated Birthday, Pema Chodron

Paper lotus flowers. Photo. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016. Accessed 29 Aug 2017.

Pema Chödrön, who was born on July 14, 1936, is an American Tibetan Buddhist. She was born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown and is a graduate of Miss Porter's School in Connecticut and the University of California at Berkeley. Pema worked as an elementary school teacher in California and New Mexico and is a mother and grandmother.

When Pema traveled to the French Alps, she met Lama Chime Rinpoche and began her Tibetan Buddhism studies. She began her novitiate as a nun in 1974 and when the Sixteenth Karmapa to England where she was studying, Pema was official ordained.

Pema's most profound and enlightening experiences as a student were with her teacher Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, until his death in 1987. In 1984, Pema moved to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and became the director of Gampo Abbey and established a monastery for Western monks and nuns. Pema teaches in the United States and Canada and has recently completed an extended silent retreat.

Reading Pema Chödrön's books can help people from any faith perspective - or no faith at all, take responsibility for one's feelings, entrenched complexes, and cultivate a compassionate detachment from fear, self-absorption, and delusions. Her wisdom and clarity makes even the most challenging day possible to get through with some compassion and grace. I turn to Pema Chödrön for guidance and to see how a grown-up would handle any situation. Pema Chödrön isn't a perfect person, which she cheerfully owns up to by sharing her own experiences that anyone could relate to. What she holds out is the hope of trying again to get back onto the path when we are lead astray by our pride and expectations.

Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better by Pema Chödrön

How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends With Your Mind  by Pema Chödrön

Living Beautifully With Uncertainty and Change by Pema Chödrön

No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva by Pema Chödrön

Practicing Peace In Times of War by Pema Chödrön

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice For Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Budget Cinema: Some Incidents in the History of B Movies

CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954) - ADAMS, JULIE. Photography. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016. Accessed 13 Sep 2017.
B movies had their heyday during Hollywood's Golden Age (late 1920s-early 1960s). During the Great Depression, studios and movie theaters tried to entice moviegoers into the theater with a bill that could last more than 3 hours, with two features, cartoons, a newsreel, and previews of forthcoming films. The main attraction would be the A film, with the B feature being a lower budget genre film (often sci-fi, Western, or film noir) that was quickly produced, frequently using talent that was either waning or on the rise. The big studios had separate B-units to produce these films. These early B films were tied to the Big Five studio system - before 1948, major studios had their own theater chains, and there was a complicated booking system for A and B features.

In the 1950s, feature films got longer - 70 minutes or more, rather than an hour - and the double feature fell out of favor. B movie became a blanket term used for genre films with formulaic plots and cheap production values. These films helped create the drive-in cinema business, which skyrocketed between 1945-55, and launched the career of one of the most famous names in the history of B movies, Roger Corman, and another big name in B, William Castle, who specialized in gimmicks. "For The Tingler, which starred Vincent Price, the theater seats were wired with buzzers, which would make the seats vibrate when the tingler supposedly escaped into the theater," the website B-Movie Central reports.

In the 60s and 70s, B movies came to include exploitation films, as the film industry's adherence to the Motion Picture Production Code relaxed and finally ended in 1968. Major studios were no longer making B films, and these exploitation films - which often "graphically depicted the wages of sin in the context of promoting prudent lifestyle choices" - ultimately became the whole market, ranging from "sexploitation" to "blaxploitation" films, except for the rise of  kung fu (sometimes called "Brucesploitation") and "slasher" films in the 1970s. Some famous names came out this era - John Waters, Melvin Van Peebles, Brian de Palma, Russ Meyer, George A. Romero, Tobe Hooper, Francis Ford Coppola - with some later achieving mainstream fame and others becoming cult classics. Easy Rider, with its themes of hippies, drug use, and communal living, became the first movie under the exploitation umbrella to debut at the Cannes Film Festival. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a spoof of B movie tropes.

As cinema moved into the 1980s, the era of the star-studded blockbuster began. There was still a lot of low-budget horror films being made, and Troma Pictures, which got its start in 1974, was still "disrupting media." But there were more independent films being made in the last years of the 20th century, and it's important to remember that an independent or arthouse film is not the same as a B movie.

