Monday, January 25, 2016

Where Is Your bookmark? (01/26/2016)

I am nearly done with my current book, My Sweet Vidalia by Deborah Mantella, which I am reading for an upcoming tour. I hesitate to say how I feel about the book right now. So far it is a rather sad story about an abused mother who has had a very difficult life. It's written from a unique perspective, although the subject matter itself is not all that new.


Every Tuesday Diane from Bibliophile By the Sea First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where participants share the first paragraph (or a few) of a book they are reading or thinking about reading soon. It is also where I share my first impressions about the book I am sharing.

I thought today I would share the first three paragraphs from the first chapter. There is a prologue, which I am not sharing here.


Fixed between breasts and plumped belly, that tattered apron bound her despite its ties dangling loose by her sides.
Glancing sideways at the crumpled cap and shredded gown, she tsk-tsked. She did what she could to keep from thinking ahead but every now and again, well, my momma-to-be just couldn't help herself. 
In late March but a few months shy of her high school graduation she'd dropped out. This was not unusual for a girl in these parts back then. Truth be told, most folk supposed it peculiar she had made it that far. 

Every Tuesday, Jenn from A Daily Rhythm hosts Teaser Tuesdays at which time participants grab their current read, open to a random page, and share two (2) "teaser" sentences from that page while avoiding any spoilers.

Teaser from 11% of My Sweet Vidalia:
Vidalia's phase, Gamma persisted, was just something she needed get through and come back around from. "There ain't no stick big enough to measure what's right or what's wrong for a woman summoned to bury her child," she'd say with certainty.
and at 28%:
Awarded her choice of anything at all on that top shelf, and--even though she would have liked the shiny, new aluminum washboard, as ours was a bit rusted and sorely misshapen having been run over "on accident" by JB's back tires--with her fingers now trembling, she pointed to it. The big book with the hard, shiny cover and the golden trim: The Wonderful World of Insects.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?  

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely ladies at Broke and Bookish.

This week's  Top Ten Tuesday theme is a freebie, and so I decided to go with the Top Ten Graphic Novels/Memoirs in My TBR Collection. I do not read many graphic novels or memoirs, admittedly, but occasionally I like to sit down with one and read it. My graphic book preference tends to lean more towards memoirs as you can see. Some of my favorites include Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, Maus by Art Spiegalman, Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, and Blankets by Craig Thompson. I confess some of these have been in my TBR pile for years  and years. Hopefully I will get to them one day soon.

1. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant by Roz Chast ~ A graphic memoir about the author's aging parents' final years.


2. Stitches by David Small ~ This is a coming of age story about a young boy with serious health issues and a rather dysfunctional childhood.


3.Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton ~ Described as "an uproarious romp through history and literature . . ."


4. Regards from Serbia: A Cartoonist's Diary of a Crisis in Serbia by Aleksander Zograf ~ The book tells the author's story of living life in a war zone.


5. The Impostor's Daughter by Laurie Sandell ~ The story of the author whose research leads her to discover her dad wasn't exactly who he said he was and the fall out it causes for the author and her family afterwards.


6. Palestine by Joe Sacco ~ Laded as graphic journalism at it's finest, this book is based on the author's first hand research of life in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the early 1990's.


7. The Secret Loves of Geek Girls edited by Hope Nicholson ~ I put in money toward the Kickstarter for this one, something I rarely do, and so am especially excited to read to read it (I just have to wait until the Triple Dog Dare if over). This is a collection of stories and comics about dating, romance and sex told from a variety of artists and authors, including one from Margaret Atwood.


8. Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh ~ I wasn't sure this counted as a graphic memoir given how much text is in the book. I'm adding it here anyway. My husband really liked this one and is sure I will too. Having seen some of Allie Brosh's comics about depression, I think I will too.


9. Locas (Love and Rockets) by Jaime Hernández ~ " Locas tells the story of Maggie Chascarrillo, a bisexual, Mexican-American woman attempting to define herself in a community rife with class, race and gender issues." (I don't actually own this one, so not officially a TBR book. It is on my wish list, however.)

 10. Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol ~ A ghost story about a teenage girl who befriends a ghost--but then wonders if the ghost has an ulterior motive. (Another one that is on my wish list and not my actual TBR pile. Yet.)


Do you read graphic novels/memoirs? Have you read any of these titles? What are some you liked or  have been wanting to read?


© 2016, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

65 comments:

  1. I wasn't too sure about the opening but I liked the teasers more - I think I would keep reading despite the sadness.

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    1. Cleo - I think it's worth it to keep reading. :-)

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  2. This is a great idea fort a topic! I love graphic novels but haven't read one in a while... Hark! A Vagrant looks fun, and so does Hyperbole and a Half. I've checked out her website a few times and she's funny. :)

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    1. Greg - I don't read them very often, I admit. I like Jaime Hernández's work too. :-)

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  3. I'm not sure about the teaser but I do look forward to hearing your thoughts in it.

    I need to read more graphic novels as it's been a long while since I've read them. I think I've The Sculptor on my to-read list.

