Monday, March 2, 2015


Afterimage: The Indelible Catholic Imagination of Six American Filmmakers by Richard A Blake, 252 pages

In this book, Blake explores the impact of a Catholic upbringing on the films of six very different directors: Martin Scorsese, Alfred Hitchcock, Frank Capra, John Ford, Francis Ford Coppola, and Brian De Palma.  Although the six had very different conscious attitudes towards the Church during their adult lives, it is Blake's contention that each preserves traces of a "Catholic imagination" as an "afterimage" impression.  In terms of influence on creative choices, this primarily involves themes of salvific community and sacramentality.

This is a rich premise, but crowding so many prolific filmmakers into a single book means that the author barely begins to scratch the surface.  To be fair, Blake is aware of this - he is more concerned here with establishing an approach than applying it.  Ultimately, while the book is both interesting and entertaining, it is unfortunately lacking in depth.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Through the Zombie Glass

Cover image for Through the Zombie Glass by Gena Showalter, 476 pages

This is the second book in Showalter's White Rabbit Chronicles. Again the book follows Alice as she and the rest of the zombie hunters strive to eliminate the zombies. Though this is less about that and more about Alice's inner struggle to stop herself from going zombie after she gets bitten. This is a very fast paced story that seems to leave behind some of the woven layers and romance that was featured in Alice in Zombieland.

You might remember from my previous review, or if you read the books yourself, that these zombies are quite different from the modern day depiction. They can only be seen by people with the right powers. If you don't have these powers you are basically zombie food. To fight the zombies Alice and the others must leave their bodies behind and project their spirits. I am not sure if I like this twist on the classical zombie but it is at least interesting.

This book was an adequate squeal to Alice in Zombieland. I was expecting more of the daring raids and zombie stomping action that the first one had, but seeing Alice struggle to stay human was at least original enough to keep me interested. I will be continuing in this series and look forward to what the next installment brings.

A note for the scorekeepers, this will be the last one for me this month.

Last Unicorn

Cover image for The Last Unicorn by Peter S Beagle, 212 pages

As the title suggest this book is about the last unicorn. Or at least she thinks she is the last. Through the years the rest have all disappeared. Curious as to why, she embarks on a journey to see if she is truly the last and where the others have gone. After consulting with a butterfly she learns that the red bull is responsible.

I read this book for the fantasy month of one of my book groups. I remembered seeing the movie long ago when I was a child, and how much it moved me. It was the first movie that actually scared me and made me feel anything afterwards. While reading the book I got to relive those memories which certainly helped the book along.

For me this book is an emotional gut wrencher. It is so sad and depressing, but very much worth the read.

Discworld Graphic Novels

Cover image for The Discworld Graphic novels: The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett and Steve Ross, 272 pages

This might be one of the only cases where I actually read the books before the graphic novels. Sadly I think that really detracted from the entertainment I would have gotten out of this. For starters the characters where not as I expected. When you read a book you form an image of what the characters look like. If when you see those characters fleshed out, be it in a movie or in this case a graphic novel, you expect them to look a certain way. When they don't match your expectations it can be quite off putting. The second thing I noticed when reading this was it seemed lacking. The story was still there but it no longer felt like a Pratchett book. There was no snide writer comments, some of the descriptive lines that add nothing to the story were left out. It was like this was a cliff notes version of the two books.

Since I have or will be soon posting a review of the two books this graphic novel covers I won't go into the plot. If you want to know what happens go read the reviews.

I would not recommend this book to anyone, and in fact would encourage people not to read it. Go read the books instead. They are not long and quite enjoyable, though your sanity may suffer a bit.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Rage of the Fallen

Cover image for Rage of the Fallen by Joseph Delaney, 401 pages

Still on the run from the old Country, and now from an island as well, Tom, Alice and Mr Gregory make their way to Ireland. But Ireland quickly proves it is not the safe haven they thought it might be. With Goat Mages trying to summon Pan, witches from Tom's past, and the looming danger or the Fiend they are as busy as ever just trying to stay alive.

I mainly read this series to see the different types of lore and monsters that will come up. I don't find it as interesting as the Percy Jackson series or the roman spin off, but it far outshines the Beautiful Creature series. This series would be better if I had read the books as they came out. Right now I know the main character doesn't die because there are another half dozen books in the series. But if i was on the last book every time there would be more suspense that maybe this time he might actually die.

