I’m doubling up on topics since I didn’t do this post last week (haven’t been in a blogging mood). So…
Last week’s topic:
Top 5 books I’m glad I read
Books I’m glad I read this year (or other years)
Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better by Pema Chödrön
This is actually a speech that Chödrön gave at her granddaughter’s graduation. It’s very inspiring and something I needed to read at the time I read it. Failing at something is often seen as the most horrible thing to happen, but after reading this book, I’ve started to realize that failing is not the end. It can be the beginning of something new, something better.
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
It’s a historical fiction novel that follows the descendants of two sisters from Ghana — one who was sold into slavery and one who wasn’t — over the years to present day. It’s such a great read. I consider it a modern classic.
The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair
It’s one of the best books I read last year. It’s a nonfiction book all about color, which might sound boring but is actually an interesting read. About a page or two is dedicated to each color, shade, and hue mentioned. This actually began as a column in British Elle Decoration magazine before St. Clair decided to make a book of it.
Middle Passage by Charles Johnson
I forgot where I learned of this book, but it’s such a good read! And short too. It’s historical fiction that leans into the paranormal and horror genres. It’s about a young Black man who’s a newly freed slave living in New Orleans. He stows away on a ship to escape his debts and a woman intent on marrying him (which he doesn’t want to do). However, he doesn’t realize that the ship is actually a slave ship bound for the African continent to pick up the mysterious Allmuseri people. The story is very gripping and entertaining and even funny at times, which I didn’t expect.
Thunder & Lightning: Weather Past, Present, Future by Lauren Redniss (illus.)
An illustrated nonfiction book about the weather. I believe it’s geared toward YA and adult audiences, but parents can read it with kids. The illustrations are often bright and colorful. This is one of the best nonfiction books I’ve read, and I’ve learned quite a lot from it about the weather.
This week’s topic:
Top 5 friend recs
Books recommended to me by friends, family, bloggers, and others
I’ve decided to focus on comics and graphic novels because… I want to.
Here by Richard McGuire
One of the most interesting graphic novels I’ve read so far. It’s about the passage of time, how things change over time. There are hardly any words in it. Instead, the illustrations focus on an area of a single room in a house and shows us how it changed over time. For example, what’s placed there now, what that area looked like in prehistoric times, and what it might look like in the future. I had to read this one twice to fully appreciate what the artist was trying to do.
Oh! Forgot to mention that I learned about this from a booktuber but I forgot who.
The Arrival by Shaun Tan (illus.)
Sometimes I call this a graphic novel and sometimes I call it a children’s picture book. I confuse myself. It is a kids’ book, more for the middle grade audience. There are no words, so the entire story is told using illustrations. Readers have to rely on reading the characters’ facial expressions and body language to understand what they are expressing and feeling. It’s a fantasy story about a man seeking a safe place for his family to live. I love this story. It’s one of my favorite books.
I forgot where or who told me about it, but I most likely learned of it from booktube.
Superman: Red Son by Mark Millar, illus. by Dave Johnson and Kilian Plunkett
I hardly ever read superhero comics, so a coworker decided to introduce me to them. Superman: Red Son was one of the comics he recommended and loaned to me. I enjoyed it so much. Instead of an American hero, Superman instead crash-landed in the Soviet Union as a baby and now supports Stalin and communism. It’s a really good read.
Saga, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan, illus. by Fiona Staples
This was one of the first comics I read when I decided to get into them, and it was recommended by the sellers at my comic book shop. I was immediately hooked on the story and Staples’s illustration style. It’s so popular now that I guess I don’t need to say what it’s about… But it’s a sci-fi comic book about a couple on the run from their respective governments that are at war against each other. And despite such hard circumstances, they are trying to build a family.
The Wicked + the Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen, illus. by Jamie McKelvie
It’s so weird that I didn’t like this comic book the first time I read it. I loved it on my second read and got hooked then. It’s so good! Entertaining and witty. It’s a fantasy comic book series set in modern society about gods who are reincarnated as pop stars. Such an interesting read. It was also recommended to me by the sellers at my comic book store.