This week for my book of the week/what I have been reading column I want to talk about not one but two books, both amazing graphic novels.
The first I checked out again for the 2nd time on Wednesday and read twice in one day, BB Wolf and the 3 LPs by JD Arnold/illus. by Richard Koslowski …. This is a brilliant book. It tells a story of the racism of the Jim Crow south, the KKK and the dawn of the blues starting in Money, Mississippi in 1920.
The wolves are a proxy for black people, the pigs for rich white America, aka the Man. It’s a revenge tale, it well told, and it’s devastating in a way. Amazing story using the memes of the story of the big bad wolf and the 3 little pigs. In the words of Colleen Hoover it’s bemazing (ie beautiful and amazing) ****1/2 (5 GR)
The next book I want to talk about is Craig Thompson’s beautiful and much longer (600 vs. 85 pages) “Habibi”. This is an amazing, and extremely rich book. It is told through the tale of a child married into a Islamic calligropher and then orphaned with a small boy.
It tells tales of Islam, slavery, racism, greed, water …. It’s an extraordinarily rich book and there is a great discussion about it on one of my favorite websites, goodreads.com. ****1/2 (5 GR)
There is also a book that meant a lot to me I read this week, Colleen Hoover’s follow up to Slammed, Point of Retreat. This is special to me because my poem “Write Poorly” is in the book and I am in acknowledgements, it means a lot. **** (5 GR)
I also read this week the Kindle Single “The Case of the Missing Moon Rocks” by Joe Kloc, which was fun, interesting but not as rich as “Sex on the Moon.” This is my Goodreads review:
Enjoyable little book and a former NASA investigator who becomes obsessed with moon rocks.
Not as great as “Sex on the Moon”, but a fascinating tale of someone who wants to find out the whereabouts of all of the moon rocks that Nixon gave out around the world.
**1/2 (3 GR)
I also finished “Mile 81” by Stephen King — Goodreads review:
This took a long, long, long time for me to read.
I am really not a fan of the horror genre and empty rest stops (this is set in Mile 81 on the Maine Turnpike near Lewiston, ME) are very, very creepy places.
I think there is a reason I don’t read much horror.
But I did enjoy it. *** (4 GR)
And I read a lovely short book of Haiku called “Reflection Haiku: Living Modern Lives the Simple Way – Lily Wang’s English and Chines Zen Shorts” … The title is longer than the poems, but I really enjoyed it, look forward to reading more Haiku books for a very appropriate $1 cost (GR 4) (Kindle)
I also checked out a TON of books at the library on Wednesday:
From Minerva (ie other libraries throughout Maine)
3 from Chris Ware after reading the amazing Acme Novelty #20
Acme #17, #18 and untitled/numbered … Have started #18 so far, only a third the way though .. another tale of someone’s life, this one of a female character. Chris Ware is a distinctive voice in graphic novel, very, very distinct style.
“Feynman” by Ottavian & Myrick … a YA graphic novel based on the lives on Cal Tech phyiscist and character Richard Fenyman .. I am very intrigued.
“American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from the 1940s to Now” ed. by Peter Straub … I heard Harlan Ellison’s greatest short story is “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream” from his documentary “Harlan Ellison: Dreams with Sharp Teeth” Library of America (Lewiston PL)
From Walker Library Westbrook, ME
BB Wolf and the 3 LPs
“Koula” by Menis Koumandareas — Looks like a fascinating novella, haven’t started yet
“Cannery Row” by John Steinbeck .. need to finish this week, due back next week. Excellent writing but finding it slow. (4 GR) (Rockland Library/Minerva)
“Growgirl” by Heather Donahue .. Enjoying it, but again a slower read and lot of other stuff jumping ahead of it (ie Habibi, BB Wolf, Point of Retreat) .. It’s good, it’s interesting, tells tales about tales of Northern Californians growing medical marijuana. I recommend it but it’s likely I won’t finish it. (4 GR) And yes it’s Heather Donahue from the Blair Witch Project.