Archive | Books
Ladies of Darkness,
Ladies of Light,
and Ladies of Never-You-Mind,
This is a prayer for a blueberry girl.
I decided that it was time that Leah got her first Neil Gaimen book. Instead of getting some of my favorites like American Gods, Neverwhere, or even The Graveyard Book, I opted for Blueberry Girl. OK, actually I was looking for something special for Leah before she started kindergarten this fall and found out about this book and, yes, it is perfect for my Spiderman-loving, bike ridin’, science experimentin’ daughter.
I want her to be safe, but also to experience life as she makes a big step into the world. I think this book explains all that.
This thing started the way a lot of things start in the blogosphere — Mr. Wallace has re-envisioned his blog and made a post to a blog called The Art of Manliness. That blog has a list of 100 Must-Read Books for every man. I’ve always been a voracious reader and I’ve been thinking (again) to break out of my scifi/fantasy rut I’ve been in for a while (some of the books I remember the best are the ones that aren’t fantasy or scifi). Some of the books on the list aren’t ones that I would be interested in but the ones on the list that I had read (some in high school for class assignments, some as recently as last year) were all really good. So I decided that was a good start . . .
I took some time and make a list off the Art of Manliness of the books that I have always wanted to read or books that seemed interesting (because some of the book are ones I never heard of — and that’s okay!) and put them in a list. Over the past several days I’ve thought of other books I would like to read that weren’t on the list so I added them. As of right now, the list is at 37. There is no time limit on this but I do want to at least attempt them all. And the list is organic — I will add to it as I see fit and mark off the books as I read them.
And, one last thing — the list is on the remarkable webapp RememberTheMilk (RTM). And I’ve make it shareable to you can see it to! The books are in alphabetical order, but I put the next book I will read at Priority 1 and my choices for the next books as Priority 2, and the next lot as Priority 3. Cool, huh?
If you want to join me, or have advice for books to add, or advise me on what book is next, please let me know.
After months of being on the reserve list, the library finally let me checkout Watchmen (which is at least as fantastic as you can imagine). I was reading it last night while on the couch with Leah. Leah pointed to the back of the book.
Leah: “Dad, who’s that?”
Me: “That’s Alan Moore. He wrote this book.”
Leah: “He looks funny!“
Me: “I know he does.”
We talked a little more about a few other things, not related to the book, and then Leah said, “That guy on the back of the book? I bet he got a haircut!”
I certainly hope so, but I doubt it.
I’m about halfway through Neil Gaimen’s latest, which is called The Graveyard Book. It’s wonderful, just as I expected it to be. Probably even better than I thought it would be.
Googling around, I found video of Gaimen reading each and every chapter of the book. Fantastic stuff! I also think that the very beginning of Chapter Three is one of the best beginnings I’ve ever read.
A review ofCraig Thompson’s Blankets is hard to write. Parts of it had me laughing and other parts almost made me cry. At the end I was very sad as I watched the main character made a bad decision yet I could see why he made it.
As you can see from the cover, it’s an illustrated novel. The technical word is generally “graphic novel” but in this case the pictures are all in black and white. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t well-drawn. The art is beautiful and Thomspon uses them to convey what the Craig, the main character, is feeling and thinking. Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Maybe more than that in this book. Another thing that makes this book different than other graphic novels is that there are no super heroes here — just a young man trying to figure his place in the world.
The story surrounds Craig, first in his elementary school years and we shift focus to his adolescence. He gets ostracized by this classmates, mistreated by his parents, and abused by his babysitter. But his main problem to overcome is not those — it’s that he can’t protect his younger brother Phil from the same things. He soon meets a girl, Raina, who becomes his first love. From that point, it’s a love story, but not a simple one — Raina has a bad family situation herself, and Craig finds out that she is the caretaker of most of the family.
The real story isnt’ about Craig’s first love, but his own faith journey. His parents are Christians but are very judgemental. So are the people he goes to church with. The two-faced Christians at the winter camp where he met Raina almost made me throw the book across the room. In the end, Craig decides that he likes the things Jesus taught, but not necessarily the people that supposably follow Jesus. In the end, that’s what makes him decide that he’s not a Christian after all. A bad decision for probably the right reasons.
If you are into “experimental” reading, I would highly recommend this Blankets. The pictures are well-down, but are sometimes graphic. No, this is not for children — it is surely adult material.