This book has some gruesome descriptions that might effect the younger readers.

Light Fantastic

Cover image for Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett, 241 pages

The Light Fantastic was, well fantastic. It is the first novel in quite some time that has actually made me laugh out loud. It is the continuation of the Discworld series and so again follows the travels of Rincewind, Twoflower and Luggage.

Following their not quite an escape in the last book they strangely end up not dead. This is of course all the spells fault, but really what isn't in Rincewinds life. Actually their not dying is rather important as it turns out the entire discworld's future relies on them not being dead. This is the strange tale of what happens when they are not dead. From the talking trees and rocks to crazy wizards and redcaps it is one heck of an adventure.

If you liked any of Pratchett's other work or like the puns and silliness of Piers Anthony you should most certainly give this a read. Though unless you read Colour of Magic it wont make much sense. Actually even after reading Colour of Magic, it doesnt make that much sense.

Age of Anxiety

In The Age of Anxiety Auden produced a worthy successor to Eliot's "The Waste-Land", poetically dressing the cosmopolitan world at the end of the Second World War as Eliot did at the end of the First.  Written with traditional Anglo-Saxon alliteration rather than Romantic rhyme, the poem follows four conversationalists who meet in a New York bar and set out to explore the world as it crawls towards senility.  Only the tiniest bit of consolation is found for this quartet, but perhaps it is enough for the journey.

     The knowledge needed is not special,
     The sole essential a sad unrest
     Which no life can lack.  Long is the way...

Strain Volumes 1-4

Cover image for Strain Book 1, Strain Volume 3, and Strain Volume 4 by David Lapham, 273, 128, and 136 pages

A quick note before I get into this review, Book 1 contained volumes 1 and 2. So while it might look like I am missing a book, I really am not.

Strain is a graphic novel series about a vampire infestation emerging in Manhattan. It all starts when one of the ancient vampiric masters is brought over by an eccentric billionaire with the hopes of being granted eternal life. The CDC is quick to respond though puppets of the vampire block, delay or deny everything.

These vampires are not the classic type with two fangs and the neck biting. These are more of the modern horror evolved vampires. The ones with a sharp protruding proboscis they use to stab their prey and suck the life out of them. It also infects them with these little worms that are the actual vampiric parasite. I have never been a big fan of this type of vampire, but it does really add to the horror and the gore.

This series is not for the faint of heart and does contain some pointless adult scenes.

Mountains of Madness

Cover image for At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft, 102 pages

Well I have finally done it. I have read some actual Lovecraft. None of this Lovecraftian horror stories or Lovecraftian tales, this is Lovecraft himself. I chose this work of Lovecraft namely because two coworkers recommended it as a starting point.

At the Mountains of Madness is about an expedition that travels to Antarctica to collect geological specimens. But what they find was something not of this earth. And that's all I can really say without giving too much away.

I really loved this book. It has everything you expect from Lovecraftian works. There is the dark building atmosphere. It has weird and unusual things, but not so far out there as to be unbelievable. But what really impresses me the most about Lovecraft's work is how he can make you see the things he is describing.

I would recommend this book to fans of Lovecraftian works and to everyone that likes a goo atmospheric horror story.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Mystic Masseur

Mystic Masseur by V. S. Naipaul

Cover image for
This book came to me as part of Center for the Readers blind date with a book. The concept is each book is wrapped in mostly see through proof tissue paper ad decorated with stickers and such. They are then all placed on a table where patrons can choose which blind date with a book they want. Included with the book is a evaluation slip that can be turned in for a prize drawing.

When I saw how old the book looked, with its plain unappealing cover, I admit, I thought I would not like it. After reading the first ten pages I knew I wouldn't like it. There is so much argot and dialect that it is a real pain to get through. But since it would help the program and I didn't want to be that big of a snob, I pushed on.

The Mystic Masseur is about a man named Ganesh as he rises in both fame and power in Trinidad. It is at times humorous and shocking, but not a bad read. In time I was able to get pass the dialects and actually enjoy the book. Though I would not recommend it to anyone.

