Blog, Book Review, Books

BOOKS I’VE READ SO FAR (MAY-JULY 2015)

I’ve read a ton of comics that I haven’t tracked and Ramadan threw a wrench into my reading habits. These are the excuses for such a short list. I’m getting back into the swing of things this month so here are the books I’ve read thus far from oldest to the most recent.

All The Rage. Written by Courtney Summers. St. Martin's Griffin.All The Rage  by Courtney summers

I actually forgot to add this to my last round up for Jan-April 2015. I love all of Courtney Summers’ books and this one was another great read. I wrote something short about it for my fellow blogger and friend Ciara’s blog, Lost at Midnight, and I’m not sure how I can top that here. Buy it. Read it. Re-read it. Share it. It’s important, it’s good, it’s beuatiful and heart breaking so why not, right?

ROOK BY SHARON CAMERONRook by Sharon Cameron. April 28th 2015. Scholastic Press.

I ended up DNFing this book (Did Not Finish) which is sad because I really wanted to like it. This was more about expectations than anything else. I went in thinking it would go one way but the author decided to tell the narrative in a way that focused on things I didn’t care about. It’s weird, I know, but I don’t want my experience preventing people from picking it up since they might enjoy it. And you might enjoy it! So if this sounds interesting to you, pick it up.

The Spectators. Written by Victor Hussenot. Nobrow. 2015.THE SPECTATORS BY VICTOR HUSSENOT

I wrote a very short review for Women Write About Comics already but to elaborate a little more, I LOVED this comic. The use of water colours in telling the mini stories of city life was well chosen and it was something I could connect to living in a Canadian city even though the creator is French. Oceans away but still universal. I highly recommend it. I’ve started to read Nobrow’s titles and I’ve enjoyed them so far (I’ve also read Robert Hunter’s The New Ghost which was fun). Check it out!

SUPERMUTANT MAGIC ACADEMY BY JILLIAN TAMAKISuperMutant Magic Academy. Created by Jillian Tamaki. Drawn & Quarterly. 2015.

If I could recommend a must read comic of the year, it would be SuperMutant Magic Academy by Jillain Tamaki. It collects her webcomic of the same name with additions just for the book. It’s hilarious with characters you’ll latch onto (I love Frances and Everlasting Boy). It’s weird and lovely and I hope to god that you guys will listen to me and PURCHASE THIS BAD BOY. Okay, thanks.

*This is #WeNeedDiverseBooks Approved!

Last Man: The Stranger. Created by BASTIEN VIVES, MICHAËL SANLAVILLE, AND BALAK. 2015. First Second.Last Man (The Stranger & The Royal Cup) by Bastien Vives, Michaël Sanlaville, and Balak

I’ve found the first two books in this series enjoyable with some reservations. I’ve written about that over at Women Write About Comics so head there for a more expansive explanation (beware spoilers). It essentially has to do with the depiction of women and I’ll leave it at that.

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly. Written by Stephanie Oakes. 2015. Dial/Penguin.THE SACRED LIES OF MINNOW BLY BY STEPHANIE OAKES

I co-wrote a review with my pal, Christa, over at Women Write About Comics and we both really loved the book. It’s currently one of the best young adult novel I’ve read this year. The prose is fantastic and Oakes’ narrative choices are solid. There’s a scene in the book that was so well written that almost made me passed out (if you’ve read it, you know exacty the scene I’m talking about). I also love how it approaches the concept of faith and it does so in a way that is inclusive to all types of beliefs. Two thumbs way up!

CHINA RICH GIRLFRIEND BY KEVIN KWANChina Rich Girlfriend. Written by Kevin Kwan. 2015. Knopf Doubleday/Random House.

I haven’t read Kwan’s first book, Crazy Rich Asians, but now I want to after reading this one! It has most of the same characters of the last book but you can read this one without reading CRA. It’s a fun and light read. I learned quite a bit about how the wealthy live in countries like China, Taiwan etc which is its own level of rich. Kwan apparently has experience in this world so reading his footnotes are a fun and insightful experience. There’s heart and humour that makes this a fantastic summer read (for any other season to be honest because it’s just that great). I definitely recommend this one.

*This is #WeNeedDiverseBooks Approved!

Scarlett Undercover. Written by Jennifer Latham. 2015. Little Brown/Little, Brown & Co.SCARLETT UNCOVER BY JENNIFER LATHAM

Oh, Scarlett Undercover. How I love thee! I picked this book up after my friend Christa insisted that I try it without giving any other reason beyond: “You’ll like.” That’s usually not enough because there are plenty of books that I would love sitting on my shelf and on my floor and on my desk but it was Christa who was the one pushing it and she rarely pushes. I’m happy I took the plunge because this book was fantastic. Imagine a Fillmore! vibe that focuses on a young woman of colour who is a muslim and private investigator. YES. Yes yes yes. I plan on writing a separate post to discuss this book in greater detail but I HIGHLY recommend reading it. Do it. Doooooo iiiiiit.

*This is #WeNeedDiverseBooks Approved!

The Outisde Circle. Written by Patti LaBoucane-Benson. Art by Kelly Mellings. Colours by John Rauch. Lettering & Design by Pulp Studios Inc. 2015. House of Anansi.THE OUTSIDE CIRCLE BY PATTI LaBOUCANE-BENSON AND KELLY MELLINGS

I really enjoyed this comic. I wrote about it over at Panels and it’s important one to read especially for Canadians RIGHT. NOW. It’s about an aboriginal young man named Pete who’s put into a situation that forces him to face the traumas of his past and the historical traumas of aboriginal peoples. It’s an insightful and stunning read.

*This is #WeNeedDiverseBooks Approved!

Mad Miss Mimic. Written by Sarah Henstra. 2015. Penguin Canada.MAD MISS MIMIC BY SARAH HENSTRA

Mad Miss Mimic was an enjoyable read and a surprising one. I don’t read a lot of historical fiction and they tend to be forgettable when I do. Henstra wrote a compelling protagonist whose voice is strong and captivating. Leo is someone you want to cheer for and protect. She doesn’t know who she is and at 23 years old, I can still relate to that! It’s fun watching her evolve and the approach to romance is great as someone who’s picky about that sort of thing. It’s an overall great debut by Henstra and I hope to read more books from her.

Currently Reading: The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johanson, and Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection edited by Hope Nicholson.

I’m reading two books (one is a comics anthology and the other is a sequel) at the same time because that’s how I roll these days. I’ve read non-2015 releases as well: But I Really Wanted To Be An Anthropologist by Margaux Motin, The New Ghost by Robert Hunter, The Just City by Jo Walton (SO GOOD), and Habibi by Craig Thompson. All of them have been great with the exception of Habibi which had its issues along with the good (gorgoeus art!) but I’m still working through that.

What have you been reading?

-A.

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