Sunday, November 30, 2008

More books I've read in 2008

Had some extra time over the T-giving holidays and actually got to do some reading:
Actually, I've been reading this one for sometime now. It's not the type of book you sit down and read cover to cover. It's a hilarious (if you like the dry British wit as much as I do) instruction manual teaching you how do things like "Go To Church" "Fix Things" "Be Happily Married" ("Sexual excitement may start to wane in a marriage and so you should think of all sorts of different ways to spice up the last few days of your honeymoon.") or "Go to a Barber" ("When you're young you wonder why old men with receding hair bother going to the barber. The answer is that they have more hair growing out of their ears and nose than you have growing out of your head. Similarly, older men wonder why young men bother when they leave looking more idiotic than when they came in.")Some people say that comics (or graphic novels if you will) can do everything that prose novels do. I say yes, but it's rare. Craig Thompson's "Blankets" certainly qualifies as a "real" novel but it took Thompson over 600 pages to tell his story, not many artists are willing to draw that many pictures. "Shortcomings" by Adrain Tomine is more like a short story or a novella, but a smart insightful short story, one that will stick in my memory. It's about an Asian-American guy and his struggles with racial acceptance -- not so much acceptance by others of his race, but of self acceptance of his race. He has a lot of issues, but the book doesn't take itself too seriously. There's a lot of funny stuff in there too, mostly from his eternally-randy lesbian best friend.

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