Note: When trying to find a picture of the book I found out that this was made into a move. So if you want to know more about it you could watch the movie.
Second Note: This edition cover was not the book I read, the one I read was a plain red.


Mind MGMT Volume 1 and 2 by Matt Kindt, 200 and 184 pages

Cover image for Cover image for Mind MGMT is a graphic novel about a secret government organization who recruits children with metal powers. These power range from invincibility to super strength or even knowing the future. When the organization was disbanded everyone was merged back into society. Now someone is coming after these former agents, giving them the choice join or die. In the middle of all of this is a reporter/novelist who is just looking for her next book.

While the art work on these is a little too simplistic, almost comic for my taste it is still able to convey the story just fine. What makes up for this is how amazing the plot was. Despite seeming straight forward there is actually multiple levels interwoven throughout that only become apparent when needed. I would highly recommend this book to everyone that likes a good supernatural spy book.

Note: In writing this and looking up the link I found out that the third volume is out! So stay tuned for that review

West of Sunset

West of Sunset by Stewart O'Nan
289 Pages

"In 1937, F. Scott Fitzgerald was a troubled, uncertain man whose literary success was long over. In poor health, with his wife consigned to a mental asylum and his finances in ruins, he struggled to make a new start as a screenwriter in Hollywood. By December 1940, he would be dead of a heart attack. With flashbacks to key moments from Fitzgerald's past, the story follows him as he arrives on the MGM lot, falls in love with brassy gossip columnist Sheilah Graham, begins work on The Last Tycoon , and tries to maintain a semblance of family life with the absent Zelda and daughter, Scottie."

 While the historical content is interesting, especially the portrayal of Hollywood, the characters felt one-dimensional and the book read much like a Wikipedia entry.   I would definitely recommend giving this book a miss.

Land of Careful Shadows

Land of Careful Shadows by Suzanne Chazin
340 Pages

"When the body of an unidentified Latina turns up in a reservoir in the town of Lake Holly, near New York, the tranquility of the community is shattered. A note in her purse says, Go back to your country. You don't belong here. Detective Jimmy Vega, a Puerto Rican who works for the local county police, is very aware of the prevailing attitude toward undocumented immigrants, and this case ensnares him in a web of conflicting emotions, forcing him and others in the town to face dark secrets and unpleasant truths about friends and family."

A good mystery combined with the immigration issue.  


Crossover by Kwame Alexander, 237 pages

This is a novel told in verse about two basketball players.  Jordan and Josh, or JB and Filthy, as they are known, are twins and phenomenal on the court.  They are best friends until JB meets a cute new girl in school and their friendship starts to become frayed.  Filthy is jealous but doesn’t want to admit it and JB is obsessed with his girl and has been spending less time at home with his brother, and less time playing ball too.  Add into the mix the worry that their father may be ill and the situation could become explosive.  This was a great book that will probably have a lot of appeal for teen boys.

When I Was The Greatest

When I Was The Greatest by Jason Reynolds, 232 pages

Ali lives in kind of a tough neighborhood, but his friend Noodles and Noodles’s brother Needles, have got it a lot tougher.  Their apartment in the building next door to his is in much worse shape and their mother is rarely home.  Ali has his little sister Jazz, and even though his dad isn’t around much and his mom works so she’s gone a lot, he knows they both love him and his mom, especially, is looking out for him.  Ali doesn’t understand why Noodles treats Needles so bad sometimes, just because he has Tourette’s Syndrome.  No one else in the neighborhood cares but Noodles is always ragging on him.  Ali isn’t sure how much more he can take, and after an incident, it’s possible that Needles may not be ready to take anymore either.  This is a really good realistic story that ought to appeal especially to teen boys.

Closer To Home

Closer To Home by Mercedes Lackey, 361 pages

This is book one of a new series, The Herald Spy, however, this series picks up at the end of the series, The Collegium Chronicles, so fans of Mags will enjoy this new series a lot.  People who have not read that series would be ok starting with this one also.  Lackey’s books are pretty self-contained, so each story can usually be read as a stand-alone without much trouble.  Mags and Amily have clearly fallen in love and luckily, Nikolas, Amily’s father and the King’s Own, approves.  He asks that they are discrete and wait another year before marriage, since the marriage of the Prince was so recent.  Luckily they both have plenty to keep them occupied.  Two feuding families are arriving in town at nearly the same time and a large part of their jobs will be to keep the families apart if possible and listen for trouble so that it can be stopped if necessary.  Of course, that is easier said than done, and the situation could become even more deadly than they fear.  An excellent fantasy story, Lackey is in top form with this new series.


