A Month of Favorites: 5 Faves by Theme

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2 – 5 Faves by a Theme {eg. Audiobooks, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Mysteries, Books with Surprise Twists, Surprise Endings, Non-Fiction, Books That Made You Cry, Laugh Out Loud, Cringe, Book Boyfriends That Stole Your Heart, Apocalypse, Dystopian, Best books with kick ass girls, favorite siblings, couples, friends, most hated and loved villains} – link-up hosted at Estella’s Revenge.

 

5 Fave Graphic novels/Comics:

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1.  Chroniques de Jérusalem is an excellent way to become better acquainted with the complexities of Israel through the eyes of Guy Delisle.  He and his family move to Jerusalem because his wife is working for Médecins sans Frontière (Doctors without Borders).  There he finds out things up close and personal in this true account. It’s frustrating, shocking, funny, and informative.  The schematic black and white artwork contains loads of detail and is more and more endearing as the story develops.  You can read it in English too. The title is called Chronicles of Jerusalem.

 

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2.  Storm is a comic which recounts her life and the beginning of her powers.  I enjoyed this one but I didn’t love it.  Storm is drawn as a twenty something when in fact through most of the book she’s about thirteen years old.  That was a bit strange.  Otherwise the artwork is well done with beautiful colours. I mostly picked it up because I wanted to see how Eric Jerome Dickey was going to handle writing a comic. Not too bad Dickey.

 

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3.  Saga is one of the most popular comics read this year.  This fantasy/science-fiction comic follows two soldiers from two different races and planets that fall in love and betray the expectations of their people by having a baby and trying to make a solid family.  Interesting commentary on society while dazzling the eyes with creative colourful beings and monsters from the two worlds.  Who won’t like Saga?  Those who prefer linear stories with normal looking people doing normal things and without too much sex. Personally I loved it!

 

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4.  Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth was picked up on a whim.  I had heard a few people mention it and decided to try it out.  I was surprised by Chris Ware’s ability to convey so much sensitivity through the artwork, the graphics, and the mise en page.  It’s an autobiography about an ordinary man who one day has the possibility of meeting his father who abandoned him so many years before.  Every centimetre of this graphic novel has been thought out methodically to convey the emotions and themes of the story.  This is a really worthwhile graphic novel to pick up, especially if you haven’t yet found the style of graphic novel that speaks to you.  The cover and book size are very original.  This one is definitely a keeper.

 

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5.  L’Arabe du Futur (The Arab of the Future) is an autobiographical graphic novel that follows the life of the author Riad Sattouf.  The reader follows Riad and his parents (Syrian father and French mother) as they move from living in Libya under Khadaffi’s rule to the countryside of Syria in Homs.  It’s edifying seeing what it was like to live in Libya and Syria from 1978-1984.  I read this one in French, however it is available in English.  Those who have read this one can’t wait for part 2.

 

5 Fave Non-fiction:

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1.  Buck is the memoir of MK Asante.  He writes his story with a lot of passion and lyricism.  It’s like reading music.  If you’re interested in reading how someone who was spiralling downward manages to take control of his life and discover art, music, and the desire to create you should check this one out.  I liked it and I’m not always a fan of reading memoirs.

 

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2.  Red Dust Road is Jackie Kay’s search for her biological parents (her father a Nigerian and her mother a Scottish woman from the Highlands).  It’s poignant, sensitive, and uncomfortable in places.  It’s beautifully written and we as readers are really along for the ride as she searches for her parents. This was my first full length novel by Jackie Kay.  I first learned about her from Claire over at Word by Word.  She spoke to me about Kay’s poetry.  If you don’t know Jackie Kay you should definitely check her out because she’s a wonderful writer of color from Scotland. I can’t wait to read Trumpet and Reality Reality.  You can read her poetry online free of charge.

 

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3.  The Hare with Amber Eyes wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be but it is an interesting story of an extremely wealth Jewish family’s journey through Europe, and their netsake collection from Japan.  This is a story full of plush architectural descriptions to the idiosyncrasies of Edmund De Waal’s family.  From Russia to France to Austria and the United Kingdom, this story will teach you many things.  If you’re a history and art lover and appreciate intricate storytelling about real people and historical happenings you’ll love this one.

 

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4.  In the shadow of the Banyan is the stunning fictionalised true story of Vaddey Ratner’s years in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. This story is so well written it really took me aback.  The emotion described in this book was phenomenal!  All told through the eyes of a child and it’s this aspect that makes the story so special.  It will shock you and break your heart but this book is definitely a must read for those that want to know more about this dark period of Cambodia.

 

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5.  March is the first volume of the life of Congressman John Lewis.  This comic details the budding years of the Civil Rights Movement. March could be used as a teaching tool and is an excellent tribute to a great African-American.  The artwork is well done and has a unique style of mise en page.  I can’t wait to read volume 2!

A Month of Faves: Faves Month Introduction

 

 

 

 

Hello All and welcome to my blog! My name’s Didi and I hope you’ll learn more about my reading likes and dislikes but most of all about my 2014 reading results.  I’m currently two books behind on my fifty-five book challenge. Honestly I’m not worried.  For me, pressure and reading don’t go together.  It’s all about the enjoyment.   Besides, I know I’ll be able to catch up with the interesting books I’ve put on a mini TBR list to see me through to the 31st.

If you’re new to my blog, you’re probably wondering what I like to read most.  Well, my ultimate love is literary fiction, with a special love for works by authors of color.  This year I’ve read so many interesting novels that fall mostly in that category.  However, I have dabbled in graphic novels/comics, historical fiction, a few non-fiction, and poetry.  Poetry has been a real highlight for me this year that I hope to be able to read more of next year.  Genres that I just can’t get into are science-fiction and fantasy. I don’t know why but I would just rather watch those on television or the big screen.

Am I physical or electronic?  What do you think?  Physical!!!  I’m a book nerd.  I can’t help it.  Reading on paper speaks to all of my senses.  It’s an integral part of the reading experience for me.  I’m not hating on those that prefer electronic but it just isn’t the same thing.  Nevertheless, I picked up two electronic books this year. (Forty Acres – really good! and The Rainy Day Killer- a bomb!)  It’s possible that I’ll pick up more in the coming year. I own a Kindle, which contains many unread books.  I also picked up my first audiobook that I listened to while reading along, which I thoroughly appreciated.  I decided to read NW by Zadie Smith this way, since I wanted to experience the authenticity of the range of accents (North West London) there would be in the novel.  I know I did the right thing because the audiobook really added something to the reading and the understanding.  I can’t listen to audiobooks while driving because I’ll go off the road from concentrating too hard, nor can I do cleaning around the house.  It seems I’m mentally challenged by all of that.  I look forward to reading along with another audiobook again.

Let’s see what’s left to talk about in this introduction… Oh yes prolific author on my reading list this year and favourite book of the year.  Well if you checked out my Goodreads Reading Challenge 2014  list of read books you would probably have no problem guessing who it is.  Here are a few hints – He was African-American, highly insightful, and an eloquent speaker.  He said “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”  He grew up in Harlem and spent some time living in Paris.  He went to Paris so that he could write freely.  Another Country and The Fire Next Time are two of his most iconic works.  Of course, it’s James Baldwin!

As for my favourite book – I won’t officially know until the 31st.  For the moment, it’s a book where the setting is 1950s New York and the characters are a group of artist “friends” and their vague interactions with each other always seem to result in suffering and heartache.  Can you guess what it is?