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    1. Melody - I read a couple graphic novels last year towards the end of the year, but decided not to review them. They were good, but I just couldn't think of anything to say beyond that. I will have to look up The Sculptor. I don't know if I know that one.

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    2. I should've noted down the author of The Sculptor but have forgotten his name then. Anyways, it's Scott McCloud. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/mobile/w/the-sculptor-scott-mccloud/1119359684?ean=9781596435735

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    3. Thanks for the link, Melody! The Sculptor does look good!

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  4. I'd have to read a bit more before deciding.

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  5. I don't think I could get passed that intro (tried to read it twice) sorry. I hope it gets better for your sake. (Hey, maybe it's just my mood today)

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    1. Diane - I actually liked the writing, although it took me a moment to settle into it. Sometimes I find that happens with certain books and then I end up loving them.

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  6. The writing style seems a bit cumbersome to me. Not sure I'd continue.

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    1. Catherine - It helps if you read the prologue first, I imagine. I didn't want to give too much a way though by sharing the beginning of it.

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  7. I'm the same as a couple of the other commenters - I found the intro a little difficult to read, I don't know if I'd get through the entire book.

    Reading With Jade

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    1. Jade - It took me a moment to settle into the writing style, but I actually quite liked the writing once I did.

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  8. I don't think I'm feeling the intro and teasers you shared. Not sure why. Just not appealing to me right now. And I'm not a big graphic novel reader. I have read a few, but somehow, 'comics' to me mean The Avengers or Fantastic 4 or Spiderman. LOL

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    1. Kay - The teasers are on the sad side. I like that she chose the book over something she needed--it was so unlike her given how practicable she normally is.

      Superhero comics and Archie were my initial impressions of comics and graphic novels until my husband opened my eyes to the variety out there. I had read Maus before I met him and loved it, but figured it wasn't your typical graphic novel fare. I couldn't have been more wrong.

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  9. Great list! Some of these graphic novels you mentioned have been on my wishlist for a few years--Anya's Ghost, Hark! A Vagrant, Hyperbole and a Half--and I hope to get around to them at some point :) Happy reading!

    My TTT

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    1. Lianne - Me too! I hope I can get around to them eventually. Especially since they are right there in plain view every day. At least the first eight. The other two are still on my wish list. :-)

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  10. I would add this to my list of titles to explore further. I do not read graphic novels. I read one several years ago, loaned to me by the son of a friend. I was not impressed. I would be open to trying one of the titles on your list though. They seem more to my taste. Thanks for pointing out that the genre is more varied than I had thought.

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    1. Judy - Yes, graphic novels vary and come in all genres/cross-genres as regular novels do. I hope you will give them another chance. Maybe try something that appeals to you more though. I highly recommend Persepolis. The artwork is simplistic, but it's a good story about the life of the author growing up in Iran. The first volume isn't too long.

      My husband is more into graphic novels than I am by a long stretch, and our tastes run very different when it comes to them.

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  11. Hmm, undecided as to whether or not My Sweet Vidalia appeals to me or not though once started I'd have to keep reading.

    Graphic novels are one of the few genre I've yet to read. Every now and then I see a review of one that quite captures my imagination but to be honest I'm just not convinced they are for me.

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    1. Tracy - It took me a second to get into the rhythm of the writing, but once I did, I liked it.

      Graphic novels aren't for everyone, but there are such a wide variety out there to match many different tastes. I definitely tend to prefer the memoirs more often than not, while my husband likes the crime and noir type graphic novels.

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  12. I kind of got stuck trying to find out what a "plumbed bell" was. Here's Mine

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    1. Paulita - Oops! That was my mistake. It should have been "plumped belly." I'm usually better at proofreading when I use quotes. :-(

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  13. I am curious about this one, and while I can't relate to her situation, I know people who have been there. Thanks for sharing, and here's mine: “A MAN CALLED OVE”

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    1. Laurel-Rain - Same here. I have worked with girls and women in her situation. It's heartbreaking. (I hope you love A Man Called Ove as much as I did!)

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  14. I've never read a graphic novel before, but I would like to start this year. I think the first one I want to read is Fight Club 2 by Chuck Palahniuk. I just have to wait until MAY!!! :(

    My TTT! :)

    Weird Girl and What’s His Name.

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    1. Giovanna - I hope you do get a chance to read a graphic novel. They get a bad rap sometimes, but there is such a huge variety out there--they aren't all Archie comics and definitely not all meant for children. I hope you like Fight Club 2 when it comes out!

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  15. The first paragraph has such a sad feel to it. I already feel sorry for the girl. I'm not sure if I want to find out what happens to her.

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    1. Margot - Me too. She's so young and goes through so much. It's hard not to feel for her. And yet I couldn't help but want to make sure she came out of it okay.

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  16. I just got finished reading a sad story and needing a bit of fluff. My Sweet Vidalia does sound good though. Girl Who Reads

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    1. Donna - I like to read lighter reads in between the more serious ones too. :-)

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  17. I don't read graphic novels, but my 11 year old daughter loves them. She's going through the Bones series right now and she also just checked out the graphic novel version of Percy Jackson from the library, which actually looks quite interesting (I may have to borrow that one lol).