Sunrise by Mike Mullin, 546 pages

This is the last book in the Ashfall series.  Readers should feel pretty satisfied that all loose ends are pretty much tied up.  Because the mayor of Warren is unwilling to admit that the town’s defenses are woefully inadequate, Alex and Darla decide to form their own community with the help of the people in their own home, the decide to move near the wind turbines in order to have a more efficient heating system, especially for the greenhouses that are necessary to food production.  However, as they build, they also start to expand.  People have begun to hear about their community and they are willing to take in anyone who is willing to work.  Alex begins to understand that leading large groups of people is more difficult than he could have ever anticipated and he still worries that one of the many groups of flensers or people from Stockton may try to attack.  This is an excellent end of the world survival story that will probably appeal especially to teen boys.

I Was Here

I Was Here by Gayle Forman, 270 pages

Cody’s best friend, Meg, committed suicide.  Cody is left behind, wondering why she didn’t know that Meg was suicidal.  Meg’s parents have always treated Cody like a second daughter, but now that Meg is gone, Cody doesn’t feel that she deserves that kind of consideration.  When Meg’s parents ask her to go to Meg’s school to pack up her things, Cody doesn’t feel that she can refuse.  Meg’s parents give her Meg’s laptop and on it Cody finds some interesting things, namely evidence that Meg was connected to a suicide support group, meaning a group that encouraged Meg to commit suicide.  This leads Cody on a mission to find out more.  She isn’t sure what she’s looking for, but she’s hoping to find some kind of closure.  This is a really good teen story dealing with the aftermath of suicide.  Forman is a great writer and this book is no exception to her track record.

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out

This is a great book highlighting the lives of several transgender teens.  The book has a separate chapter for each teen and discusses, often in their own words what life has been like for them.  Some of the teens are in the process of transitioning from one sex to another, some are ok with not feeling as if they are specifically one sex or the other.  Some feel as if they are gender neutral.  Some prefer to be referred to as he or she, because they identify as one or the other.  Some prefer to be referred to as them, because they don’t identify as one or the other.  This book really got into the teens feelings and struggles.  While it may not explain everything, it certainly explains that gender can be a difficult concept for some people and that not everything is black and white.  Or blue and pink, as the case may be.  A good book for teens who are struggling to understand themselves or for teens who want to understand more about what their transgender peers may be experiencing.

Amber Brown Horses Around

Amber Brown Horses Around by Bruce Coville & Elizabeth Levy, 202 pages

Amber is excited that she and her best friend, Justin, are going to spend several weeks together at camp over the summer.  She is also excited that her two other friends, Brandi and Kelly will be there.  Unfortunately, so is Hannah Burton, Amber’s least favorite person in the world.  Amber is also nervous because she can’t swim and the campers are going to learn to ride horses.  Surprisingly, Amber turns out to be a good rider and the swimming isn’t so bad either, but Hannah is in the same cabin as she is.  She is sure that Hannah has been playing pranks on her all summer and she and Brandi and Kelly plan a prank of their own to get even.  The prank may get out of hand and cause more problems than they expect.  This is a great addition to the Amber Brown series and kids who like real life stories will enjoy it.

The Cat At The Wall

The Cat At The Wall by Deborah Ellis, 152 pages

Clare was a girl living in Bethlehem, PA, until the day she died and ended up as a cat in Bethlehem in Palestine.  As a cat she understands what everyone else is saying but no one pays much attention to her.  The story fluctuates between her current life as a cat and her remembering her previous life as a girl.  When she was a girl she wasn’t really a very nice person, aggravating her teacher, throwing tantrums at home and picking on her sister and other kids at school.  As a cat, she is witnessing a possible tragedy unfold, with two Israeli soldiers taking over a Palestinian home to spy on the neighborhood.  No one is home in the house except for a seven or eight year old boy.  This seemed to be a good portrayal of the conflict in Palestine today and a good journey of self-analysis for Clare.  Overall, I thought this was a good story but felt a little unresolved at the end.  This would appeal to a wide variety of upper elementary kids. 

