Wednesday, June 2, 2010

March Mini Book Reviews

Ack, I should have posted this ages ago!

Yay! Here are the books I read in March, plus short reviews! (the numbers are a continuation from February).

22. Pride of Baghdad - Brian K. Vaughn

Really great graphic novel about a pride of lions that escape the zoo that they live in, in Iraq. This is based on a true story, but told from the animals' point of view. Depressing, though.

23. LUST - Ellen Forney

This is a collection of kinky personal ads illustrated by Ellen Forney - there is also interviews with some of the people who placed the ads. Interesting stuff!

24. Summer Blonde - Adrian Tomine

A collection of 4 stories in graphic novel form. First one is about an author who is obsessed with his high school crush but ends up being involved with her teenage sister. Second one is about an isolated woman who does odd things to compensate for lack of social relationships, such as prank calling a pay phone outside her building and watching the people who answer it. Next is about a woman who has three men wanting her - her boyfriend, a jerk of a lover, and his obsessive, stalking neighbour. 4th is about 2 outcasts in high school and their place in the social hierarchy. Good stuff. Very enjoyable.

25. Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid in the World - Chris Ware

This is a really thick graphic novel. I really enjoyed it. It's about an awkward middle-aged guy who has a clingy mother, and a bizarre imagination. He eventually reunites with his absent father. It's quite gloomy and melancholy throughout the book. There was 2 panels near the end that made me cry. They didn't have any words at all but the pictures were really, really poignant. Recommended.

26. Tiger, Tiger, Is It True? - Byron Katie

A book for kids based on the work of Byron Katie (who I love). Belief-questioning, in order to find happiness instead of pain. Very cute, recommended for kids!

27. Co-Creation - Vladimir Megre

4th book in the Anastasia/Ringing Cedars series. Some of this was really difficult for me to read, and I forced myself through it because when it came time to describe where we came from, there was Christian stuff involved. I was like, "FUCK, is this Christian propaganda?? It can't be...or I would have heard about it" - so I tried to keep an open mind and trudged through. I must say, in terms of a creation story, this one is pretty different. I liked it. I read it as pure fantasy, though. There is also lots of weird stuff in this book - extraterrestrial beings and their relationship with us, creating "spaces of love" for families and self sufficiency, etc. There is some beautiful and lovely things in this volume. I love these books - even if there is some things I don't agree with, I always feel really good after I read them. Definitely not Christian books, though there are some elements that seem to be.

28. As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial - Derrick Jensen

FANTASTIC. I HIGHLY recommend this book. It's a graphic novel that revolves around 2 main characters - one, a perky girl doing everything she can do be "green" - following all the tips she can to help save the world. Then there is her cynical counterpart who thwarts everything she says, because all these minor things are futile in regards to the huge damages being done. Even if the entire world did all of them, it still wouldn't be enough. Things need to be MUCH more drastic than changing lightbulbs. There is also side stories about the government making deals with alien robots (exchanging gold bricks - which are the alien robot excrement - for permits to ingest everything on earth), and a one-eyed bunny "terrorist" freeing his animal friends from laboratories. The thing about Jensen's approach to ecocide is that it states that violence is necessary. It may very well be so.

29. Twilight: The Graphic Novel - Stephenie Meyer and Young Kim

I liked this better than the original book, because it's a lot more to the point. There isn't all this garbage writing by Meyer and it focuses more on the story. The artwork is beautiful - the best kind of manga-style, nice brush work. I read this at work - it's only part of the story, so of course Meyer can squeeze even more money out of all this. I really wish these books had been written by a skilled writer, because I like the story. The execution is just crap.

30. I am an Emotional Creature - Eve Ensler

READ. THIS. BOOK. I LOVE IT. SO MUCH. I want to scream, I loved it so much. I plastered my "Staff Pick" stickers on the copies we had at Chapters and they're now gone (we only had a couple, but they were gone within a week of me doing that). I am going to make it my official staff pick when we go back to normal ones.
Anyway, this is a powerful book aimed at teenage girls, and I think that every teenage girl should read it. It's amazing and poignant and actually, I think EVERY girl should read it, because it's POWERFUL.
The book is laid out as monologues, like Ensler's other books, but unilke most things about teenage girls, the stories in this book ring true. It is IN YOUR FACE style, and makes you realize the untapped resource that teen girls really are. There is huge energy within them and it's being dumbed down, trivialized, and weakened. The issue with teen girls today, and even older girls like me, is that we are inundated with stuff to dumb us down and keep us focused on really unimportant things.
Anyway, read this book. 3 months into the year and I've found my choice of Year's Favourite!

31. Y: The Last Man Vol 1. (Deluxe) - Brian K. Vaughn /Pia Guerra
32. Y: The Last Man Vol 2. (Deluxe) - "
33. Y: The Last Man - Ring of Truth - "
34. Y: The Last Man - Girl on Girl - "
35. Y: The Last Man - Paper Dolls - "
36. Y: The Last Man - Kimono Dragons - "
37. Y: The Last Man - Motherland - "
38. Y: The Last Man - Whys and Wherefores - "

WHAT AN EXCELLENT SERIES. Wowww. So, the premise is that a plague hits the world and every single male dies. Anything with a Y chromosone. Animals, humans, fetuses, sperm, - all of em, all at once. Except for one guy, Yorrick, and his monkey, Ampersand. The result is chaos for women who are trying to cope with the loss of males, and also survival as the entire structure of how the world works has suddenly changed. There are major changes to society, that include people who want to find a way to bring back the men, and women who are VERY against it, despite impending extinction - unless of course there is a scientific breakthrough. This series takes place over a period of 5 years - lots of traveling and trying to figure out why the hell the two males survived. Highly recommended!!!!

That's it for March :)

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