Art and Design

Read Japanese Modern

Read Japanese Modern

With enticing visuals and a fascinating text, Japanese Modern: Graphic Design between the Wars is the first book to examine an often igno…

Looked at the pictures, skimmed some of the text 😂 Much more detail than I was interested in 🤷‍♀️

Two styles of Japanese lettering in extra bold and extra fine
I appreciate seeing how different alphabets / scripts can be varied even if I can’t read them 😂
Red type on white background, a block of text forming a triangle with two oversized characters below in a similar shape
A little reminiscent of that Secession poster — but this is advertising lettering for athletic gear? 😂 By Kashima Mitsuo


Black and white icon showing two hammers hitting a rounded head in profile
This is funky but I like it – icon for Hardhead, a Tokyo agricultural tools company, 1935
Stylized geometric block drawing of two girls diving against black waters in pink striped suits
These illustrations are cute – Toyonosuke Kurozumi, mid-1930s ad for Osaka National Railway
Naked girl with shadows obscuring her breasts, holding a red glass of port
First nude advertising photo in Japan – 1922 ad for Akadama Port Wine by Inoue Mokuda and Kataoka Toshiro

Read Absynthe

Read Absynthe

In his sci-fi debut, Bellecourt explores an alternate roaring 20s where a shell-shocked soldier must uncover latent telepathic abilities to save himself and the people around him.

Liam Mulcahey, a reclusive, shell-shocked veteran, remembers little of the Great War. Ten years later, when he is caught in a brutal attack on a Chicago speakeasy, Liam is saved by Grace, an alluring heiress who’s able to cast illusions. Though the attack appears to have been committed by the hated Uprising, Grace believes it was orchestrated by Leland De Pere–Liam’s former commander and the current President of the United States.

Meeting Grace unearths long-buried memories. Liam’s former squad, the Devil’s Henchmen, was given a serum to allow telepathic communication, transforming them into a unified killing machine. With Grace’s help, Liam begins to regain his abilities, but when De Pere learns of it, he orders his militia to eliminate Liam at any cost.

But Liam’s abilities are expanding quickly. When Liam turns the tables and digs deeper into De Pere’s plans, he discovers a terrible secret. The same experiment that granted Liam’s abilities was bent toward darker purposes. Liam must navigate both his enemies and supposed allies to stop the President’s nefarious plans before they’re unleashed on the world. And Grace is hiding secrets of her own, secrets that could prove every bit as dangerous as the President’s.

Stuck the landing! Saw one of the reveals coming but not the other. A really interesting world. I didn’t like the distant style of a couple flashback chapters. Ending fit the main character well.


Read Subtle Blood

Read Subtle Blood (The Will Darling Adventures, #3) by KJ Charles

Will Darling is all right. His business is doing well, and so is his illicit relationship with Kim Secretan–disgraced aristocrat, ex-spy, amateur book-dealer. It’s starting to feel like he’s got his life under control.

And then a brutal murder in a gentleman’s club plunges them back into the shadow world of crime, deception, and the power of privilege. Worse, it brings them up against Kim’s noble, hostile family, and his upper-class life where Will can never belong.

With old and new enemies against them, and secrets on every side, Will and Kim have to fight for each other harder than ever—or be torn apart for good.

A great conclusion to the series. Read it in one go. A big emotional awakening from Will that I didn’t see coming but that worked really well, and he did a good job grappling with it.


Read The Sugared Game

Read The Sugared Game (The Will Darling Adventures #2) by KJ Charles

It’s been two months since Will Darling saw Kim Secretan, and he doesn’t expect to see him again. What do a rough and ready soldier-turne…

This hits the noir spot for me without the drawbacks of the rampant homophobia and sexism is works like Chandler’s, plus the characters actually have an inner monologue and reflect on and talk about their emotions. Apparently this series is inspired by pulp novels but I haven’t read any, so noir comes to mind despite it taking place in England with the added wrinkle of titles in addition to vast wealth.