Etiquette and Espionage

Cover image for Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger, 307 pages

This book is the first in Gail's Finishing School trilogy. The entire trilogy takes place before the Parasol Protectorate series. Etiquette and Espionage follows the life of Sophronia as she is recruited to join Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. This however is very different from other finishing schools. For starters the entire school is mobile; being floated beneath large dirigibles. Secondly while this school teaches young ladies the proper mannerisms and etiquette it also teaches them how to finish or kill a person, vampire or werewolf.

Etiquette and Espionage has glimpses of characters that later feature in the Parasol series. It was quite the shock to me when I realized who some of the currently mischievous young ladies become. While I don't think it matters what order you read these series in, I would recommend to start with the Protectorate and then finish with the Finishing school.

For some reason this series is classified as young adult while Parasol Protectorate is most certainly for adults.


Cover image for Wake by Scott Snyder, 256 pages

Wake was recommended to me by Nathan. It is a graphic novel about a newly discovered sea creature being investigated by the government. But when things go drastically wrong humanity pays the price. With the coastal cities now underwater the remaining population is in a scramble to figure out how to stop this threat.

This book combines both stunning visuals with a good story line. It can come across as a little bit jumbled since it jumps around, but I did not find it too bad. Since the story is in now way resolved by the end of this book, I really hope there is a second one on the way.

If you are trying to decide to read it or not, I would say that it is a cross between Cloverfield and Waterworld.

Confessions of a Bad Teacher

Cover image for Confessions of a Bad Teacher by John Owens, 244 pages

I picked up this nonfiction book purely on a whim. I was expecting it to be sort stories about teachers getting back at students or embarrassing them in class, that kind of stuff. Being the bad teacher by not setting the proper example. But what I got was a detailed break down of what is wrong with the US school system.

All of the information provided is based of Mr. Owens actual observations in the short time that he was a teacher before he was forced out for not being efficient enough. he tries to bring to light all of the issues that teachers face when trying to teach.

While the problems ranged from not enough funding for special needs students to general corruption at nearly all levels of administration I cannot say that it was an eye opener. Anyone that has paid attention to the news the last 5 years or so have seen stories about various school districts fudging grades, attendance, or something else to get more funding or recognition.

What we don't see with those news stories or even with this book are ways to fix this system besides tearing everything down and starting over.

Despite not being what I expected I stuck with the book. I cannot say if I did it only to complete it or if I actually got something from it. I will say that this is probably the best format I have seen this sort of data present in. Instead of it being presented as hard facts in a stern lecture or thesis, everything is presented through a story that carries you through the book.

Shackelton's Journey

Shackleton's Journey by William Grill; 68 pages

Like every other book I’ve seen Flying Eye Books publish, Shackleton’s Journey is a beautiful book in both its illustrations and its overall design. I first became interested in Shackleton’s Antarctic journey while helping a third grade group research explorers for a class project; shortly thereafter SLPL received a copy of this book and I snatched it up. The illustrations are somewhere between a children’s picture book and an infographic. When the author introduces the members of Shackelton’s crew, a two page spread depicts tiny drawings of each person accompanied by their name and position on the crew, later when sled dogs are purchased for the journey a similar spread shows them. This book was a great introduction to Shackelton’s Antarctic expedition and would be appropriate for grades 3 and up (I enjoyed it a lot and I’m ostensibly an adult).

Highschool of the Dead

Cover image for Highschool of the Dead Book 1 by Daisuke Sato, 176 pages

This is another horror manga from the list I found online. It is about a group of highschoolers who are trying to survive a zombie outbreak. Luckily they are all from a gifted school, or from a school much cooler than the one I went to, as they know martial arts and some are weapon masters. Of course there are the ditzy ones that tag along and will likely get eaten, or someone will die to protect them, but it is a pretty solid group. In a very realistic manner all of the people in the group have a difference of opinion of what they should do now, which leads to some inter fighting.

While this first book is mainly used to set the scene and introduce the characters there is still quite a lot of action and zombie fighting. It will be interesting to see if this just follows the classic zombie line, or if this will transform into something more.