It has been suggested that recent  technological advances have made it easy to make low-budget motion pictures again, and digital cameras allow any filmmaker to make films with reasonably good image quality and effects. Is the B-movie ready to make a comeback? Well,  The Guardian suggests:

So here’s a suggestion: a two-tier cinema system. Your blockbusters in one league, and a separate circuit for lower-budget movies, with much cheaper tickets. For a long time, this was how movies operated... Now it’s serious dramas that are the B-movies, pushed to the margins along with what we used to call 'arthouse' movies: challenging, non-mainstream, maybe foreign movies. These are cinema’s endangered species. So why not put them all in a separate type of cinema and charge half the price? It would be a cheaper night out for punters and a proving ground for new talent.

Or, do you agree with Wired that "In 2017, 'genre' is no longer a niche, and nearly *every *movie feels like a midnight movie—albeit the kind you no longer need need to stay up all evening to enjoy." Whatever your take on the subject, why not take a little time to delve deeper into B movies of the past? The library catalog is here to help, with some likely contenders listed below:

Hail to the Chin: Further Confessions of a B Movie Actor by Bruce Campbell with Craig Sanborn

Death on the Cheap: The Lost B Movies of Film Noir by Arthur Lyons

Opening Wednesday at a Theater or Drive-In Near You: The Shadow Cinema of the American '70s by Charles Taylor

The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, The Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made by Greg Sestero, Tom Bissell [eAudiobook]

Foxy: A Life in Three Acts by Pam Grier with Andrea Cagan


The House on Haunted Hill

The Return of the Living Dead


The Blob

John Dies At the End

Evil Dead

They Live


Creature from the Black Lagoon

Brother From Another Planet


Forbidden Planet

Schlock: Secret History of American Movies

American Grindhouse

Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel

The Ed Wood Awards: The Worst Horror Films of All Time


The 100 Best "B Movies" of All Time [Slate]

15 Awesome B-Movies You Need To See [Screen Rant]

Attack of the B Movies! 50 of the Best Schlocky Titles of All Time [Hollywood Reporter]

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Beerstorming, One Draught at a Time

Five glasses of beer. Photography. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016. Accessed 9 Sep 2017.
The website for BeerAdvocate magazine lists 20 microbreweries in Albuquerque, and, frankly, we're surprised there's not more. There seems to be new breweries popping up all the time in the past few years! The ABQ Beer Week blog recommends "drinking local" - to support local economies, contribute to neighborhood revitalization, help the environment, and support local musicians - but we know everyone's taste is different, so we've compiled a list of books about the hoppiest drink around which includes guides, brewing information, cooking with beer, the history of brewing (did you know the pharaohs drank beer?), and even a couple of movies on the topic. We hope that whether you are a beer aficionado or not, whether you prefer craft beer, international or vintages brews, you will find something to whet your palate in the following offerings from the library catalog.

Beer Guides 

The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp For Beer Geeks - From Novice to Expert in Twelve Tasting Classes by Joshua M. Bernstein

Vintage Beer: A Taster's Guide to Brews That Improve Over Time by Patrick Dawson

Beer For All Seasons: A Through-the-Year Guide of What to Drink and When to Drink It by Randy Mosher [eBook]

The Beer Geek Handbook: Living a Life Ruled by Beer by Patrick Dawson

World Beer: Outstanding Classic and Craft Beers From the Greatest Breweries by Tim Hampson

Great American Craft Beer: A Guide to the Nation's Finest Beers and Breweries by Andy Crouch [eBook]


So You Want to Start a Brewery?: The Lagunitas Story by Tony Magee

Craft Beer for the Homebrewer: Recipes From America's Top Brewmasters by Michael Agnew et al.

