So one of the books I really enjoyed this week was Craig Thompson’s “Blankets.” It’s a graphic novel I have heard wonderful things about, and I loved his Habibi.
I flew through it on a Saturday at work and it made the day go much, much faster.
Yet I was disappointed by it. I expected more. I expected something richer. “Habibi” was just that good. It completely blew me away. Made me think about the Arab world, Islam, Arabic, Slavery, Water, Money … It’s just an amazing book. ****1/2
And “Blankets” was very good. It’s fast moving, it’s a wonderful story. It captures the perils of being fundamentalist, and learning about love and lust, but it simply wasn’t as rich as Habibi, so I was moderately disappointed. But I would still recommend it and really enjoyed it. ***1/2 (4 GR)
Books read this week (A lot):
Hot Water Music by Charles Bukowski: Very cool collection of short stories, that took me forever to read 2-3 very short stories at a time. My favorite was about the bad poet. But so many are so similar, two losers meet each other, get drunk, hook up. ***1/2 (Kindle)
I read a lot of just ok this week.
Chasing Dogma by Kevin Smith: Saw this for a buck at the excellent Green Hand Bookstore. Neat store with wonderful randomness and books, and a cool owner in Michelle Souliere. I love Kevin Smith, but this book was doomed with way, way to much Jay. ** (2 GR) (Own) Planning to give away on bookcrossing.com.
Brush Strokes with Greatness: The Life and Art of Joe Sinnott by Tim Lasuita: A friend at work who notices I like comics lent this to me. Took me forever to read. The artwork was cool, but the writing not so much. I get that he is one of the best inkers of all time, but feel there can be a better book written about him. ** (2 GR)
Thor: Volume 1 by J. Michael Straczynski: Pretty pedestrian origin story. Even with a floating Asgard in Oklahoma not much really happens. ** (2 GR) (Walker Library)
Diving Into the Wreck: Poems, 1971-1972 by Adrienne Rich: Wanted to like this a lot more than I did. Honestly Adrienne Rich makes me think about my least favorite class at Rutgers, Expository Writing 101 and the annoying PC style of writing. I know she is a great poet, but this wasn’t for me. **1/2 (3 GR) (Walker)
The Devil in the Kitchen: Sex, Pain, Madness and the Making of a Great Chef by Marco Pierre White: Read this because he is one of Anthony Bourdain’s heroes. Cool book about growing up as a chef apprecticing at many of the great restauarants in London and England. Probably taught Gordon Ramsay how to be so mean. I also talked about this book in yesterday “Ghostwriting” post. ***1/2 (4 GR) (Kindle)
Half Way Home by Hugh Howey: No where near as good as the Wool series, and a much slower read for me than the Hurricane, but loved the first third, enjoyed the last tenth, found the middle half pretty slow. Still quite good. *** (4 GR)
Books Checked Out:
The Essential Rumi: Because I believe Rumi is an essential poet. Just started on Chapter 2 on page 8. (Rockland Public Library)
Marvel 1602 by Neil Gaiman, Andy Kubert and Richard Isanove: Curious about this graphic novel in inside cover says it’s “Neil Gaiman’s vision of the Marvel Universe in the year 1602!” (Books by Mail, Maine State Library, Augusta, ME)
A Shoe for All Seasons by Jeff MacNelly: Horribly dated (1983) but journalism is still an odd, odd profession. 80% through (Walker). **1/2 (3 GR)
The Greenhouse by Audur Ava Olafsdottir: Was a .99 book on Kindle on Sunday. Interesting book about an Icelandic young man going to Italy with a rare rose. Not sure where this is going yet, but enjoying it. 16%
The Morality of Capitalism: What Your Professors Won’t Tell You by Tom Palmer: Interesting so far, meant to be a libertarian book about capitalism and a counterpoint to Marx. Curious, think this will be read slowly. (9% – Kindle)
The Secret Piano: From Mao’s Labor Camps to Bach’s Goldberg Variations by Zhu Xiao-Mei: Very interesting book about learning to love music in Mao’s China. Looking forward to spending some time with this one this week. Another .99 translated book on Kindle last Sunday. 7%
Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich: Found this for .50 at Bull Moose as part of my amazing 5 bucks post. Enjoyed “Sex on the Moon” quite a bit by Mezrich, pretty good so far. pg 17 of 257 (own)
That’s enough for now, will see what next week brings.