Getting back into YA and Graphic Novels.
I started reading early, really early.
With Star Wars read and play the LP books, was huge in Star Wars at 3, and it launched me into reading, it was 1977.
Progressed with Dr. Seuss (loved Hop on Pop) .. but skipped my young adult period completely.
On a Christmas 30 years ago as a 7 year old 1st grader I read three science fiction books.
First was YA book about I think travelling to the moon or something, I think I found it kind of meh and flew threw pretty fast.
Second was the HG Wells classic novella “The Time Machine” which I still really enjoy. Lovely, direct science fiction, a relatively easy read.
Third was an absolute sci-fi classic “The Martian Chronicles” by Ray Bradbury. At around 400 pages its pretty serious reading for any kid yet alone a 7 year old. I loved it.
Tales of time travel, Mars invades, Mars attacks, Germs attack …
It’s not literary fiction but not the kind of book 7 years olds read, and it opened up a whole new world of the hundreds if not thousands of books my parents had in their home.
My parents are both biblipholes .. My dad a big sci-fi fan, and reader of history, my mom a fan of non-fiction. But lots and lots of non-fiction, science books, sci-fi, encyclopedias, news magazines, etc. Not much young adult. I read what we had largely. I did enjoy the local Mary Jacobs Library, but it was much easier to read what was in the house.
In fact, as a young man, in around junior HS, my dad read his mom’s entire encyclopedia. So I had a house full of bookcases.
A lot of it was for education and edification, and I liked much of what they had. A voracious reader who read what was there.
Told from my parents that included grocery circulars, and such as a young child, and just whatever as a child. Still not good at throwing away the written word, even newspapers.
Now, I am finding I just want to read fun, direct works. Things like Simon Wood’s super enjoyable crime thriller “The Fall Guy.” A story of an average schlub, who rear ends someone and leaves a note saying “Sorry I didn’t leave my contact information, I am just doing this for the people gawking.” And the car he runs into is a drug dealer and things just keep getting worse and worse.
I started with classics like “Watchmen”, “V for Vendetta” and “A History of Violence,” All are excellent and highly recommended.
Towards straight comics, superhero .. Frank Miller’s “Dark Knight” series, graphic novels.
Then found out that Casablanca comics in downtown Portland, ME offers a comic grab bag with 20 comics for only 8 bucks. DC and Marvel, mostly superhero.. But, fun and random post-silver age stuff .. mainly from the 1980s on.
They are a good time, a good diversion. Quick, easy to read, even between calls at a call center. And key for me in a way easy to give up. Been giving most of them to the young adult room at the Walker Memorial Library in Westbrook, ME, and sometimes at random places like laundromats.
And that 40 cent price means I don’t get that attached to them.
I have had an excellent reading year. Varied from lots of Vonnegut, to some crime fiction, a lot of comic books, a lot of YA, and far less newspapers and magazines then I can remember in a while. I still compulsively get free newspapers, but not feeling conflicted whether I want the 6 months of the Wall Street Journal that came across the street, or would rather read my Kindle or comic books.
Recently reading and enjoyed things like old Spiderman comics .. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl, Shel Silverstein, “A Call of the Wild” by Jack London; “The Sirens of Titan” by Kurt Vonnegut and odd satires like “Beware of God: Stories’ by Shalom Auslander.
I do remember Shel Silverstein well as a young child, and still love the images and playful poems. Appreciate someone with a sarcastic view of the poet, as I get more into poetry with each poem I write and each reading I attend.
I know I read “Charlie ..” as a substitute teacher, and it’s a marvelous book, done very well by the Gene Wilder movie. But, it’s just simple, enjoyable fiction.
There is still part of me that wants to read literary fiction, but I just can’t get into it. I don’t need a 5 page story, to be 50 pages because of the over description.
So what are some of your favorite books?
My 5 favorite so far this year are:
1) Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut – marvelous and playful, reading again 6 months later.
2) Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut — devastating and amazing book about war .. so it goes.
3) Ready Player One by Ernest Cline — incredibly enjoyable and nerdy thriller set in a virtual reality game, marvelous stuff especially for any nerdy/geeky kids who grew up in the 1980s and know the references.
4) Runny Babbit by Shel Silverstein — Super, fun book where the letters are switched around in the poems. Like Runny Babbit, Bolar Pear, etc. Fun, wordplay, first time I have seen the book was at Walker Library. It’s fun to “Bear a Rook at the Lublic Pibrary”.
5) BB Wolf and the 3 LPS by JD Arnold .. Excellent short juvenile graphic novel of the 3 Little Pigs story told in the Jim Crow south and the blues. Really excellent … Here is the Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/BB-Wolf-LPS-J-D-Arnold/dp/1603090290/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1321564937&sr=8-1
So happy reading and expect to write more on this.