The Craft of Stone Brewing Co.: Liquid Lore, Epic Recipes, and Unabashed Arrogance by Greg Koch [eBook]

The Good Beer Book: Brewing and Drinking Quality Ales and Lagers by Timothy Harper

Beer Cookbooks

The American Craft Beer Cookbook: 155 Recipes From Your Favorite Brewpubs and Breweries by John Holl

The Brewmaster's Table: Discovering the Pleasures of Real Beer with Real Food by Garrett Oliver

Beer History

The Comic Book Story of Beer: The World's Favorite Beverage From 7000 BC to Today's Craft Brewing Revolution by Jonathan Hennessey and Mike Smith

The Search for God and Guinness: A Biography of the Beer That Changed the World by Stephen Mansfield

Brewed Awakening: Behind the Beers and Brewers Leading the World's Craft Brewing Revolution by Joshua M. Bernstein

Local Beer

New Mexico Beer: A History of Brewing in the Land of Enchantment by Jon C. Stott

Albuquerque Beer: Duke City History on Tap by Chris Jackson


Crafting a Nation

Brew Masters

Brewmore Baltimore: A Full-Flavored History

Thursday, September 28, 2017

One Block, Nine Maps: Are You Ready For the Map Festival?

Compass Rose from map of sewer system, 1890-1892?
A guest post written by Eileen O’Connell, Branch Manager of Special Collections.

To celebrate our rapidly approaching map festival, we thought it would be fun to trace the history of one city block using nine maps. To orient the contemporary view, take a look at the 2016 aerial map of the 500 block of 12th Street NW. The block is block number 24 of the Perea Addition, bounded by Lomas Boulevard on the north, 11th Street on the east, Fruit Avenue on the south, and 12th Street on the west. The number superimposed over the structures are address numbers.

The earliest map we have at Special Collections that clearly shows this block was published in 1889 and was compiled by the Real Estate Title Insurance Company of New Mexico. It labels the block as block 24 of the Albuquerque Town Site Co. Addition. Of the north-south streets visible in this photo, only Tijeras's name remains unchanged. Block 24 is bounded north and south by Otero and Harrison avenues, respectively.

The W.4 designation refers to the Fourth Ward, a political boundary for the voting and school district.

This map is one of a set of maps produced by H. D. Johnson and Edward A. Pearson that show the layout of Albuquerque's Sewer System. It is also a puzzle for the researcher. We estimate it was produced between 1890 and 1892. An April 18, 1891 article in the Albuquerque Weekly Citizen takes citizens to task for "indulging in adverse criticism" of the contractor tasked with building the system. Johnson is listed in the 1892 Albuquerque city director as an architect. The 1892 city directory also shows that the north-south street names are now New York Avenue and Fruit Avenue.

Real estate records show that Block 24 of the Albuquerque Town Site Co. Addition became block 24 of the Perea addition in 1900. Although block 24 of the Perea Addition is shown on the index sheet for the 1908 Sanborn map, this map from the Sanborn Maps eResource is the first to show the block in detail. Thomas T. Skinner is listed in the 1913 city directory as a resident in the dwelling on lots 9 and 10; his occupation is listed as manager of the family's grocery store.

Digital Sanborn Map of Albuquerque, New Mexico, May 1913, Sheet 7

Although the 1920 map compiled by J.F. Brozo for the Albuquerque Title Guaranty Co. is more colorful, the 1920 sewer map is more interesting. The sewer map lists names of property owners to be assessed for sewer extensions and improvements. Amid the familiar Albuquerque names on block 24 and block 8 (due south) are Huning, Hebenstreit, Luna, Mann, and Simms. Running crossways along the west side of block 24 across lots 3-8 is the name Soo Hoo Pong. The exclusion laws severely limited Albuquerque's Chinese population, but brothers Soo Hoo Pong and Soo Hoo Nong and business partner Ah Kee were well known as proprietors and managers of the Los Angeles Restaurant at 217 West Central. The Records indicate that the brothers were real estate investors as well.

1920 Brozo Map

1920 Sewer Map

The 1924 and 1931 Sanborn Maps show rapid development on the west half of block 24 in the six year interval between map editions. The scale for both maps is 100 feet to 1 inch, "D' over the outline of a structure indicates "dwelling."



Although it doesn't label lots and blocks, the 1952 First National Bank map of Albuquerque still references the Perea Addition. It also shows the new name and new alignment for the former New York Avenue. Lomas Boulevard was the result of a street realignment that affected New York Avenue, Las Lomas, Campus Boulevard, and the Menaul Diagonal. The realignment was part of a larger traffic plan for Albuquerque which was accompanied by several street name changes and the shift to the quadrant system that divides Albuquerque NE, NW, SE, SW along the Central Avenue and Railroad Axes.