Saturday, 6 December 2014

The Lupine Book Club Sunday Afternoon Reader -- Part 2

More Sunday Afternoon reading! Let's get into it. See the Part 1 for an explanation of what I mean by Sunday Afternoon reading, should you require one.

Messages – Stan Romanek (2009)

Pic from
A few months ago, my dad leant my sister this book. She’s currently undertaking her PhD in psychology, so my dad was interested to hear what she thought about it from a psychological perspective. So I decided I’d have a read as well.

One of the main points which distinguish the book from the hundreds of others like it is that author Stan Romanek seems to have accrued a number of photos, as well as some video footage, of his abductors. Unfortunately, many of them do not seem to have made it into the book. I can appreciate that there are space considerations, but it does his story no favours when he talks about amazing photos he’s taken, then doesn’t include them. And to put it rather bluntly, regardless of where you sit on the sceptic/believer spectrum, the included photos are not going to impress. The same applies to his footage of “Boo” (one of a number of named aliens in the book) which you can view here.

Still, Messages is an entertaining, enjoyable read, and – whether true or not – a good introduction to the main tropes of UFO abduction phenomena. One of my sister's thoughts, incidentally, was that whether or not anything real had happened, he probably needed some counselling for stress.

Lego Batman – The Visual Dictionary

Pic from
I bought this while overseas in 2013 – I figured 5 pounds was pretty good for a Lego-related book and Batman minifigure. The book was definitely worthwhile -- covering the Batman and (DC) Super Heroes Lego from 2006 through to 2012, it naturally inspires a great deal of regret that I wasn’t paying more attention to Lego around this time (not that I could have afforded it back then anyway). Though a lot of licensed Lego is a mixed bag, the Batman theme in particular generated some really cool sets. Additionally, there are curiosities such as a prototype of Wonder Woman’s invisible plane – which will be showing up in 2015, albeit it different form.

Unfortunately, the minifigure was pretty disappointing in comparison to the book. Based on the Electro Suit from the 2008 Lego Batman video game, they’ve used the flimsy plastic that sometimes turns up in the Minifigures theme, the helmet doesn’t fit properly and he's missing the backpack that he has in the game. Nonetheless, when considered as a package, it’s definitely money well spent. No regrets about this one.  

Mysteries of the Unknown: The UFO Phenomenon (1987)

Pic from

I mentioned this book in the previous instalment of the Sunday Afternoon Reader. Of the two, I think it is the better, with more impressive illustrations, and an overall more unsettling tone. But of course, ideally you’d own both, even if they do cover some very similar territory.

A classy looking faux-leather cover, lots of metallic ink printing and many entertaining stories add up to make this one a winning combination. 

The only downside is that now I feel like I need to track down a copy of Mysterious Creatures, which was another excellent one from the series. It's still available reasonably easily, so it may be one to track down in the new year.

Ninja: 1,000 Years of the Shadow Warrior -- John Man (2013)

Pic from
As we get older, there are certain beliefs we held as children that need to be challenged. One of them is the idea that ninjas were black-clad badasses who pretty much went around chopping people's heads off and then disappearing in clouds of smoke, leaving any survivors in awe of their near-supernatural abilities.

Sadly, this wasn't the case, and it's a shock I think most men struggle to come to terms with. It's way worse than finding out Santa isn't real. I don't think I've quite dealt with it yet, and so I cling to characters from my past like Storm Shadow and Raphael -- ninjas who do live up to my exceedingly high expectations.

Ninja dispels a lot of legends surrounding the titular warrior-clan, but it also contains enough sensationalism to keep the interest inflamed throughout the course of the book. Importantly, it shows that for everything we do know about the ninjas, there's a buttload more that we don't know -- after all, what we do know seems to indicate that they were deliberately the meantime, I'll probably continue to use outrageous pop culture interpretations to fill in the blanks.

That wraps it up for another installment of Sunday Afternoon Reading -- Part 3 will hopefully not take as long to arrive as Part 2 has!

If there's a particular book you'd like me to look at in the future, post in the comments and I'll do my best. You can also visit the Lupine Book Club on Facebook. Click here!

No comments:

Post a Comment