Wednesday, March 01, 2023

February, 2023 Reading: Graphically Yours

Six books in February.  A very good reading month!

 Ducks - Kate Beaton. Graphic Memoir. Saddled with a load of college debt, 22-year-old Katie Beaton decided to leave her home province of Nova Scotia and go to work in the oil sands in Alberta. Although the pay is good, the environment is toxic -- often the only woman among numerous male coworkers, she's subjected to sexual harassment and worse. She gradually realizes that the toxicity extends to the damage her company is doing to the land. This book is brilliant. I've been a fan of Beaton's artwork since I read Hark! A Vagrant! when I was in Korea.

Spare - Prince Harry. Memoir. Audiobook. After having had his life story manipulated by the press since he was born, Prince Harry finally is having his say. Unfortunately, he's doing battle against a Hydra and probably always will. I found his memoir touching and horrifying and occasionally funny. I hope that one day he and his family can have some peace.

Last Rampage - James W. Clarke. True Crime. The story of killer Gary Tison's 1978 escape from an Arizona state prison with the help of his three sons. What the sons seemed to see as a family reunion takes a hellish turn as they come to see, too late, that they've actually unleashed a monster.  Disturbing. It's right up there with In Cold Blood.

Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery, Mariah Marsden. Graphic Novel. I actually liked this better than the novel. Instead of pages and pages AND pages of Montgomery's overly flowery prose, there are these beautiful drawings of Green Gables and Avonlea. The characters look like they jumped straight from the original source. I fell a little in love with Marsden's rendition of Matthew. Highly recommended. Many thanks to The Spawn for bringing this one home to me.

Hey, Kiddo - Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Graphic Memoir. Jarrett's parents bailed on him early in his life and he was brought up by his maternal grandparents. This graphic memoir is a beautiful tribute to them. His love and admiration is palpable; I grew to love and admire them myself. You don't want to sleep on this one. It's wonderful. Krosoczka is a new graphic artist to me and I'll be watching his work from now on with great interest.

The Year of Less - Cait Flanders. Memoir. Audiobook. Cait Flanders imposed a shopping ban for herself back in 2014, but the book isn't really about that. It's more of a memoir. It's also monotonous and repetitive as if she just stitched together a bunch of her blog posts. There are only two things I liked about this audiobook: Cait's Canadian accent, and her epiphany that much of her shopping was not for a real Cait, but an aspirational Cait. I'm guilty of this with books especially, so I could relate. I am planning to use the aspirational question  in the future as a rule-of-thumb.

What I'm currently reading: Oh my God. Too much. I'm still wending my way through Poison a few pages at a time. Ditto the Edward Hopper biography. I'm almost done with the final audiobook in the House of Wang trilogy, A House Divided by Pearl S. Buck. Now that March is here, I've got to get serious about Sooley, by John Grisham, which is the book club's (more about them below) next read, but wait! Somehow, I found myself on Twitter getting distracted by a 1938 novel called Young Man With A Horn by Dorothy Baker. A short work based on the life of virtuoso coronet player Bix Beiderbecke. I need a pajama day or two so I can get all of these done. Kind of hoping for a snowstorm.

Book Club Update: I went to the Tuesday afternoon group, and it was glorious. The conversation about the book never stopped; the participants crackled with intelligence. I'm never going back to Monday nights -- I'm home.


Jeane said...

I read Hey Kiddo not so long ago- that was a powerful and sad book. I was glad it ended positively. I liked Year of Less, in spite of the rather scattered approach. And my daughter and I both enjoyed the Anne of Green Gables graphic novel- though didn't you find the dark, beady eyes a bit unsettling? sometimes it made the expressions look rather blank, I thought.

Bybee said...

That's really cool that our reading overlaps so much! I did notice the beady eyes, but I guess they didn't bother me.

✌️ Motörhead said...

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