I am not sure if you can see it or not, but there is a parental advisory on the cover. I suspect that is because this is quite graphic and gory, but it could be the ecchi nature of it.

Power Girl

Cover image for Power Girl: Power Trip by Justin Grey, 392 pages

When I picked up this book I thought it was a graphic novel and not just a super heroine comic. Not that I looked to closely at the inside of the book when I picked it up but it was an honest mistake.

When I started reading it I was disappointed that it was only a comic book. While I have reviewed a couple of series on here like Hellblazer and Preacher which are certainly more comics than graphic novels they at least have a grittiness to them that helps me enjoy them. With more of the main stream comics, which I am not sure this truly is but bear with me, there is never that feeling of danger to either the planet or any characters you really care about. Sure the planet might be destroyed for an episode or two, or someone will be dead for a couple issues but eventually everything will be magically fixed. Or if fixing it would be too confusing or take too much time that just becomes an alternate dimension. It is predictable and at times seems overly repetitive. I mean why does every villain come to this town that has a superhero protecting it? Why not pick a city in the middle of nowhere? It is like these villain's want to be caught.

Since this appears to have been the first issue with Power Girl there is a brief origin story that explains her life up to present day. It even explains why she has that hole in her costume. From there it delves into a couple different plots to steal her body or control her mind. Nothing Earth destroying per say but a super genius's mind trapped in a gorilla threatens to destroy Manhattan (standard superhero stuff). Of course everything ends how we suspect and everyone is happy.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landeau-Banks

     The Disreputable History of Frankie Landeau-Banks by E. Lockhart, 345 pages 

A co-worker recommended The Disreputable History of Frankie Landeau-Banks to me as a read-alike for The Gilmore Girls, so of course, that is all I could think of while reading it!  But that is not a bad thing.  The book is set in an East Coast boarding school and nearly all the characters are over-achieving Ivy League bound children of wealth and privilege.   The title character of Frankie is a sophomore who returns from summer vacation a transformed woman.  Not only has her body matured, she no longer is someone who accepts her position in society as an innocent "Bunny Rabbit."  In the novel, she sets to take over her school's all-male secret society known as the Order of the Basset Hounds in part to make a statement about feminine power in part to fight the panopticon of boarding school life and in part to get the attention of the boy she likes. 

Frankie is  awesome, and I just loved being inside her brain.    In particular, I loved how she knew how to play people, and used all her skills of manipulation to get the results she wanted.  I would recommend this to just about everybody (it is that good), but in particular, if you have any smart, budding feminist teens that come to your library, give them this book as one to think on.  Have them read Frankie and be prepared to engage them in some semi-serious discussions about power, social  theory, the nature of rebellion and protest and imaginary neglected positives.

Go Add Value Someplace Else

Cover image for Go Add Value Someplace Else by Scott Adams, 165 pages

After reading a chapter of Les Miserables called Argots in which Hugo spends twenty plus pages justifying the use of them I needed something that was light, carefree and did not give me a headache. That something was this collection of Dilbert comic strips. This collection tends to focus on trying to add value to a company only to get quashed by the management. Or in Wally's case how not to add anything and stay employed.

There is not much to say except if you like Dilbert comic strips you will like this book.

Dragon Head

Cover image for Dragon Head Volume 1 by Minetaro Mochizuki, 220 pages

It had been quite awhile since I had read any manga. This was not because I disliked it in any way but I because I was unsure what to read. I initially considered going back to One Piece but since I didn't like the direction it was going, I was not looking forward to it. Luckily before I could check out the next volume I realized that surely manga has to have reading advisory sites just like the rest of the fiction world. Trust me when I say there are more sites than you could ever use. I ended up going with one that broke it down by genre, which lead me to Dragon Head Volume 1 which happened to be at the top of their horror list.

Dragon Head is about a young boy and his class who are on a train because of a school trip. While in a tunnel disaster befalls Japan. Part of the tunnel collapses derailing the train and trapping him and some other survivors in the tunnel. What at first seems like just a survivor thriller quickly turns into a horror story as one of the survivors starts to lose their grip on reality.

This horror manga while still in its infancy, is off to a really good start. It has the darkening mood of an unknown disaster, the fear from being trapped in a tunnel, and then the panic that is starting to spread. I eagerly await the next issue of this series.