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    1. Sara - My husband got me to read Bones many years ago--at least the earlier books. I am glad to hear your daughter likes them. I'd be curious to know how the Percy Jackson ones are. I hope you bot enjoy them!

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  18. I enjoyed Hyperbole and a Half and it's a super quick read. There's some really hilarious stuff but also some really interesting pieces of mental illness. The Impostor's Daughter looks like something I'd enjoy. I'll have to look for that one.

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    1. Katherine - That's what my husband says too. :-) Hopefully I can get to it this year. I wish I could remember where I got my copy of The Impostor's Daughter. It was a gift or I won it in a giveaway. . . I wish I was better at keeping track of these things.

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  19. My husband read Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant, as he's going through some of the same things with his own parents. He liked it, thought it was both funny & sad.

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    1. Diana - I am glad your husband liked Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant. I seem to be drawn to the graphic novels/memoirs that fall into the funny and sad category, I've noticed.

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  20. I am a fan of STITCHES, too. I went through a period where i was telling everyone to read it and one person said she didn't understand it because there weren't enough words. Sigh. My TTT: Hottest Books in My Library right now.

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    1. Anne - Oh no! I guess graphic novels aren't for everyone. I'm looking forward to reading Stitches. I am glad to hear you liked it!

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  21. I'd have to be in the right mood to read this book. Look forward to your thoughts.

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    1. Nise' - I understand. My Sweet Vidalia touches on difficult subject matter. I've been equally measures sad and mad over the lives of the characters.

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  22. I have so many of these on my TBR list. I just don't read as many graphic novels as I would like to. Hope you are having a great week so far!

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    1. Samantha - Same here. I even have mine in a prominent, can't miss spot on one of my bookshelves. One of these days. :-)

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  23. I do enjoy graphic novels but don't read too many. I really want to read Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant but I feel like that's one of those books I have to be mentally prepared for you know. Great TTT choices!

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    1. Iliana - I don't read very many either. I tend to skip over them--just like I do nonfiction--in favor of regular novels. I do enjoy them when I read them though. I agree about needing to be mentally prepared for Chast's book. I imagine that will hold true for me as well.

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  24. I don't read a whole lot of graphic novels (though I actually did binge-read iZombie yesterday lol), and I read even less memoirs. I've read most of the Hyperbole and a Half comics on her website though, and they are hilarious! The Geek Girls one sounds like a good read too.

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    1. Kristen - Did you like the iZombie graphic novels? I've seen a few episodes of the show, and thought it was good. I've been distracted by other shows though and haven't gotten back to it. I'm really looking forward to the Geek Girls novel. If it wasn't for the Triple Dog Dare I am doing right now, I would have read it already.

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  25. Stitches was really good. Hyperbole and a Half is terrific, although really tough material. She's such a hilarious writer, but crushing depression is not inherently funny, right? Still, a person I know with severe depression said her take on it rang really true. Finally, Anya's Ghost is one my middle schoolers and I enjoy equally.

    Raina Telgemeier's "Smile" and "Sisters" are two graphic novel memoirs with cross-age appeal. We also really like the Brody's Ghost series, which is more sci fi.

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    1. Wendy - I have heard good things about both Stitches and Hyperbole and an Half. I am glad to hear you liked both! I've read some of Jaime Hernández's work before and really liked it. My husband introduced me to her through a piece she had written about Depression. Given my own experience with it, he thought I might like it. Anya's Ghost does look good. I'm looking forward to that one.

      Thank you for the recommendations! I will check out both "Smile" and "Sisters" as well as Brody's Ghost series.

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  26. Love your top ten. Here's my TT: http://wp.me/p4DMf0-19e

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  27. Hark a Vagrant and Hyperbole and a Half are awesome!

    Check out my TTT.

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    1. Lauren - I'm looking forward to reading both. :-)

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  28. I loved Stitches and Anya's Ghost. But haven't read any of the others. Gasp! Need to get to those soon, especially The Impostor's Daughter, Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant and Palestine.

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    1. Athira - I was surprised I didn't already have a copy of Anya's Ghost. I hope to get to all of these eventually. They all sound good to me.

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  29. I haven't read many graphic novels, I have just one on my TBR, called Maus. I just haven't been in the mood to pick it up yet. I've seen the Hyperbole books around.
    My Sweet Vidalia sounds like a sad one. Enjoy your weekend!

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    1. Naida - Maus is very good! I hope you do find time to read it. It opened my eyes to just how varied graphic novels can be.

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  30. Hark a Vagrant! Love it so much, definitely worth checking out if you like history and funny comics! And Hyperbole and a Half is pretty fun, too!
    Lovely list, Wendy!

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    1. Cyn - I'm glad to see you enjoyed Hark! A Vagrant so much. I do enjoy history and am looking forward to that one. :-)

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  31. Hyperbole and a Half looks quite good (Not to mention funny)! I can't wait to check it out. You'll have to let me know what you think. :-)
    -Amy

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    1. Amy - I am excited about that one. Having read some of the author's work before, I know I will like it. :-)

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    2. Awesome! I've never read anything by her, but I have read the excerpt for it... Haha.

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